5 Cocktails to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

The nights are just a little bit longer. The air is a little bit colder. And no matter how you celebrate the holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice to make it a little bit more spirited? We’ve collected the five best cocktail recipes to help you cozy up against the cold, get into the holiday spirit, and even cure the inevitable cough you’re sure to get this winter.


APPLE TODDY: What’s the first cocktail you think of when you’re craving something warm to sip during on a frigid winter day? Probably a hot toddy. This classic drink has undergone many variations and you probably have a favorite recipe yourself. So this winter, cozy up with a whole new hot toddy flavor—apple.

1 tbs fine white sugar
2 oz cider brandy
½ baked apple

Fill the glass two-thirds full of boiling water and grate a little nutmeg on top.

HOT TODDY COLD REMEDY: We bet the first pieces of advice you get when trying to relieve a cough or mild cold isn’t “drink a cocktail!”We would like to change that with a hot toddy recipe sure to take the edge off that cough.

1 very hot cup water
1 tea bag (preferably a dark tea)
2 oz whiskey
1 tblspn honey
1 tspn lemon juice
1 slice fresh lemon

Place the whiskey, honey, and tea bag(s) in a large microwave safe mug with 1 cup of very hot water and let tea steep. Add lemon juice and slice for garnish. Serve.

EGGNOG: Eggnog may be the most fun choice among your options. This recipe makes around 10 ounces – enough for one massive serving or two reasonable ones; use whatever glasses you feel like. The spirit can be up to you as well: bourbon, dark rum, and cheap French brandy all work well.

2 ounces (maximum) of your booze of choice
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (aka icing or confectioner’s sugar)
4 ounces light half-and-half (5% cream)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the booze, eggs, powdered sugar, and cream in a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously until your arms tire (this counts as a workout, right?) and the egg has broken down into a smooth froth. This will take at least one minute, but go longer if you can. Add ice and shake until the mixture is cold. Strain into one or two glasses. Before serving, toss a second pinch of nutmeg across the top, if desired.


Orange slices
Whole cloves
1 ½ ounces dark Jamaican rum
¼ ounce amaretto
¼ ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cherry brandy (optional)
Hot black tea
¼ teaspoon unsalted butter

Stud the orange slices with the cloves, by jamming the sharp side of the spice into the fruit rind. To a large heatproof mug, add the rum, amaretto, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, cherry brandy, and 1 whole clove. Top with the hot black tea and stir. Add the butter. Drop the studded orange slices into the drink.


Small piece of cheesecloth or a large tea strainer ball
Peel of ½ orange
1 cinnamon stick
Any combination of the following spices and flavorings:
chopped fresh ginger
freshly grated nutmeg
crushed cloves
vanilla pods
1 bottle light red wine
½ cup brown sugar
2 ounces brandy

Place the spices and orange peel in the center of the cheesecloth and tie with a string (or place in the strainer ball if you have one large enough!). Add this makeshift bag of spices to a nonreactive pan with the red wine and brown sugar. Yes, that’s a lot of sugar, but copious sweetening is the secret to a successful hot drink, plus – it’s the holidays! Heat slowly and stir. When it’s steaming but not yet boiling, add brandy, stir again, and serve with lemon wedges.