These six modern holiday cocktails will take you all the way from the first frost to Auld Lang Syne.
Hot Mulled Wine
There is something endlessly romantic and satisfying about hot mulled wine. It tastes of nostalgic Christmases at home and of warm winter memories spent by the fire.
Before I had my first delectable sip of mulled wine, I had the same thoughts you're probably having. "Hot...wine? With cinnamon? I'm not sure..." But speaking from the other side, I'm sure now.
I have a lovely memory of late November, just days after Thanksgiving in Brussels, Belgium. There was a Christmas market that took over one of the main squares and numerous vendors were set up in little wooden booths selling their wares and Christmas gifts. Mulled wine was being served in little to-go cups and we cupped our hands around the paper cups to keep warm.
Legend has it that Roman soldiers in the 2nd century needed a drink to help them keep warm and they turned immediately to their beloved wine. Hot wine became so trendy that the whole world soon picked up on it. Much of Europe drank mulled wine for hundreds of years, but it's our friends, the Swedes, who really championed this tradition. They added holiday spices to create Glogg, hot spiced wine.
Mulled wine has been making a Christmas time comeback and is deserving of a place at the holiday table. Consider starting a crockpot batch before heading out sledding or start a pot while wrapping presents so your whole home fills with the smell of heaven (mulled wine).
I'm telling ya, this is a tradition worth starting. It made it through the Middle Ages just to make it to you. Get you some.
Peppermint Schnapps and Hot Cocoa
Oh Peppermint Schnapps, how I love you. So very simple and so very satisfying. I want the whole world to turn their attention to this majestic beast, the delicious, oh-so-tasty drink I like to call Hot Cocoa and Schnapps.
If you are the low maintenance hostess who doesn't need twenty types of cordials laying around to fix one particular cocktail, I would like to introduce you to my little friend, Peppermint Schnapps. A drink in of itself, Peppermint Schnapps does some of its best work tipped inside a warm frothy mug of hot chocolate.
Flying down the slopes? Sure, keep a little nip of peppermint schnapps with you to keep you warm. But if you're back in your ski lodge or tucked cozily into a blanket on your couch, bust out the hot chocolate first and thank me later. I'd go so far as to call this a potential breakfast drink. That's right. Breakfast. Sure, you can get fancy with the hot chocolate you use, but know that the most basic sorts are some of the best I've had.
Apple Cider Moscow Mule
You mean the quintessential modern-day cocktail is also a modern HOLIDAY cocktail?? Oh, fo sho. Just add cranberries, of course, plus apple cider and a cinnamon stick.
Mules are so varied and should really be considered for any occasion, the holidays included. They really shine when they are served in copper mugs and have many delightful variations.
Try this recipe from Hot Beauty Health.
We've all heard the classic Christmas song, "Here we go a-wassailing, among the leaves so green! Here we go a-wandering so fair to be seen!" But what the eff is Wassailing?
Medieval times weren't all plagues and famines. They also had fun traditions like Wassailing, a Christmastide drinking ritual that toasted the good fortune of the next year's apple harvest. They celebrated, in part, by drinking Wassil, a fancy pants hot cider and spiced rum with OJ and spices tossed in.
This is another great drink for my girls who don't want specialty liquors crowding their liquor shelf. Spiced rum is the only liquor used and is versatile enough to be used in many winter drinks. An infused simple syrup is a nice touch for those who like a sweeter drink. This drink also benefits from being slowly cooked in a crockpot with added orange rinds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.
Try this recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy.
Somehow British things seem even more Christmasy than American things, no? Exhibit A: Butterbeer. If ever there was a drink that you had never tasted but felt like coming home, this would be it.
Everyone must have heard of a guy named Harry Potter and his favorite beverage, the Butterbeer. Perfect for family holidays and oh-so-versatile (warm, cold, alcoholic), Butterbeer has made it to the lineup of modern holiday cocktails that give us warm fuzzy holiday feelings.
Now of course, like all the best tidbits of the wizarding world, J.K. Rowling left a few things a little vague, such as the exact brick wall that is the entrance to Diagon Alley, as well as the recipe for Butterbeer. One of my favorites includes actual beer and butterscotch and is incredibly simple to make.
Find the full recipe at PopSugar.
In my early barhopping days I fell so much in love with the ubiquitous champagne cocktail. Pretty, bubbly, and made me feel fancy, the champagne cocktail is what dreams are made of when you're a 22-year-old girl. I still love the taste, the tingle, and everything about these drinks.
One of my favorite sorts of champagne cocktail is mixed with St. Germaine, an elderflower liqueur. These champagne cocktails are best served 15 minutes before the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, or any night you're celebrating life.
Get the full recipe at Lulu's.
If you liked our list of modern holiday cocktails, you'll love our 10 appetizers to bring to a holiday party!