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Top 10 Holiday Drinks (with Alcohol)


The holidays either bring out the reveler in all of us or drive us to despair from spending too much time with family. Either way, the best way to spend the long, cold nights of the end of the year is with a drink in your hand.

The holidays either bring out the reveler in all of us or drive us to despair from spending too much time with family. Either way, the best way to spend the long, cold nights of the end of the year is with a drink in your hand.

Some alcoholic winter beverages have a long history. Here are 10 alcoholic beverages for the holidays (and one for the kiddies).

10. Gingerbread Cocktail

Gingerbread houses are common enough for the season, with a multitude of kits at stores. If you’re not all into putting one together and eating stale candy later, then this drink from Food Network should work for you.



1 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves


1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

3 to 4 tablespoons hazelnut liquer

4 ounces Kahlua


For the syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

For the espresso: In an 8-ounce glass measuring cup, whisk together the boiling water, espresso powder, and liqueur, if using, until the powder is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Combine 1 cup syrup with the espresso/hazelnut liqueur mixture in a large martini shaker. Add the Kaluha and shake to combine. Pour over ice-filled glasses and serve.

9. Tom and Jerry

According to Matador, this drink was very popular until it disappeared in the ’60s. There even used to be official white Tom and Jerry mugs — although a coffee mug will do the trick too.

Making this drink at home is not for the cooking impaired as it involves separating egg yolks from egg whites and folding one into the other. But if you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a taste of the past you should give it a try.


3 eggs, separated

3 tbsp. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves


Dark Rum

Hot milk

Grated nutmeg


Beat egg whites to a stiff froth. Separately beat egg yolks until light in color, gradually add the powdered sugar and spices. Fold yolk mixture into whites. Divide mixture between four 8 oz. mugs. Add 1/2 shot brandy and 1 shot rum to each mug; fill with hot beverage. Stir well and top with nutmeg.

8. Hot Dulce de Leche

Instead of the traditional hot chocolate, make yourself something a little sweeter and add a little rum to it.


2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup dulce de leche

Shot of rum

Ground cinnamon



Heat milk and cup dulce de leche in a saucepan, whisking, until frothy. Add a shot of rum. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon

7. Candy Cane

The peppermint flavor of a candy cane is tied to the holidays for some, but the act of actually eating a candy cane gets less fun as you grow older. It Thing has a holiday drink that will make you remind you of being a kid at the holidays.


3/4 oz. SKYY berry vodka

3/4 oz. Peppermint Schnapps

3/4 oz. white crème de cacao

1/4 oz. grenadine


Half and half

Soda water


Shake vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, white crème de cacao, grenadine and ice in a cocktail shaker and pour into a cocktail glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with half and half and a splash of soda water.

6. Glögg

Glögg is a Swedish punch made of wine and spices. It also goes by many other names depending on the country you’re in, but in English-speaking countries this drink is known as mulled wine.


1 1/2 cups red wine

1 1/2 cups port

1 1/2 cups vodka

6 pods green cardamom

4 cloves

1 orange peel

1—2 sticks cinnamon


Combine wine, port, and vodka in a small nonreactive pot. Add cardamom, cloves, orange peel, and cinnamon and gently warm (do not allow to boil) over low heat. Allow glögg to steep for 20 minutes (the longer the better).

5. Wassail

For good health and to toast people, wassail is the drink of choice. This punch from the Middle Ages should be shared among a group of friends. The name actually derives from an old English word that means “be in good health.”

Ultimate Bar Book

There are many variations of wassail, so the one below comes from the .


1 teaspoon freshly ground allspice

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup brown sugar

Juice of 1 orange, plus peel

Juice of 1 lemon, plus peel

8 oz hot water

32 oz brown ale

12 oz hard cider


In a large, non-aluminum pot, combine the spices, brown sugar, and orange and lemon juice and spiral peels with the hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Add the ale and cider and cook until steaming (not boiling). Ladle into warmed heat-resistant mugs.

4. Hot Buttered Rum

There’s actually a Hot Buttered Rum Day on January 17, but you’re encouraged to drink it sooner to chase off the chill of winter.

This drink has an interesting history. According to Matador, people began using the molasses left over after refining raw sugar. Rum was soon in abundance in the colonies, and so, naturally, a drink needed to be made. Traditionally, dark rum is used, although spiced rum can be substituted in.


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch salt

Bottle dark rum

Boiling water


In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately.

3. Apple Cider

Both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of Apple Cider are extremely popular at this time of the year. Americans used to drink alcoholic cider non-stop, but prohibition put a stop to that, according to Matador. Without alcohol, cider has a short shelf life, but it’s still a mainstay of the season.

There are many different ways to prepare your alcoholic apple cider, but the most popular is the stone wall.


1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons of Simple Syrup

1 1/2 ounces aged rum

1 1/2 ounces apple cider


1 1/2 ounces chilled ginger beer

1 lime wedge

1 slice of apple


In a cocktail shaker, muddle the sliced ginger with the Simple Syrup. Add the rum, cider and ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the lime wedge and apple slice.

2. Hot Toddy

It used to be common practice to drink a hot toddy before going to bed at night to treat colds and flus. Although that's no longer recommended since alcohol actually dehydrates you, a hot toddy is still good to keep you warm.


1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

3 to 4 oz. boiling water

2 oz. cognac, single-malt scotch, or pot-stilled rum, rye or bourbon


Add the sugar, boiling water and spirits into a warm glass. Stir and serve.

1. Eggnog

Although this has become the quintessential holiday drink, the origin of the original eggnog is debated. The drink may be an alternate version of the English drink posset. It’s easy enough to buy a carton of it at the store this time of the year, but it can’t really compare to the homemade version.


2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

4 eggs, separated

1 cup bourbon

2 oz. dark rum

1 cup cold heavy cream

Freshly grated nutmeg


Put milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and salt into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, then add pod. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Whisk egg yolks in a mixing bowl until pale yellow. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into yolks. Gradually add egg—milk mixture back into milk mixture in saucepan and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain into a large bowl and set aside to let cool. Add bourbon and rum, cover, and refrigerate eggnog until cold.

Whisk egg whites in a mixing bowl until frothy, then gradually add remaining sugar, whisking constantly until stiff but not dry peaks form. In another bowl, whisk cream until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold whites and cream into eggnog. Pour into cups and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Hot Chocolate

There’s nothing like coming in from the freezing, biting wind and snow to wrap your hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate. Initially hot chocolate was hot because of the spices and chili peppers.

There are many variations of hot chocolate and it’s easy enough to make with an instant powder. If using a mixture just isn’t authentic enough for you, try this traditional Spanish Hot Chocolate.

Whipped cream and marshmallows are optional!


2 8-ounce cups of whole milk

4 ounces of milk chocolate

1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch


Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Once the cornstarch is dissolved, heat the milk on medium heat just until it boils, then remove from heat. Add the chocolate squares immediately and begin stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. If the milk cools off too fast, place the pan back on the stove on low heat to melt the chocolate.

Place the pan back on the stove on medium low heat, stirring slowly, but constantly. (Do not cook the mixture over high heat because it may cause lumping.) Taste the chocolate for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. The mixture should thicken quickly. As soon as you see it thicken, remove the pan from the heat so the cornstarch will not thin. Ladle immediately into cups and serve piping hot.

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