What would the holidays be without a kicky cocktail to put everyone in a festive mood? Not only are holiday cocktails a great ice-breaker at parties where all the guests might not know each other, but they’re the ultimate signal for everyone—from your grumpy great-grandma to your best friend who flew halfway across the country to see you, only to spend 5 hours delayed in the airport—that it’s time to relax, take a load off, and enjoy being spoiled.
Most of us go out of our way to create memorable holiday meals, but how often do we lavish the same attention on drinks? And while wine is a mainstay on the holiday table, we’d rather start the festivities with something a bit more special—something unexpected that tells guests I’ve been thinking about you! We’ve rounded up five of our current favorite holiday cocktails, and we’re happy to report that all are a cinch to make—yes, even the granita, as long as you remember to make that part of the recipe the day before.
Let’s hit the bar:
Here in New England, fall and early winter are all about cider. Since we’re enjoying our cider doughnuts, apple cider pancakes, cider crisp, and even hard cider, why not a cider-based cocktail that’s equal parts festive and pretty? Combine sweet apple cider with buttery dark rum, a bit of simple syrup, and a dash of bitters, and you have this no-fuss Cider Rum Punch, which is an equal hit with both male and female partygoers.
About as easy as it gets: shake up some ice, cranberry-pomegranate juice, vodka, and triple sec, pour into a glass, and garnish with some fresh cranberries and orange peel. You’ll love the beautiful rosy-sunset color as much as the zippy flavor.
We discovered this cocktail last holiday season, and it’s become one of our celebratory staples ever since. Holiday entertaining guru Paul Lowe crafted this fruit-tastic combo of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries offset with tangy lime and pungent vodka. The fresh rosemary sprig is the perfect hint of savory among all the sweet.
Another favorite here in Fresh American HQ, thanks to the combo of citrusy-sweet granita and the tang of champagne and liqueur. This one requires a bit of advance planning, so leave yourself enough time the day before the party to make the granita. When it’s party time, arrange the glasses on a serving tray, add a scoop of granita to each, and top with liqueur and champagne for a grown-up slushy treat.
We can’t think of a nicer (and simpler) way to jazz up a sparkling holiday favorite than with some fizz-promoting ginger, a spoonful of colorful and antioxidant-boosting pomegranate seeds, or a splash of flavor-packed St. Germain. Perfect for those who’d rather lavish the kitchen time on their food rather than their mixology.