It’s not really acceptable to be downing Vlad and Natty at any time of year, but it’s especially frowned upon during the holidays. Whether December makes your mouth water for Christmas cookies, latkes, or candy canes, there’s a drink somewhere on this list that will satisfy even your winteriest of cravings.
1. Peppermint Patty
First, pour yourself a shot of peppermint schnapps. Have a (reliable) friend on standby with a bottle of Hershey’s Syrup. Take the shot of peppermint schnapps, then tilt your head back and have your friend pour Hershey’s Syrup into your mouth as a chaser. Swallow, and ahhhhh. The refreshing, delicious aftertaste of a York Peppermint Patty. Warning: you’re probably going to end up with chocolate syrup on your face/in your hair/on your clothing. (Worth it.)
2. Spiced Eggnog
This classic recipe should serve at least 10 people. You’ll need 12 egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar, 1 gallon of half-and-half, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 4 cups of Captain Morgan. Beat the egg yolks until they form a thick liquid mess. Pour in the sugar, then blend until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the rum and mix until blended. Then add the vanilla, the half-and-half, and the nutmeg. Blend all of it together until the mixture becomes frothy. Allow it to chill in the fridge for an hour or two, and voilá!
3. Candy Cane Martini
Put candy canes into a plastic baggy and pulverize them. Run the top of your martini glass under water, then dip it into the pulverized candy cane dust to rim your glass. Pour in half an ounce of peppermint schnapps, and an ounce and a half of vanilla vodka. Then add an ounce of tonic water. Top it off with a candy cane, and you have a refreshingly sweet cocktail you’ll want to sip on every day between now and New Years.
4. Minty Mocha
This is like an alcoholic version of the seasonally infamous peppermint mocha at Starbuck’s. Pour a glass with equal amounts peppermint schnapps, Kahlua, and Bailey’s. Shake the mixture. Then sip and enjoy! (Beware: this tastes so good you’re eventually going to forget that it’s alcoholic. Even a serving of just 3 ounces really packs some heat. Drink carefully.)
5. Menorah Martini
So here’s what you’ll need for this festive azure cocktail: vodka, sweet vermouth, Blue Curacao, blueberries, ice, and sugar. Fill a mixing glass (or cocktail shaker, if you have one) with ice. Rim your martini glass with sugar. Pour in 3 ounces of vodka and 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth. Shake and strain into the martini glass. Add a splash of the Blue Curacao for color, and blueberries for garnish. Enjoy this drink and the beauty of the festival of lights!
6. The Poinsettia
The classiest (and simplest) of Christmas cocktails. You’ll need 3 ounces of chilled champagne, 1 ounce of triple sec, and 3 ounces of chilled cranberry juice. Pour the three ingredients into a champagne flute. Then just stir and serve. See? Now you’re fancy.
7. Hanukkah Gelt
This martini was inspired by the gold foil wrapped chocolate coins, called gelt, which are given out at Hanukkah. You’ll combine potato vodka (to go with the latkes, assumedly?) and Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps. If you want to get fancy, you can do a chocolate rim around the glass; otherwise, add a splash of chocolate liquor, or a drop of chocolate syrup, and you’re good to go. L’chaim!
8. Mistletoe Mojito
Everyone likes a good mojito, so naturally everyone loves a refreshing holiday-themed mojito! This drink takes a little more preparation time, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. You’ll need ten fresh cranberries, a lime wedge, a tablespoon of sugar, 5 mint leaves, a shot of rum, ice, and seltzer water. Put the cranberries, lime wedge, sugar, and mint leaves in a glass. Then using (ideally) a mudder or (more likely) the rounded end of a spoon, crush together those ingredients until all of the juice has been extracted from the lime and cranberries. Fill the glass with ice. Add the shot of rum, and fill to the brim with seltzer water. Garnish with a sprig of mint, and there you go. Your mouth-watering refreshment awaits.
9. The Grinch
Getting grumpy about the holidays? Don’t be a Grinch– drink one instead. Pour two ounces of Midori (or any other bright green liquor you can find) into a glass with 1/2 ounce of lemon juice. Follow with two ounces of Sprite. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or two. Take a few sips, and I bet your heart will grow three sizes, too.
10. Mom’s Christmas Cookies
If you’re not in the mood to hang out in the kitchen with your mom for hours on end to bake dozens of snickerdoodles and peanut butter blossoms (since by the end of the first week of winter break, you’d probably prefer getting a root canal without anesthesia to spending any more time than necessary in your house), then this is the drink for you. First, you should rim your glass with green and red sprinkles, because it will put you in a Christmassy mood. Then pour 3 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of butterscotch schnapps, and 1 ounce of milk into a mixing glass full of ice. Shake the mixture, then strain into your sprinkle-rimmed glass. I bet if you leave this out for Santa instead of the regular milk-and-cookies combo, you’ll get much better gifts.