These 12 Festive Christmas Cocktail Recipes offer something for everyone, from a bright pomegranate gin & tonic to a warming hot buttered rum. They’re easy cocktails that are perfect for your upcoming holiday parties or for enjoying with a special meal.

2 glasses of pomegranate gin & tonic cocktails


The Best Christmas Cocktail Recipes

One of my favorite parts of entertaining is crafting a special cocktail. It’s a fun way to kick off our time together. And the holidays are the absolute perfect time for this added merriment. Here are 12 Festive Christmas Cocktail Recipes to get your cocktail shakers shaking!

We’re hosting Christmas this year. So what will be The Christmas Cocktail, you ask? Well, I’m still trying to decide. There’s so many great holiday cocktail recipes to choose from!

However, I do know we’ll serve mimosas with fresh squeezed juices for Christmas brunch. And some kind of margarita with a carnitas meal later in the week.

Of course I have a few cocktails in mind for Christmas dinner. All of them are featured in this post. I’m leaning heavily on either a cranberry or pomegranate twist. And I’d like to use the bottle of local gin that friends just gave us for Christmas.

No matter what type of liquor you prefer or what your favorite flavors are, you’re guaranteed to find something you like with this list of Christmas cocktails. From bright & fresh, to warm & cozy, there’s something here for everyone.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re making 1 cocktail or 10. These recipes are easily adaptable to make for one or for a crowd!

pouring cinnamon syrup into a small pitcher of cocktails

Tips for Making Cocktails for a Crowd

Need a Christmas cocktail for a crowd? It’s easy to turn most of these holiday drinks into a big batch cocktail perfect for all of your holiday parties.

While most recipes have their own specific instructions for making them for a crowd (and in advance), here are a few general tips:

  • Don’t add ice. If you’re making a pitcher cocktail, do not add ice to the pitcher. Instead, pour the drink over ice when you serve it. When you add ice to a pitcher and then refrigerate it, the cocktail gets watered down.
  • Wait to add anything bubbly or fizzy. While most ingredients can be mixed ahead of time, wait to add anything bubbly or fizzy. Add ingredients like champagne or club soda just before serving. This will give you all the intended bubbles action!
  • Keep chilled. After you combine the ingredients, keep the pitcher chilled in the fridge until serving.
up-close photo of blood orange amaretto sour in a cocktail glass

Garnish Ideas for Christmas Cocktail Recipes

To me, the garnishes are a big deal. They can turn a simple mixed drink into a guest-worthy, holly-jolly Christmas cocktail.

While each recipe has its own suggestions, here are a few ideas of garnishes to add to your holiday drinks.

  • Fresh or sugared cranberries
  • Maraschino cherries or gorgeous cocktail cherries
  • Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs – I especially like to use rosemary this time of year as it mimics the look of a Christmas tree and smells awesome in a drink!
  • Sugar rim (see below)
  • Fresh citrus, like lemons, limes, and seasonal blood oranges and grapefruit
  • Cinnamon – either a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or whole cinnamon sticks
  • Nutmeg – I love to grate fresh nutmeg over a glass of homemade eggnog!
two glasses of eggnog cocktail in martini glasses

How to Sugar A Cocktail

Like a salt rim on your favorite margarita, adding a sugar rim is a fun way to enhance any Christmas cocktail. Here’s how to do it:

  • Add liquid to rim: If serving a drink that includes fresh citrus (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.), run the cut edge of a wedge of fruit around the glass rim to get it wet. For drinks that don’t have citrus (such as the eggnog cocktail shown above), simply dip your finger in water and run your finger around the glass rim. This liquid is the “glue” that will make the sugar stick to the glass.
  • Dip the glass: Then dip the wet rim straight up and down into a shallow dish of coarse sugar. Do not twist it, as that can cause granules of sugar to fall off.

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12 Festive Christmas Cocktail Recipes

These 12 Festive Christmas Cocktail Recipes offer something for everyone, from a bright pomegranate gin & tonic to a warming hot buttered rum. They’re easy cocktails that are perfect for your upcoming holiday parties or for enjoying with a special meal.

a white Russian cocktail with eggnog and cinnamon syrup, plus Christmas decorations
This Cinnamon-Spiced Eggnog White Russian turns a classic cocktail into a creamy, warming Christmas cocktail that everyone will love, with cinnamon syrup, eggnog, coffee liqueur, and vodka.
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glasses of homemade eggnog
Skip the carton at the store and make Homemade Eggnog this year, with just a few ingredients. Keep it kid-friendly or add your favorite liquor for an adults-only twist.
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Cranberry Thyme Gin and Tonics on a blue table
Turn your favorite gin and tonic into a holiday cocktail by swapping just a few ingredients to make this Cranberry Gin & Tonic. It's bright, tart, earthy, and fruity, with the perfect combination of classic flavors plus cranberry and a hint of thyme.
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an eggnog drink in a martini glass
Turn your favorite eggnog into a fun and festive Christmas drink with a sugar rim and splash of brandy. This Eggnog Cocktail is warmly spiced, creamy, and frothy-cold. And it's ready in just minutes.
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A hot buttered rum coffee garnished with whipped cream
Take your coffee to the next level with this Hot Buttered Rum Coffee Recipe! Made with spiced butter (irresistible!), rum, and coffee, this is a cozy, warming drink that's perfect for those chilly winter days.
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Two pomegranate gin and tonics with rosemary
Another fun twist on a gin & tonic, this Pomegranate Gin & Tonic is refreshingly bright, with tart and sweet flavor. It's ready in just a few minutes with minimal ingredients.
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A rosemary greyhound cocktail garnished with fresh rosemary and grapefruit
Bright, tart, and delightfully refreshing, this Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail is a twist on the classic greyhound cocktail. It features a gorgeous rosemary simple syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, and vodka.
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three glasses of almond steamer in front of a christmas tree
Essentially the vanilla version of hot chocolate, this Vanilla Almond Steamer is the perfect warming drink for chilly nights. Add a shot of your favorite liqueur (almond or cinnamon or Rumchata?!) to turn it into a simple holiday cocktail!
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Cranberry margarita on a white coaster
This Cranberry Margarita is tart and refreshing with cranberry and lime. It’s perfect any time of the year, but makes an especially festive Christmas margarita during the holidays!
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two glasses of apple sangria
A holiday twist on classic sangria! This Apple Sangria has a splash of bourbon for an added warm kick. It's perfect for your next holiday party!
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amaretto sour with blood orange juice
Tart, boozy, and oh-so-pretty, this Blood Orange Amaretto Sour is made with fresh blood orange juice and lemon juice, Amaretto, and bourbon. It's a simple, fun cocktail that's loaded with flavor!
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Hot toddy in a glass mug
This Hot Toddy is the perfect wintertime drink. It’s warm and cozy, with fresh lemon, a bit of sweet honey, and a little kick of spicy ginger. Enjoy this soothing drink as-is, or add a splash of bourbon (or brandy or dark rum)!
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collage of festive Christmas cocktails