Jazz up any holiday gathering with one of these spirited cocktails recommended by our editors.
November 19, 2009
1 of 15Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Happy Elf Recipe Why should Santa be the only one who gets a treat on Christmas Eve? He can have the milk and cookies; we want to share this colorful cocktails with his favorite toy makers.
2 of 15Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Cranberry Kir Royale
Cranberry Kir Royale Recipe Leftover cranberry sauce helps concoct a lightly sweet homemade cranberry liqueur in this twist on a classic French cocktail. Allow four days to steep the liqueur. Garnish with cranberries, if you like.
3 of 15Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Capital Eggnog Recipe Trim the tree and get in the holiday spirit with a cup of homemade Capital Eggnog. No other drink quite epitomizes the holidays like eggnog. Cheers!
4 of 15Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cindy Barr; Leigh Ann Ross
Milk Punch Recipe This old-fashioned drink is reminiscent of decadent egg custard. You can easily double or triple the speedy recipe to serve a bigger crowd.
5 of 15Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro
Recipe Though you might not think of peaches when it comes to Christmas cocktails, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Mix frozen peach slices, ice, sugar, vodka, and peach schnapps in a blender until smooth for a smooth, creamy drink with a uniquely refreshing flavor.
6 of 15Photo: Andrea M. Gómez; Styling: Miranda Jones
Merry Cranberry Margaritas
Merry Cranberry Margaritas Recipe Who says margaritas are just for summer? Celebrate the holidays with this festive frozen drink featuring both cranberry juice cocktail and fresh cranberries. Reserve some of those fresh berries to make a simple garnish.
7 of 15Douglas Merriam; Jan Gautro
Sparkling Chimayó Cocktails
Sparkling Chimayó Cocktails Recipe Mix it up by moving away from classic Christmas liquors like brandy and rum in favor of tequila. For these Southwestern-inspired cocktails, mix gold tequila with sparkling apple cider and sparkling water. To finish it all off, crème de cassis (a black currant-flavored liqueur) lends a sweet, delicate balance to the drink.
8 of 15
Egg Nog Recipe This holiday season, just say "no" to the dairy case and whip up your own homemade egg nog. Super easy to make, this concoction combines eggs, sugar, and milk to form a thick, creamy base. Once thickened, add Christmas cheer with brandy, rum, and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg
9 of 15Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Candy Cane Martini
Candy Cane Martini Recipe We dare you-- look at this cocktail and try not to fall in love. Raise a glass and toast friends and family this holiday season.
10 of 15Randy Mayor
Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail
Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail Recipe Pomegranates add festive color and great flavor to any cocktail. Create a sparkling celebration by combinating tart pomegranate juice with spicy ginger ale, a little brandy, and a bottle of bubbly Champagne.
11 of 15Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Stone Fence Recipe This take on the old New England drink features apple brandy rather than the usual rum. Substitute applejack or plain brandy, if you like.
12 of 15Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross
Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail
Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail Recipe This is a timely concoction for a party: Simply prepare the gingered sugar syrup (step 1), and refrigerate it until you're ready to shake and serve the cocktails.
13 of 15Becky Luigart-Stayner
Blood Orange Sangría
Blood Orange Sangría Recipe Blood oranges are in season in December, which makes them a perfect fruit to toss into your next holiday sangría. This cocktail also calls for sliced strawberries, apple juice, triple sec, sugar, whole cloves, red wine, and cinnamon sticks, making for a smooth blend of sweet fruit and traditional Christmas flavors.
14 of 15Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams
Pomegranate Gin Sling
Pomegranate Gin Sling Recipe A classic gin sling is dressed for festive parties when made with seasonal pomegranate juice and decorated with crimson pomegranate fruit. Both simple syrup and agave syrup are widely available at liquor stores. To make your own simple syrup, boil 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, stirring just until sugar dissolves; reduce until thickened. Cool before using.
15 of 15Photo: Levi Brown; Styling: Tiziana Agnello
Cranberry-Whiskey Sour Slush
Cranberry-Whiskey Sour Slush Recipe Is it a drink or dessert? Who cares? It satisfies both cravings. Our garnet-colored slush has all the qualities of a delicious cocktail--a not-too-sweet combination of high-quality liquor and fruity tang.