24 holiday drink recipes

  • Caramel Ginger Crisp

  • Yule Mule

  • Winter's Kiss

  • Toddy

  • Orange Spiced Cider

  • Dutch Tea


  • Gingerbread Man

  • Old Fashioned

  • Cranberry Apple Pie

  • Devil's Play Punch

  • Bitter Devil

  • Kentucky Blizzard

Caramel Ginger Crisp

There's nothing wrong, per se, with a few lite beers or a box of wine at your holiday season gathering, economic times being what they are. But if you're planning a party that your friends and family will remember, a memorable cocktail is the way to go—faith permitting, of course. This year, we went to some of the booze brands that we know and love for their resident mixologists cocktail suggestions. They tend to be a bit free with the info after their lunchtime tipple. The result, we've compiled a list of cocktail suggestions and (easy to moderately involved) recipes for cocktails aimed at lovers of whiskey, vodka, rum and that holiday spirit Bailey's Irish Creme. A couple of these should spike up your party and see you through New Year's. One would hope, anyway.



The Bitter Devil

1 part Jim Beam Devil's Cut Bourbon

1 part ginger ale

1-2 dashes of bitters

Method: Combine ingredients in rocks glass, neat or on the rocks. Garnish with fresh lemon.

Knob Creek® Kentucky Blizzard
1½ parts Knob Creek® Bourbon 
1½ parts cranberry juice
½ part lime juice
½ part grenadine syrup
1 tsp sugar
Method: Combine in a shaker and shake well. Serve over ice in a highball glass.

Cranberry Apple Pie
1.25 part Jim Beam Black

.5 part DeKuyper Red Apple
3.5 part Ocean Spray Cran-Apple Juice
Method: Build over ice in highball glass. Garnish with lemon or orange wedge.

Red Stag Toddy
1.5 parts Red Stag by Jim Beam
1 cherry
1 half moon orange slice
2 pieces of clove
Method: In a preheated coffee mug, muddle the clove, cherry and orange. Pour in Red Stag by Jim Beam. Top with steaming hot water.

Jim Beam Old Fashioned
1.5 parts Jim Beam Bourbon
2 dashes bitters
Orange slice
Lemon wedge
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Method: In old fashioned glass, place sugar and bitters dissolved in water. Fill with ice. Pour Jim Beam; add cherry, orange slice and lemon wedge.

Hibiki Holiday Toast  
Created by Zoran Peric for Suntory Whisky
2 oz Hibiki 12 YO blended whisky            
1 oz Mandarine Napoleon liqueur              
1 vanilla pod, opened

Mandarin orange              

Tangerine peel

Method:  Pour Hibiki and Mandarine Napoleoninto a mixing glass. Add vanilla pod and zest from the Mandarin orange. Strain over ice into a whisky glass. Garnish with a curled tangerine peel.

Smokey Hakushu Martini   
Created by Zoran Peric for Suntory Whisky                
1 oz Hakushu 12 YO single malt whisky             
¾ oz dry sherry             
½ oz simple syrup    
Lemon peel            
Grapefruit peel 
Method: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir 30 times with lemon peel.  Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with curled grapefruit peel. 

Yamazaki Yell  
Created by Zoran Peric for Suntory Whisky  2 oz Yamazaki 12 YO single malt whisky             
½ oz sweet sherry  
Orange peel
Method: Pour ingredients over ice into a mixing glass. Stir 30 times. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a curled orange peel. The remaining two cocktails celebrate the winter months of the traditional 24-season Japanese year.  

Hibiki Taisetsu  
Created by Zoran Peric for Suntory Whisky 
1 ¾ oz Hibiki 12 YO blended whisky            
¾ oz Umeshu plum sake                
2 drops of chocolate bitters               
1 oz hot water  
Green tea   
Orange zest      
Dried tea flower 
Method: Stir all ingredients with the green tea. Strain into a warm balloon glass. Place tea flower in an old-fashioned glass topped with hot water. Place balloon glass on top of warm old-fashioned glass and serve. 

Yamazaki Toji 
Created by Zoran Peric for Suntory Whisky 
2 oz Yamazaki 12 YO single malt whisky             
½ oz Mandarine Napoleon liqueur            
½ oz absinthe   
Brown sugar  
Vanilla pod           
Star anise   
Orange peel
Method: Stir half of the whisky and all other ingredients into a wide-toped glass and flame for 15 seconds. Warm the rest of the Yamazaki in a balloon glass. Pour flaming mix into the balloon glass for 5 seconds and extinguish by placing a napkin over the glass. 



EFFEN® Ginger Bread Man
Created by David Nepove - National President, U.S. Bartender’s Guild
1 part EFFEN® Vodka
¾ parts Kings Ginger® Liqueur
¾ parts Faretti® Biscotti Famosi Liqueur or similar brand such as Frangelico® Liqueur
½ part simple syrup
1 part cream
Method: Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake.  Strain and pour into a cocktail glass dusted with cinnamon.

EFFEN® Winter’s Kiss
Created by David Nepove - National President, U.S. Bartender’s Guild
2 parts EFFEN® Vodka
¾ parts lime juice
¾ parts simple syrup
15 mint leaves
½ part cranberry juice
2 parts club soda
5 cranberries
Method: Muddle mint, lime juice and sugar in tall glass.  Add remaining ingredients to the glass with ice and stir.

Yule Mule
1 1/2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
1 ounce ginger beer
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Orange bitters
Method: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Ketel One Vodka, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Lime Juice and Orange Bitters and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer.

Dutch Tea
Created by James Labe
4 oz. Numi Chocolate Puerh Tea
2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1 oz. heavy cream
Method: Steep 1 Numi Chocolate Pu-erh tea bag at normal strength with freshly boiled water for 3 minutes, then remove bag. Add Vodka and stir. Whip cream with a little sugar and float on top. Dust with Powdered Cocoa to garnish.

The After-Turkey Apertif
1 oz Moon Mountain Organic Vodka

1/4 oz sweet vermouth

1/4 oz Zwack

5 dashes Angostura Bitters
Method: Pour Moon Mountain, sweet vermouth, Zwack and 5 dashes bitters into rocks glass over ice. Stir gently. Garnish with lime.


Hot Caramel Hot Buttered Rum
3 oz Ron Abuelo Añejo rum
1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
1/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Cinnamon stick
Method: Combine all ingredients (excluding rum and vodka) into a hot drinking cup or mug.  Mix together with a spoon then add Ron Abuelo Añejo and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka.  Pour in hot water (1 cup or more to personal taste) and stir vigorously until the mixture has dissolved. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Fresh Apple Spritzer
1/2 oz Zacapa Rum
1 oz sparkling wine
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
3 drops apple cider vinegar
Spritz of Allspice Dram
Method: Combine Zacapa, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and apple cider vinegar into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and atomized spritz of Allspice.

9 Nova
1 part Cruzan Light Rum
1 part Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum
.5 part DeKuyper Apricot Brandy
1 part fresh lemon sour
3 parts pineapple juice
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into hurricane glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge and dusting of fresh ground nutmeg.

Cruzan 9 Tanned
1.25 parts Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum
.25 part Cruzan Rum Cream
.25 part whipped cream
Method: Layer in order in tall shot or pony glass. Garnish with cherry on top.

Pomchi Smash
1-1/2 oz. Ron Abuelo Añejo rum
2 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
10 fresh raspberries
5 Mint leaves
Dash Angostura bitters
Ginger ale
Method: Muddle raspberry with the mint. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake hard and strain into a highball glass and top with ginger ale. Garnish with raspberry and mint.

Sailor S(nog)
2 parts Sailor Jerry rum
1 egg white
.75 part heavy cream
.75 part homemade vanilla syrup
Method: Dry shake to make heavy froth. Add ice. Shake again. Pour over fresh ice. Grate fresh nutmeg on top for garnish.

Orange Spiced Cider
Created by James Labe
1 Numi Orange Spice tea bag
8 oz. apple cider
2 oz. Ron Abuelo Añejo rum
Method: Heat Cider until very hot. Steep 1 Tea Bag directly in Cider for 5 minutes, covered. Uncover, add Rum and stir. Garnish with Cinnamon Stick.

Baileys Peppermint Cream

2 ounces Baileys with a Hint of Mint Chocolate
4 ounces hot chocolate
Fresh whipped cream
Candy cane 
Mint leaf
Method: Crush candy cane with the back of a spoon. Combine hot chocolate and Baileys by pouring into a coffee mug. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle crushed candy cane on top. Garnish with mint leaf.

Holiday Highball
1 oz Bailey's Original Irish Cream

1/2 oz iced coffee

1 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1/8 oz 2:1 raw sugar syrup
3 mint sprigs
Method: Mix coffee and sugar syrup together and set aside. In highball glass, layer 2 mint sprigs on bottom, then top with crushed ice. Add Bailey's, Bulleit and simple syrup. Swizzle together, leaving mint sprigs at bottom of glass. Float coffee on top and garnish with final mint sprig.