The winter months are the perfect time for entertaining, but it's sometimes difficult to come up with exciting food and drink options year after year. To wow your guests and perhaps even start a new holiday tradition, try out some of our favorite holiday cocktails.
Spicy Hot Cocoa for Adults
Also known as Mexicali Hot Chocolate, this drink is perfect if you're ready for a vacation south of the border. And even if you're surrounded by snow instead of palm trees, you can at least get a taste of tropical paradise with this spicy cocktail.
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch each chili powder and cayenne
• ¾ cup milk or Irish creme
• Agave nectar, maple syrup or honey to taste
• 1.5 ounces tequila, preferably silver
• Paprika for rimming
• Cinnamon stick for garnish, if desired
Blend the cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili and cayenne in a small saucepan and heat on low until the spices are lightly toasted and aromatic. Next, gently whisk in the milk or Irish crème and bring to a light boil. Stir in the syrup and remove from heat. Meanwhile, use water to rim a medium-sized mug with paprika, and fill it with tequila. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the tequila and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and say hello to a new holiday favorite.
Gingerbread White Russian
The classic white Russian gets the cookie treatment with this modern cocktail. Serve up this seasonal treat at your upcoming office white elephant party or open house.
• Equal parts whole milk, vodka and a coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
• 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
• 1/8 teaspoon ginger (powdered)
• Cinnamon and sugar for rimming
• Whipped cream and maple syrup as topping, if desired
Blend the milk, vodka and coffee liqueur together in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Add the maple syrup and ginger and shake again. Strain into a glass mug, rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. For the ultimate indulgence, garnish with whipped cream and maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Candy Cane Cocktail
Candy canes aren't just an indulgent holiday treat for children. Add a fun touch to any holiday get-together with this seasonally appropriate cocktail.
• Equal parts (about 1 shot each) vanilla rum, peppermint schnapps and white chocolate liqueur
• Candy cane for garnish/stirrer
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the rum, schnapps and chocolate liqueur. Strain into a martini glass or snifter, garnish with candy cane and enjoy!
Extreme Hot Buttered Rum
Hot buttered rum is a traditional holiday beverage for a reason, and you can amp up this indulgent up drink with the addition of a premium black rum.
• 1 ½ teaspoon butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons ice cream (caramel, crème brûlée or vanilla flavored)
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoon confectioners' sugar
• 1 pinch each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
• ½ cup simmering (not boiling) water
• 1.5 oz. dark rum, 80 proof or higher
In a large coffee mug, mix butter, brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Add rum, ice cream, cinnamon and simmering water. Mix with fork or coffee stirrer until ice cream melts and appears frothy. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and serve.