30+ Must-Try Christmas Cocktail Recipes

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Browse this list of 30+ must-try Christmas cocktail recipes. You’ll find everything, including martinis, punch, sangria, and so much more. There’s even a cocktail that’s served out of an ornament. There’s clearly something for everyone and then some! Welcome to the only Christmas cocktail guide you’ll need this holiday season.

collage of four unique Christmas cocktails in a festive setting.

Christmas drinks make all the difference during the holidays! And there are so many different ways to make them. You can do sweet libations, red and green drinks, peppermint ones….the list goes on! Plus, there is always a way to turn the tastiest cocktails into yummy mocktails too.

If you’re anything like me, you still have gifts to buy, presents to wrap, and cookies to bake. That’s why I put together this round-up of Christmas cocktails for you. I hope this saves you time so that you can focus on spending time with people you love – not Googling Christmas drink recipes.

close up Naughty but Nice Christmas Cocktail with cranberries and christmas drink stirrer.

Thankfully, somehow everything seems to always magically come together in the end, leaving time to sit back and enjoy the festivities with a cocktail in hand.

Why You’ll Love These Festive Cocktails

  • Seasonal Flavors: From the rich, warm notes of gingerbread and cinnamon to the refreshing zing of cranberry and peppermint, these cocktails embrace the full spectrum of holiday tastes. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or eager to try something new, there’s a flavor profile here with your name on it.
  • Showstopping Presentation: Ever dreamt of sipping a cocktail out of an ornament? Or dazzling your guests with a drink that looks as good as it tastes? Oh, honey, we’re about to make those dreams come true. These drinks aren’t just tasty; they’re drop-dead gorgeous.
  • Perfect for Everyone: Whether you’re hosting a fancy soirée or a cozy night in with your loved ones, there’s a cocktail here that fits the mood. Martinis for that touch of elegance, punch for when you’re feeling bubbly, creamy cocktails for when you want something decadent… the list goes on.
  • Tried, Tested, and True: Here’s the best part – I’ve taste-tested (tough job, I know ) and refined each of these recipes to perfection. When I say they’re the best, I mean it. Your tastebuds? They’re in for a real treat.

So, let’s raise our glasses to the most magical time of the year! Dive in, have fun, and remember: every good story starts with a fabulous cocktail. Cheers to making memories, one sip at a time!

Merry Martinis

Shake, stir, and sip your way into the season with these Merry Martinis! Whether you prefer them crisp or with a touch of festive sweetness, these concoctions are sure to make spirits bright.

sugar cookie martini for Christmas in a festive glass.

Discover the ultimate Christmas cocktail recipe with this Sugar Cookie Martini recipe! Perfect for festive gatherings or a cozy night in, this drink combines the creamy sweetness of Baileys, the smoothness of whipped vodka, and the rich flavor of amaretto. This easy-to-make holiday martini is a must for all of your yuletide gatherings! 

very tall stemmed martini glass with red Christmas cocktail and lime garnish

Poinsettia Pomegranate Martini

This Poinsettia Pomegranate Martini is an easy, delicious, and refreshing drink perfectly styled for the season. It’s made with gin (but you can use vodka), pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. You’re going to love it!

white Christmas martini drink in a tall stemmed glass

White Christmas Martini

Anytime I share this White Christmas Martini on Facebook, all of you seem to love it. It’s made with vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and creme de cocoa. A coarse sugar garnish makes it sparkle. When you look at it, you instantly want to sing, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” The sugary rim looks like a kiss from Jack Frost!

a clear ornament filled with cocktail, pouring into a tall glass

Very Merry Ornamentini

Not only is this a delicious cocktail, but this Very Merry Ornamentini wins the award for best presentation. It’s served in a glass ornament and garnished with sugared cranberries. This is another one of my favorite Christmas cocktail recipes.

peppermint espresso martini with peppermint rim

Peppermint Espresso Martini

If you need a little pick-me-up after hitting the stores or doing holiday chores, the shot of espresso in this peppermint martini should do the trick. It’s the perfect way to wind down without losing your energy.

Cranberry Christmas Drinks

Embrace the vibrant hues and zesty tang of cranberries in these refreshing beverages. Perfectly balancing tart and sweet, these cranberry cocktails are a delightful nod to the holiday season.

pink colored drink with cranberries and orange garnish

Naughty But Nice Christmas Cocktail

I wanted to create a holiday cocktail recipe that would work with a few different types of alcohol. I know that everyone has different preferences, so it’s nice to have a drink recipe that suits as many people as possible. This Naughty But Nice Christmas Cocktail is a delicious and festive mix of flavors almost anyone will love.

The best thing about this cocktail has to be the little Christmas tree stirring sticks! Sure the flavor is amazing too, but those little decorations are perfect.

cranberry Old Fashioned drink in a short glass with festive garnish

Cranberry Old Fashioned

I have been digging an Old Fashioned lately. That is why I decided to give the classic recipe a seasonal twist with cranberries and a super festive garnish. If you have an ice cube tray that makes larger ice cubes, use them. That’s how you make a traditional Old Fashioned – it keeps the alcohol from being watered down by the ice as it melts.

red bourbon based Christmas cocktail recipe in a glass

Cranberry Bourbon Christmas Cocktail

For the past two years, this cranberry bourbon cocktail has been my personal go-to cocktail for the holidays. It’s simple to make and sensationally seasonal. I usually pair cranberry with vodka, but mixing it with bourbon gives it a bolder (and yet smoother) taste.

short glass with sweet red colored cocktail

Maple Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail

This maple cranberry bourbon cocktail recipe is the kind of delicious tart-meets-sweet libation you’ll want at every get-together from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Use fresh rosemary as the garnish – it has the best aroma.

Cranberry Manhattan in a tall glass with cranberry and orange garnish.

Cranberry Manhattan Christmas Cocktail

Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and cranberry sauce come together to make this delicious and festive Cranberry Manhattan.

Festive Cranberry Champagne Cocktail in tall glasses.

Spiced Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious, and festive libation, this Spiced Cranberry Champagne Cocktail is a bubbly way to say cheers to the season. With a tart, sweet, and spiced flavor it checks all the boxes for the perfect seasonal cocktail.

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in rocks glasses.

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail

I used rye whiskey to craft a Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail. Flavored with cranberry, lemon, and maple syrup, this is a delicious and beautiful cocktail to celebrate the season. 

Wine Based Christmas Cocktails

Raise your glass to these sophisticated wine-infused wonders. Elevating your favorite vino with a festive twist, these Christmas cocktails promise elegance in every sip.

hand holding a mulled wine margarita in a coupe glass.

Mulled Wine Margarita

Get ready to mix, shake, and stir up some holiday cheer with our festive Mulled Wine Margarita recipe. Combining the warmth of mulled wine with the refreshing kick of a margarita, this drink is a must-try for all cocktail enthusiasts. It’s the perfect libation for a holiday celebration! 

Christmas cocktail recipes for making mulled wine on the stovetop

Mulled Wine

This is my go-to recipe for mulled wine. Not only is it delicious, but it makes the house smell magical as it simmers on the stove or in a slow cooker.

When you are looking for a non-alcoholic drink, make this one! Use apple cider instead of wine and serve mulled cider to your friends and family that don’t drink. Whether you use apple cider or wine, this drink smells as good as it tastes.

bright red sangria in a glass mug

Slow Cooker Holiday Sangria

If you’re looking for a warm cocktail, try this slow cooker holiday sangria. Just set it and forget it with this one. It’s also perfect for warming up after spending time in the snow or returning from a chilly afternoon of shopping.

Holiday Punches

Gather around the punch bowl, folks! These holiday punches are not only bursting with flavor but are also perfect for sharing, ensuring everyone gets a pour of the festivities. These recipes are so easy to make and have become holiday favorites!

close up of cranberry lime holiday punch in a bowl

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Holly Jolly Christmas Punch

When it comes to holiday cocktail recipes, a Christmas punch is always a go-to for me. This Holly Jolly Christmas Punch is incredibly easy to make and wonderfully delicious. If you’re serving a crowd this holiday season, this is a must-make! This is a very sweet and yet tastefully tart punch, all spiked with Tequila! It’s perfect for parties and looks stunning in the middle of the drink table.

pink hued Jingle Punch in a glass - one of the most popular Christmas cocktail recipes

Jingle Juice Holiday Punch

Hands down, this Jingle Juice Holiday Punch is THE most popular holiday cocktail recipe on Inspired by Charm. It’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful, festive, and only requires three ingredients! Sparkling Rose and whipped vodka have to be my favorite alcoholic pairings!

Dessert Christmas Cocktails

For those with a sweet tooth, these dessert cocktails are your holiday dream come true. Indulgent, creamy, and reminiscent of your favorite festive treats, they’re the perfect ending (or beginning!) to any holiday soirée.

salted caramel white Russians  made with Christmas cocktail recipes

Salted Caramel White Russians

Add a little flair to another traditional recipe with these Salted Caramel White Russians. If you’re a fan of salted caramel, you’ll love this libation. The swirls of caramel as they fall down through the cream are just stunning!

spicy chai twist on White Russian Christmas cocktail recipes

Chai Spiced White Russians

Traditionally, White Russians are made of vodka, coffee-flavored liqueur, and half-and-half. To make this version of the cocktail, you incorporate the fabulous flavors of chai. This is a classic cocktail recipe with a seasonal flavor twist you’re going to love!

white colored martini with crushed peppermint rim

White Chocolate Peppermint Martini

A delicious combination of flavors, this white chocolate peppermint martini tastes as festive as it looks. It’s smooth and creamy with a peppermint twist! It will wake up your tastebuds as the bright minty flavors hit your tongue and the alcohol follows soon after.

cherry and almond holiday drink

Cherry Almond Cocktail

This creamy cherry almond cocktail combines two of my favorite holiday flavors: cherry and almonds! They also pair wonderfully with my chocolate-covered spiked cherries (see below!)

cherries soaked in booze and dipped in chocolate

Chocolate Covered Spiked Cherries

I know they aren’t technically a cocktail, but I had to include this chocolate cherry recipe. They are soaked in booze and then dipped in chocolate for the perfect spiked treat.

candy cane dipped in a peppermint white Russian Christmas cocktail recipes

Peppermint White Russian

This Peppermint White Russian is a delicious, seasonal take on the classic cocktail recipe. Garnished with a candy cane, it’s likely to become a holiday party staple.

grasshopper drink with ice cream

Frozen Grasshopper

Vanilla ice cream, crème de menthe, cream de cacao, and ice come together to create a decadent and delicious frozen cocktail recipe. These Frozen Grasshopper Drinks are basically a dessert in a glass. My Dad’s wife made these for Christmas night and we couldn’t get enough. (She’s also the one that gave me the recipe for the BEST pepperoni bread.)

gingerbread White Russian in rocks glass.

Gingerbread White Russian

Kahlua, vanilla vodka, cream, and a rich gingerbread syrup come together to create this festive Gingerbread White Russian. Garnished with a mini gingerbread man, this sweet and creamy cocktail will quickly become a new favorite. 

Cherry Amaretto Cocktail with ice and cherry garnish.

Cherry Amaretto Cocktail

Looking for a deliciously sweet and sophisticated cocktail to enjoy this holiday season? Look no further than this cherry amaretto cocktail! With its flavor combination of luscious cherries, smooth amaretto, and cream, this drink is sure to be a hit with everyone at your party.

Mocktails

All the holiday cheer without the alcohol? Yes, please! These mocktails are as flavorful and festive as their spirited counterparts, ensuring everyone, regardless of age or preference, can join in the toast.

non-alcoholic holiday sangria mocktail with Christmas tree stirrer

Non-Alcoholic Holiday Sangria

Need a cocktail without the booze? How about a mocktail? This holiday sangria has zero alcohol but is just as tasty as the real thing. Use the cinnamon sticks to stir the sangria – they work double duty as stirring sticks and flavor-enhancers.

close up of cherries in dirty shirley drink garnished with cherries.

Dirty Shirley (Jolly Santa)

The Dirty Shirley cocktail (or as I like to called it for Christmas, the Jolly Santa) is an adult spin on the childhood classic, Shirley Temple. This colorful and delicious drink is made with vodka, grenadine, cherries, and lemon-lime soda. With its sweet and tangy flavor and eye-catching appearance, the Dirty Shirley is the perfect crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

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Homemade Hot Chocolate (Mix)

Okay, I suppose this isn’t a mocktail, but this is one of my favorite festive recipes to serve when I don’t want alcohol involved so I had to include it in this list.

Hot cocoa is a winter staple that I look forward to each year. I’ll admit that I’ve tried my fair share of hot chocolate recipes (you know, research for the blog and all), but this is my favorite recipe for creating a large batch of homemade hot cocoa mix that can be ready in an instant!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions people often ask about making the best Christmas cocktails. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What makes great Christmas cocktails?

A great Christmas cocktail should have Christmas colors and some holiday flavors. Sure, you can serve the classic stand-by drinks, but why not give it a fun twist?

Whether you opt to add a sprig of rosemary, a handful of cranberries, or use a Christmas-themed stir stick, there should be something festive about the drink that makes it a good choice for the season.

Need tips on setting up a holiday bar cart? Then check out my guide for setting up the ultimate holiday bar cart here.

By far, eggnog is the most popular drink at Christmas. Other than that, hot buttered rum and anything with peppermint is also super popular this time of year. With the bright and sweet peppermint flavors, this Peppermint White Russian will soon become the most popular drink at your Christmas party.

What is a traditional Christmas drink?

Either eggnog or wassail are traditional Christmas drinks. Wassail is an old recipe that has aromas and flavors that lift into the air. It feels like Christmas time as you drink it.

Want a more modern option? This cranberry bourbon cocktail is rich and strong and has the traditional cranberry flavors that you’ll love this time of year.

Which Christmas cocktails can you make ahead of time?

Sangrias and punches are really easy to mix together and store in a pitcher. Keep it in a pitcher for up to a week. If you want to make cocktails ahead of time, keep some garnishes on hand so you can decorate the glass drinks and make them appear fresh when you serve them.

This slow cooker sangria is also easy to put together ahead of time, then let the crock pot do the simmering for you as you go about your day.

That’s a Wrap on Holiday Cocktails

I hope you enjoyed my collection of Christmas cocktail recipes and found one or two (new) favorites to serve up this holiday season. Drink responsibly and share these recipes with people you love. Cheers!

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12 Comments

  1. Michael, wishing you a magical Christmas and a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year! Looking forward to all your inspiration and beautiful posts in 2024.

  2. Am making your Christmas martini for all my holiday parties this year. First serving was tonight, and we all loved it! (I adjusted the strength for each guest by adding more half and half.) Thanks for this year’s special drink!

  3. Michael, you are so creative; I love looking at all your cocktail recipes! But that’s as far as I get. They are all so beautiful and sound amazing, but then comes cocktail time and I don’t have all the ingredients, so I simply open a bottle of wine. I’m determined to try one of your ideas during this holiday season. Happen to have the Bailey’s salted caramel at my coffee station, so all I need to buy is the salted caramel vodka…or if that doesn’t happen, I’ll at least try it with the vanilla vodka I already have. Here’s to you, Michael! Merry Christmas!!

  4. MY HUSBAND AND I ARE NUTS ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS! YOU HAVE INSPIRED ME TO TRY NEW WAYS OF DECORATING AND TRY NEW RECIPES. YOUR ORNAMENTINI WAS AN ABOSOLUTE HIT AT LAST YEARS CHRISTMAS PARTY! WE HAVE BEEN HAVING THE CHRISTMAS NEIGHBORHOOD PARTY EVERY YEAR FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS. WE HAVE MOVED 4 TIMES IN OUR LIFE SO FAR AND HAVE ENJOYED SHARING EACH PARTY WITH OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. I AM A HUGE FAN OF YOUR IDEAS AND CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE IN STORE FOR THIS CHRISTMAS. WARMEST GREETINGS,
    DEBORAH