31 Christmas Cocktails for a Merry and Bright Holiday

31 Christmas Cocktails for a Merry and Bright Holiday

Add a little sparkle to the season with festive Christmas cocktail recipes made to ignite the spirit of the season. These boozy beverages were created to warm you from the inside out. Whether it’s the bourbon, Campari or vodka that brings on that snuggly feeling or the warmth from an infused hot cider or mulled wine, these recipes were made to fend off winter chills. Along the way, we’ll teach you how to make festive garnishes like sugar-coated grapes and a candy cane-rimmed martini glass.

Fom family-friendly spiced ciders to versions with liberal pours of spiced rum, these merry drinks are a key part of menu planning for holiday gatherings. While you may want to serve a bold red wine with your holiday roast, these cocktails will start and end the party on the right note. But they’re certainly not limited to special occasions. Once the garland is hung and strands of lights twinkle on the tree, whipping up a bar-worthy cocktail with ease can feel like Christmas in a glass any day of the month.

So grab the shaker — or, hey, just a spoon — and jot down your favorite holiday cocktail recipes for this magical season. Enjoy a tipple during a major gift wrapping session or make a few batches for guests at a Christmas dinner. Every single one of these wintry cocktails are worth making — and the season is long enough to try them all!

Amaretti Cookie Toddy

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Who needs candles? This big-batch cocktail will perfume your entire house with the smell of warm spices, sweet orange flavor and a hint of bourbon. The addition of amaretto liqueur adds a subtle almond note. Start this cocktail in the afternoon before your guests come and it will be the perfect crowd-pleaser to kick off the party.

Gingerbread Martini

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

‘Tis the season for all things gingerbread-flavored, so I’m putting a festive twist on the ever-popular espresso martini. The molasses replaces the classic simple syrup for a more intense sugar flavor. The dash of warm spices in the cocktail rounds out the full cookie flavor to really make this a glass of liquid holiday cheer.

Winter Wonderland Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Have broken or leftover sugar cookies? Turn them into a delicious, infused cream and use that to make this creamy cocktail! The addition of white chocolate makes this drink taste like a treat.

Cranberry Martinis

David Anderson / TODAY

Ina Garten dresses up store-bought cranberry juice cocktail with an orange-cranberry simple syrup, plus vodka and triple sec. It’s a boozy beverage that’s perfect for sipping with loved ones next to your tree.

Apple Cider Mojitos

Alejandra Ramos

Even though eggnog peaks in popularity during December, there’s still room for apple cider, too. After all, it delivers warm, spiced flavors that will make you feel extra cozy during winter. While mojitos usually give tropical vibes, this apple-based cocktail feels decidedly seasonal.

Ina Garten's Pomegranate Gimlets

Ina Garten

Ina’s recipes can do no wrong and this pomegranate-based cocktail is no exception. The color combination of ruby red pomegranate juice alongside sliced lime is perfect for the Christmas season, and this big-batch drink is ready for a crowd.

French 75 Cocktail


This elegant cocktail is totally timeless and perfect for sipping during the holiday season. Sparkling wine or prosecco brings a festive flair alongside gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

The Lemon Ball Drop

Alejandra Ramos

Celebrate the week between Christmas and New Year’s with this zesty martini made with vodka, lemon-infused simple syrup and sugared grapes.

Festive Prosecco

Courtesy Elena Besser

This drink looks and feels super festive for the holidays with very little effort. Start with a bottle of bubbles (preferably a dry prosecco or Champagne), add cranberry juice and pomegranate juice, give it a stir and top with a sprig of rosemary and fresh cranberries. It’s both beautiful to look at and delicious to drink.

Gaspare's Winter Punch

Clover Club

Classic mulled wine is dressed up with Campari and cranberries for a warm punch that also makes a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday party buffet table.

Apple Cider Pitcher

Samantha Lauro

Whether served cold or hot, apple cider is a staple for the holiday season. The homemade spiced syrup in this recipe adds the complexity needed to wow your guests. Plus, the whole family can enjoy it together as a nonalcoholic beverage or it can be jazzed up with some alcohol to become a cocktail.

Winter Lemonade

Samantha Lauro

The zesty citrus flavor pairs well with the spice from the ginger in this bright, cold-weather cocktail. The subtle, crisp apple notes in sauvignon blanc also add some extra flair that round out the drink.

Peppermint Martini (Peppermint-ini)

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

A traditional peppermint martini is a major sugar rush. Whip up my version of this festive drink and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without worrying about overdoing it on the sugar.

Keoke Coffee Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Enjoy a good cup of joe? Then you’ll love this classic Keoke coffee cocktail. This warming drink ups the ante when it comes to a sweet holiday coffee beverage. Topped with a little whipped cream, it’s a tasty treat.

Off-White Christmas

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon give this concoction an endless festive and delicious flavor.

Bourbon Cozy

Samantha Lauro

If you’re craving chocolate, this will satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s so decadent and delicious, it can also serve as the grand finale instead of dessert.

The Grinch Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Just like its namesake, this cocktail is spicy and complex, there’s nothing sweet about it. And, like the Grinch’s sly grin, it is mischievously delightful.

The Rudolph Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Rich white chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka and cream make this cocktail sweet, cozy and perfect for a chilly Christmas night.

Drunken Gingerbread Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This easy eggnog recipe has all the sweet, creamy spiced goodness you want in this traditional holiday cocktail. Adding warm gingerbread cookies to the mix makes it all the more festive and delicious.

Winter Champagne Cocktail

Maureen Petrosky / TODAY

This versatile sparkling wine cocktail can be made with Champagne or prosecco and any kind of citrus fruit. A rosemary sprig is a pretty garnish that adds just a hint of flavor.

Bright Spirit


This is a simple and straightforward cocktail, but it tastes so bright and festive. The sweet raspberry notes and tart lime mingle perfectly on the palate.

Holiday Mojitos (Merry, Merry Mojitos)

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Cool mint, Champagne and a little rum — that’s all you need! This refreshing beverage will make everyone have a happy Christmas.

Fourth Hour Fizz Cocktail

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

It takes about 30 seconds to make this eye-catching cocktail. The mint or basil garnish adds the perfect touch of green to an iced glass of sparkling red liquid.

Dark 'n' Stormy

Maureen Petrosky/TODAY

When the weather outside is frightful, a classic dark and stormy might be just the thing to make everyone’s mood a bit brighter. There are only three ingredients in this five-minute drink, and each is equally important.

Italian Aperol Spritz Punch


Citrusy yet sweet with a hint of bitterness, this sparkling Italian Aperol spritz punch serves 12 to 16 and will have the whole party saying, “Buon Natale!”

Ginger Spice Punch


Like gingerbread cookies, only smoother and with a kick of bourbon, this ginger-spiced apple cider cocktail can be made in single servings or scaled up to keep a group happy all evening. Just be sure to use one part bourbon to five parts apple cider.

Eggless Eggnog (Tawny Crème Cocktail)

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

An eggnog without the raw egg ends up being a bit lighter but still keeps the creamy, winter-spiced flavor everyone loves.

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Cocktail

Maureen Petrosky / TODAY

Using frozen cranberries makes this cocktail seasonal, festive and super simple to put together. Feel free to double the recipe and make two pitchers because it always seems goes too fast.

Carson's Brandy Alexander

Williams Sonoma

“For as long as I can remember my mom was blending away during the holidays, creating her famous Brandy Alexander cocktails. It’s as much a family tradition as the jolly man himself,” says Carson.

Elizabeth Mayhew's Mulled Wine

Getty Images

This is the mulled wine recipe to end all mulled wine recipes. With all the wintry spices and notes of citrus, it’ll warm everyone up no matter how much snow is outside.

Bubbles and Cran

Vivian Chan

Bubbles aren’t just for Champagne and seltzer. This drink is inspired by the beautiful wreaths decorating the shopfronts of New York City during the holidays. It will wake up your palate with the fiery kick of ginger!