8 Christmas Cocktails That Are the Reason for the Season

by Zach Seemayer 7:00 PM PST, December 21, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Christmas can be a difficult time – with navigating the crowds at the mall to navigating the complex politics of family reunions -- and sometimes the stress can catch up with you. When it does, you might want to kick back and enjoy one of these seasonal libations.

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From cinnamon to peppermint to old fashioned eggnog, here are a few delicious drink recipes that are great for wild holiday parties, classy work celebrations and exhausting family gatherings. Enjoy!

Hot Toddy: A Hot Toddy tastes like sitting in front of a fireplace, and it is the perfect cocktail to warm you up on a cold winter night – however, they are heavy on the cinnamon, so the taste can be pretty strong for people who don't love the flavor.

1 ½ oz whiskey
1 tbsp honey
¼ lemon
1 cup hot water
1 tea bag (preferably black, cinnamon, or ginger tea)

First, coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass with the honey. Then, add the liquor and the juice from the lemon slice. Separately, boil the water and drop in the tea bag to make hot tea. Then, pour the hot tea over the other ingredients in the glass and stir well.

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Cinnamon Eggnog: Eggnog is a Christmas tradition for generations, and the only thing that makes eggnog better is when it's also filled with booze.

1 cup store-bought eggnog
½ oz Aftershock
1 ½ oz bourbon

Pour yourself a big glass of 'nog, and pour in the aftershock and bourbon, then stir with a cinnamon stick.

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Mrs. Claus' Winter Spritzer: Christmas doesn't have to be all heavy eggnog and overpowering cinnamon. Refreshing fruit flavors are also an anytime treat, and Mrs. Claus' Winter Spritzer is perfect for a sweeter, lighter cocktail option. This big batch recipe is perfect for parties.

5 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon-lime soda
1 ½ cups vodka
½ cup maraschino cherry juice
¼ cup lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher, stir gently until fully mixed. Pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and/or fresh rosemary sprig.

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Santa's Seasonal Shooter: If you don't want to nurse a full cocktail and would rather get all your liquid cheer in one delicious gulp, try this red, green and white layered shot. It's a little hard to master, but you should be able to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

½ oz sour apple schnapps
½ oz grenadine
¾ oz Goldschlager (with flakes of gold inside)

First, pour the sour apple schnapps into a medium-tall 2-ounce shot glass. Next, gently pour in the grenadine, which will settle on the bottom, and now you will have your red and green layers finished. Finally, shake the bottle of Goldshclager and hold it upside down (while closed, obviously) to bring the gold flakes toward the top. Measure the Goldschlager. Hold a small spoon, upside down, inside the glass, and very slowly pour the Goldschlager over the back of the spoon. The third, clear layer will now be complete, and small flakes of gold should settle throughout. Admire your hard work and then drink it down.

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Grinch: When thinking about the Grinch, don't picture the bitter version of this cocktail's Dr. Seuss namesake, but rather the sweet, lovable version he becomes when he learns the meaning of Christmas.

2 oz Midori Melon liqueur
½ oz lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup

Pour all the ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, then shake well. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: This celebratory drink is simple to make and will hit all the right spots to take the edge off without losing the congratulatory sensibility of a holiday family reunion.

Peach Juice
1 maraschino cherry

Fill a champagne glass half way with peach juice, and then fill the glass with champagne before dropping in a maraschino cherry.

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Evil Elves: Tired of working your fingers to the bone wrapping presents for your family like a member of Santa's underpaid labor force? Check out this tasty, sour-and-peppermint concoction.

1 oz silver rum
6 oz pink lemonade
1 candy cane

Pour lemonade and rum into a highball glass, then stir and garnish with the candy cane.

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Jack Frost: You can't truly enjoy Christmas without a little snow – but sometimes you just don't live in a locale where that's possible. No worries! That's what the Jack Frost cocktail is for. It's like winter in a cup.

2 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz peppermint schnapps
1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum

Pour the vanilla vodka over ice in a martini glass and then stir in the coconut rum. Float the peppermint schnapps gently over the vodka, and enjoy.

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Remember to drink responsibly this holiday season!

Keep in mind, when you're purchasing liquor this Christmas, that some of those brands of booze might be owned by your favorite celebs. Check out the video below to see which stars have launched their own liquor companies.

For more holiday fun, you can follow Zach Seemayer on Twitter @ZachSeemayer.