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8 holiday whiskey cocktails to make for Christmas

8 holiday whiskey cocktails to make for Christmas

It’s the holiday season! And you know what that means: your standard whiskey sometimes just won’t do. This time of year your cocktail needs to be as festive as your tree trimmings. Whether you’re playing it safe or hosting a small gathering and want to concoct something extra special, we’ve rounded up a few whiskey cocktail recipes that strike just the right holiday spirit. Hot or cold, bourbon or rye, you’ll find the perfect whiskey drink to spread holiday cheer. 

Bourbon

Holiday Cheermeister Bourbon Punch

The spirit of the season beckons with the Holiday Cheermeister Bourbon Punch that is both festive and feisty. It’s the holiday season in a glass! Whip the ingredients up and serve over festive ice cubes for an added seasonal touch. What’s great about this big batch whiskey cocktail is it’s great for entertaining and can be made ahead.  

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. bourbon
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup freshly squeeze orange juice
  • 1 bottle of Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled
  • Zest of one orange
  • Arils (the edible seeds) from one pomegranate

Directions: Using a large pitcher, combine the bourbon, pomegranate juice, orange zest and orange juice. Chill until you’re ready to serve. Add ice to a punch bowl, pour the Prosecco over the top and top your glasses with the pomegranate seeds.

Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour

The Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour is a sweet and savory take on a traditional whiskey sour. Adding a hefty pinch of ground cinnamon makes the taste oh-so-right for this time of year.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Juice from one lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Lemon wedge and cinnamon sticks, optional garnish 

Directions: Add maple syrup and the cinnamon stick to a small saucepan and heat to a boil. Simmer for five minutes over low heat. Remove from heat and wait until the liquid gets to room temperature before storing in a container, such as a mason jar. Add bourbon, lemon juice and the cinnamon maple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour the drink over ice and add your lemon and cinnamon stick as garnish.

Harvest Apple Bourbon Cocktail

The Harvest Apple Bourbon Cocktail is another recipe that can be made in a pitcher and served to a small gathering of people. Cinnamon infused bourbon with apple juice and topo chico results in a holiday cocktail that is flavorful, easy and light.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. bourbon
  • 16 oz. apple juice
  • 12 oz. topo chico
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Thyme leaves or orange zest optional garnish

Directions: Add bourbon and cinnamon sticks to a small jar and let the whiskey infuse for at least 12 hours. Once the bourbon is infused, mix it with the apple juice and topo chico. Serve over ice with the fresh thyme and orange zest.  

Bourbon Holiday Eggnog

Nothing says the holidays quite like eggnog, and eggnog with bourbon is even better! And despite what you might think, this traditional recipe is so easy to make, you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of eggnog
  • 6 oz. bourbon
  • Pinch of apple pie spice

Directions: Pour eggnog into a glass pitcher. Add the bourbon. Top each glass with a pinch of apple pie spice.

Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned

The cozy and smoky flavors of the Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned makes for the perfect easy sipping cocktail this holiday season. Plus, as with most of these other recipes you can prep the simple syrup ahead of time for quick and easy entertaining. 

Ingredients:

For the infusion

  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean

For the cocktail

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Orange peel optional garnish

Directions: Add all of the ingredients for the infusion together in a glass jar with a lid and allow it to infuse for 24 hours, shaking occasionally. Strain the bourbon into a clean jar (infusion makes enough for 8 cocktails). Add the maple syrup, water and bitters to the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add the ice and bourbon and stir for 30 seconds. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass and drop it in.

Rye Whiskey

Christmas Old Fashioned

Looking for Christmas in a glass? Look no further. The Christmas Old Fashioned combines rye whiskey with orange and cranberries for a festive take on the traditional cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. cranberry simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Orange wedge

Directions: For the simple syrup combine ½ cup maple syrup and ½ cup water with cranberries in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool, strain the cranberries before use. When you’re ready to assemble the cocktail, rim your glass with sugar. Muddle the additional cranberries in a glass. Add rye and simple syrup together and top your glass with bitters, stir. Add ice and garnish with an orange slice and more cranberries.

Candy Cane Cocktail

Aside from being one of the hallmarks of the holidays, candy canes make for damn good cocktails, too. This one combines with rye whiskey for a delightfully simple – yet tasty – drink you’ll want to have over and over again.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. mint simple syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Mint leaves
  • Mini candy cane as optional garnish.

Directions: Boil equal parts water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Steep a handful of mint leaves in the cooling syrup until you reach the desired flavor. Strain before you add it to the whiskey. Add the whiskey and simple syrup together in a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a mini candy cane.

Holiday Hot Toddy

This holiday beverage is the ultimate winter warm up. Swirl steamy lemon and cloves together for this perfect fireside cocktail. Crackling fire sold separately.

Ingredients:

  • 1-⅓ oz. rye whiskey
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp demerara or fine brown sugar
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 lemon twist
  • Hot water

Directions: Fill glass or mug with boiling water and let stand. While the mug is warming, cut a lemon twist and stud it with cloves. Toss the water in the mug and add new boiling water. Add one teaspoon of demerara or fine brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Add lemon and clove garnish to the lemon juice and stir. Top with rye whiskey and stir before serving.