We might all be in need of some holiday cheer this year. For the holiday season, we’ve compiled, tested, and approved this selection of holiday cocktails.

Whether it’s the taste of fall in a glass, or a cranberry-inspired margarita, there’s something on the list for every occasion. These seven holiday cocktails are perfect for toasting the end of 2020 and the beginning of a merry, bright new year.

Caramel Apple Mimosas

Instant crowd pleaser, these mimosas are incredibly easy to make and take little time to prepare so you can get to more important things like basting the turkey, stirring the cranberry sauce, or letting grandma chat you up in some random corner of the kitchen. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Torani caramel sauce
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar 
  • 1 cup unfiltered apple cider
  • 8 ounces Pinnacle Caramel flavored vodka
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry or sweet champagne
  • Apple slices, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour caramel into a small dish. Pour cinnamon sugar into another small dish. Dip champagne flutes into caramel to rim glass, then dip in cinnamon sugar until coated. Let the caramel sugar mixture drip down the sides of the glass for an added flair. 
  2. Pour 1/4 cup apple cider and 2 ounces caramel vodka into each flute and top with bubbly.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice before serving.

Recipe adapted from Delish.com

Sugarplum Martini

Visions of sugarplums will be dancing in your head after one sip of this fruity and floral cocktail. Made with Empress 1908 Gin, the vibrant colors are a stunning feature that will complement any Winter Wonderland theme. This is the most regal of holiday cocktails.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Empress 1908 gin
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1 ½ tsp pomegranate reduction

Pomegranate Reduction

(Makes enough for eight cocktails. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.)

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (like Pom)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

Pomegranate Reduction

1. Bring the ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the mixture thickens into a thin syrup. Cool before using.

Sugar Plum Martini

1. Chill a martini glass in the freezer.

2. Place all of the ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shake until thoroughly chilled. The shaker should be nice and icy on the outside.

3. Strain the ingredients into the chilled glass.

Recipe adapted from Karenskitchenstories.com

Mulled Wine

Nothing hits us in the holiday feels more than this classic, aromatic, and spicy mulled wine. It’s like a warm hug from mom as you help her prepare the big family feast. 

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles red wine 
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or try Select Club Canadian Pecan Praline whiskey for a nuttier flavor!)
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise 
  • Additional cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish
  1. Combine the cider, wine, brandy, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, cloves, and star anise in a large pot or crockpot. 
  2. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (Don’t let it boil! We want the alcohol to stay in our mulled wine.) 
  3. Remove cloves and star anise. Serve in heatproof glasses or mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or an orange slice.

Recipe adapted from Inspired by Charm

Salted Caramel White Russian

This recipe gives the plain old White Russian a serious glow up both in aesthetics and flavor. The addition of caramel sauce and salted caramel flavored vodka help transform this nightcap into a deliciously boozy sweet treat. 

Ingredients

  • 1 part Khalúa Salted Caramel coffee liqueur  
  • 2 parts Pinnacle Salted Caramel Vodka
  • 1 part half & half
  • Caramel sauce to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Khalúa, vodka, and half & half. Stir with a spoon to combine. 
  2. Drip caramel sauce down the side of a drinking glass. Add ice until the glass is about three quarters full; then pour in your cocktail. 
  3. Garnish with a straw and serve.

Recipe adapted from Inspired by Charm

Apple & Gin Autumn Cocktail

The richness of honey simple syrup adds a unique depth of flavor to the bright and earthy tones of gin, apple cider, and lime. A holiday cocktail with fall feeling.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces apple cider
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces honey simple syrup
  • Dash cinnamon

Optional Garnishes

  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 apple – cut into matchsticks

Honey Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup hot water

Instructions

  1. Make the honey simple syrup: Add the HOT water and honey to a mason jar and shake vigorously until the honey dissolves.
  2. For the cocktail: Combine gin, apple cider, lime juice, honey simple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled.
  3. To serve: Fill two glasses with ice and matchstick apples. Strain cocktail to glasses and garnish with sprigs of thyme. Enjoy!

From nospoonnecessery.com

Just Beet It

They’re not just for salad bars anymore. Beets are making a huge comeback and are the surprise ingredient in this juicy cocktail. Mezcal lends a smokiness to the sweet beet and spicy ginger. The flavors are brightened with tart lemon and fresh mint. 

Ingredients

  • 1 ounces Mezcal
  • 1 ounces Pimms
  • 1 ounces beet juice
  • ¼ ounce ginger juice
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce ginger beer
  • Pinch mint

Instructions

  1. Shake all ingredients except ginger beer together in a shaker tin with ice. 
  2. Strain into a highball glass and top with ginger beer.

Recipe courtesy of Ward III

All photography by Sam Marie

Cranberry Margaritas

Vibrant and tart cranberries have been paired with classic margarita ingredients to bring an exciting holiday twist to one of our most beloved cocktails. 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cranberry juice
  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¾  cup tequila
  • ½ cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Stir all ingredients together until blended. 
  2. Serve over ice in sugar- or salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.

From gimmesomeoven.com

Originally published in Local Profile’s November/December 2020 issue.