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10 Cocktails and Drinks to Get You in The Holiday Spirit

Sharpen up your mixologist skills and spread the cheer.

1. Peppermint Hot Chocolate


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 drops peppermint oil
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir, until melted. Stir in the peppermint oil. Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

2. Mulled Wine 


4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

3. The Grinch


2 oz Midori melon liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
Maraschino cherry for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry.




4. Candy Cane


3/4 oz SKYY Berry Vodka
3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
3/4 oz white crème de cacao
1/4 oz grenadine
Half and half
Soda water


Pour the vodka, peppermint schnapps, white creme de cacao, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well.  Pour into a cocktail glass rimmed with crushed peppermint candy.  Fill with half and half.  Top with a splash of soda water.


5. Fruitcake Jello Shots


Ingredients:6 oz pkg Raspberry Jello
2 cups Boiling Water
1½ cups Cold Water
½ cup Chilled Spiced Rum
Maraschino Cherries, quartered
Apricot Pie Filling

Stir jello into boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water and rum. Place a quartered cherry and a spoonful of apricot pie filling in bottom of each shot glass. Pour in jello mixture to top of glass. Chill until set.  Try these Champagne Jello Shots too.  Super easy and very classy.




6. Pear Cranberry Bellini

1 cup pear nectar
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine

In a small pitcher or large liquid measuring cup, combine pear nectar and cranberry juice cocktail. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into each of eight champagne glasses. Dividing evenly, top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.




7. Citrus Cider


Ingredients2 quarts apple cider or apple juice
1 cup orange juice*
1/2 cup lemon juice*
1/4 cup honey
8 inches stick cinnamon, broken
8 whole cloves
3 slices fresh ginger

In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine cider, orange juice, lemon juice, and honey. Stir to dissolve honey. For a spice bag, cut a 6-inch square from a double thickness of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Place cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in the center of the cloth. Bring the corners together and tie closed with 100%-cotton kitchen string. Add spice bag to slow cooker. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the spice bag and discard.


8. Chocolate Blitzen



2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup chocolate-flavored sprinkles
1 cup chocolate ice cream
2 ounces (1/4 cup) Irish cream liqueur
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) dark cream de cacao
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) vodka
Chocolate curls or grated chocolate

In a heavy small saucepan, heat chocolate over low heat until melted. Dip the rims of eight 1-ounce mini martini glasses or shot glasses in the melted chocolate and then dip in the sprinkles. Chill until serving time.
In a blender, combine ice cream, Irish cream liqueur, cream de cacao, and vodka. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.
Pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with chocolate curls. Serve immediately. Makes 8 (1-ounce) servings.

9. Vanilla Dark and Stormy


2C Dark Rum
3C Ginger beer (not ginger ale)
Juice of 4 lines
Splash of vanilla extract

Combine in a pitcher. Serve on the rocks with lime wedges.





10. Sparkling Shiraz

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While this isn’t a cocktail, it’s a great Australian addition to the holiday dinner and pairs well with the roast turkey or pork.  ‘The Chook’ is a delicious option that is available in the states at select wine stores.  Give it a try.

College Tourist Contributor

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