Cheerful Cocktails to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

PHOTO: Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail.
Sean Thomas Photography

As your holiday stress reaches its peak, relax with one of these sweet and festive cocktails. These recipes are perfect for a holiday cocktail party or late-night gift-wrapping sessions. From chocolatey peppermint concoctions to warm spiced apple drinks, you're sure to find something that will keep your spirits merry and bright this season.

PHOTO: Baileys chocolate peppermint cream drink is shown here.
Baileys Chocolate Peppermint Cream

2 ounces Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate
4 ounces hot chocolate
Fresh whipped cream
1 candy cane
Mint leaf

Crush candy cane with the back of a spoon. Pour hot chocolate and Baileys into a coffee mug. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed candy cane on top. Garnish with mint leaf.

Recipe courtesy of Baileys.

PHOTO: Chad Solomon and Christy Pope's chai spiced eggnog cocktail is shown here.
Chad Solomon and Christy Pope
Chai Spiced Egg Nog

1 1/2 ounces (45ml) *Chai Infused Louis Royer "Force 53" Cognac
1/2 ounce (15ml) "Santa Teresa 1796" Rum
1 whole egg
3/4 ounce (22.5ml) simple syrup
2 ounces (60ml) heavy cream
Garnish: grated nutmeg

Shake. Serve on the rocks.

*Chai Infusion: Measure 3 tablespoons of loose-leaf Chai tea and one 750ml bottle of Louis Royer Force 53 into a mason jar, seal lid and shake. Let infuse for two hours, then fine strain. Keep refrigerated in a labeled bottle. Prepare Cognac infusion two hours in advance of cocktail making.

Add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Top the glass with a shaker tin and give the ingredients a "dry shake" to pre-whip the ingredients and ensure a frothy texture. After dry shake, add ice and shake vigorously to achieve proper chill and dilution. Strain cocktail into a punch glass or mug. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Chad Solomon and Christy Pope.

PHOTO: Dushan Zaric's campari and rose cocktail is shown here.
Dushan Zaric
La Vita e Bella

3/4 ounce Campari
5 ounces Llopart Cava Brut Rose
3/4 ounce Busnel Calvados Hors D'Age 12 Year Old
1/4 ounce Employees Only Grenadine
1 brown sugar cube
1 long grapefruit peel, for garnish

Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a Champagne flute with rose cava. Add Calvados, Campari and grenadine into a mixing glass and shake briefly and hard. Pour the contents of the shaker over the sugar cube and rose cava. Twist the grapefruit peel over the drink and place into the flute as garnish.

Recipe courtesy of Dushan Zaric.

PHOTO: Craftbar's cider side car cocktail is shown here.
Cider Sidecar

2 ounces Drouin "Selection" Calvados
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce spiced cider reduction (Cider, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Juniper, Allspice, Clove, Anise)

Build in shaker with ice, strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe courtesy Craftbar.

PHOTO: Julie Reiner's spiced winter punch cocktail is shown here.
Julie Reiner
Gaspare's Winter Punch

3/4 cup Campari
3/4 cup Royal Combier Grand Liqueur
2 bottles medium-bodied red wine
6 cups cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
6 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 whole allspice
6 whole star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon almond extract

Sort cranberries discarding bruised fruit. Rinse and place in a 6-quart pan with raisins, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add wine and sugar and heat until steaming (six to eight minutes). Do not bring to a boil. Add Campari, orange liqueur and almond extract. Strain out cranberries and ladle into punch cups. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and star anise.

Recipe courtesy of Julie Reiner.

PHOTO: The Eastern Standard's coffee inspired cocktail is shown here.
Eastern Standard
Cafe Amaro

11/2 ounces Luxardo Amaro Abano
1/2 ounce brown sugar syrup

In a hot mug add Amaro and sugar, then coffee. Orange zested whipped cream and cinnamon stick garnish.

Recipe courtesy of Eastern Standard.

PHOTO: Justin Bogle and Patrick Cappiello's white chocolate and cinnamon martini is shown here.
Justin Bogle and Patrick Cappiello
Stocking Cap

3 ounces Hennessy Cognac
1 ounce Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 ounce cinnamon syrup
Splash of light cream
Red Hot sugar (2:1 ratio of Red Hots to sugar; blend together)

Rim a martini glass with the red sugar. Combine all wet ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, shake and serve up.

Recipe courtesy of Bar Manager Robert Honeycutt of GILT.

PHOTO: Marshall Altier's brandy apple toddy cocktail is shown here.
Marshall Altier
Baked Apple Toddy

1.5 ounces Denizen Rum
0.5 ounce Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1 dash Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
3-4 whole cinnamon sticks
Pinch of cloves
Whole nutmeg, for garnish

Pour rum, brandy and bitters into a mug. In a saucepan, steep two to three whole cinnamon sticks and a small pinch of cloves in boiling water. Strain out the solids and pour the liquid into mug. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg over top.

Recipe courtesy of Marshall Altier of JBird.

PHOTO: Justin Bogle and Patrick Cappiello's white chocolate and cinnamon martini is shown here.
Justin Bogle and Patrick Cappiello
Candy Cane Bamboozled Shake

3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 ounce whole milk
1 shot peppermint schnapps
½ shot creme de menthe, clear
1 each candy cane
Whipped cream

Place ice cream, half of candy cane, milk and alcohol in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and garnish with whipped cream and remaining half of candy cane crushed. Garnish with peppermint meringues and white chocolate crunch balls.

Recipe courtesy of Anthony Meidenbauer of Holsteins at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

PHOTO: The Fairmont Pittsburg's spiced hot chocolate is shown here.
Fairmont Pittsburg
Pittsburrrrgh Hot Chocolate

3 ounces house-made spiced hot chocolate
3/4 ounce B&B
3/4 ounce Amarula

Topped with house-made Kahlua-infused whipped cream.

Recipe courtesy of Fairmont Pittsburgh.

PHOTO: The Grant Grill's douglas collins cocktail is shown here.
Grant Grill
Douglas Collins

2 ounces of Douglas Fir gin
10 ounces lemon juice
10 ounces of simple syrup

Shake and strain into a tall Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a Douglas Fir branch.

Recipe courtesy Jeff Josenhans of The US Grant's Grant Grill.

PHOTO: Skinnygirl Cocktail's candycane martini is shown here.
Skinnygirl Cocktail
Skinnygirl's Candy Cane Martini

1 part Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
1 part peppermint schnapps
1 part fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Mini candy cane for garnish

Shake liquids with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with mini candy cane.

Recipe courtesy Skinnygirl Cocktails.

PHOTO: Topnotch resort's cranberry mistletini is shown here.
Cranberry Mistletini

3 oz Green Mountain vodka
1 oz cranberry-orange simple syrup
Soda water
Garnish with orange peel

Recipe courtesy Topnotch Resort and Spa.

PHOTO: Havana Central's Hot Cubano cocktail is shown here.
Havana Central
The Hot Cubano

1 1/2 ounces dark rum
1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
1 shot strong Cuban espresso
Whipped cream
Powdered/shaved chocolate

Pour the dark rum and coffee liqueur into a coffee glass or mug; fill with strong Cuban espresso. Top off with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powered/shaved chocolate.

Recipe courtesy Havana Central Restaurant and Bar.

PHOTO: Lucy Restaurant and bar's "The Nogg Father" cocktail is shown here.
Lucy Restaurant & Bar
The Nogg Father

dark rum
Oscalis Brandy
whole egg

Served up in a martini, chilled with grated nutmeg.

Recipe courtesy Vincent Lee of Lucy Restaurant & Bar.

PHOTO: Marble Lane's Holly and Ivy cocktail is shown here.
Marble Lane
Holly & Ivy

1 ounce Belvedere Grapefruit
1 ounce Grand Marnier
3/4 ounce Rosemary Syrup
1 ounce POM Wonderful

Vigorously shake all ingredients in iced cocktail shaker. Strain into cocktail glass.

Recipe courtesy William Ward of Marble Lane.

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