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All I Want for Christmas is a DRINK: 7 Simple Cocktails to Level-Up Your Next Holiday Gathering

by Zoë Lourey-Christianson

It is officially Holiday Party Season! Break out the tinsel and your best ugly sweater because it’s time to get lit like a Christmas tree. Dazzle your guests with these seven festive cocktail recipes—just be sure to save one for Santa, too. 

bourboneggnog 7 copy f4a2f.jpg 58cdbThis recipe and photo originally appeared on 

1. Bourbon Eggnog

What would a list of holiday cocktails even be without a boozy eggnog recipe? This twist on the yuletide classic includes bourbon instead of the traditional brandy. Depending on which relatives you invited to your holiday gathering, feel free to add additional liquor. The recipe we shared suggests cognac, but we think a splash of amaretto or your favorite cinnamon whiskey would be a fun way to add an extra kick of flavor. 

Sweater Weather.jpg e81d5Recipe and photo from Cuban Cocktails: 100 Classic and Modern Drinks, published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. © DeRossi Global LLC. Photo by Gabi Porter

2. Sweater Weather

Seasonal Affective Disorder? I barely know her! This is the perfect cocktail if you need a reminder that spring and summer weather are just around the corner. Think a hot toddy on ice with a Cuban twist. 

Catcher in the Rye copy.jpg 351a8Photo and recipe reprinted with permission from “Sloshies” by Jerry Nevins/Workman Publishin

3. Catcher in the Rye (Frozen Old-Fashioned)

If you’re one of the lucky ones and you don’t live in a frozen, slushy hellscape during winter months, we have a cocktail that’ll keep you cool while still delivering that festive flavor! This frozen Old-Fashioned pairs perfectly with gingerbread and roasted chestnuts…just don’t sit too close to the fireplace. 

Round Glass 3.jpg 8e567Recipe and photo courtesy Pisco Chile

4. Mina Chilena

Rosemary and star anise bring this pisco-based cocktail to life. It tastes like tiny ballerinas performing a flawless Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on your tongue. 

We first published this recipe in a piece about “Drinking Away the Trump,” and, coincidentally, this cocktail is also great for drowning out your aunt as she regurgitates conspiracy theories in your ear.

Frida Kahlua 73471lllustration from Drink Like A Woman by Jeanette Hurt. Copyright © 2016. Seal Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

5. Frida Kahlua 

This drink finds its way on the list because nothing beats a hot boozy beverage on a cold day. Plus, it doubles as a nice segue into a discussion of intersectional feminism to enjoy with your nearest close-minded coworker or relative! Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder to make this drink truly Instagram worthy.

2.4. Slow Burn GHIA 04506 839e8.jpg c8fddPhoto: Amy Campbell

6. Slow Burn (non-alcoholic)

Make sure all your party guests feel included by serving a non-alcoholic cocktail. What this booze-less drink lacks in alcohol it more than makes up for in flavor. Plus, the addition of honey and ginger make this tummy-taming elixir perfect for sipping after a particularly filling holiday feast. 

Sangria 5faac.jpg 4f755Photo and recipe from The Modern Proper

7. Holiday Sangria

We’re fairly certain that parties were invented as an excuse to serve sangria. An entire bottle of red wine goes into this recipe, which means it’s perfect served in a punch bowl with a ladle for serving or a straw for sipping. Depends on if you’re sharing or not—we won’t judge either way. 




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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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