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5 Holiday Cocktails to Warm You This Winter

The holidays are chock-full of traditions of all kinds—decorations, songs, movies, and gifts galore! We all wait eagerly to gorge ourselves on wintery foods and goodies, but let’s not forget the beverage possibilities that also come with the season of giving. Winter is the perfect time to utilize something that has been helping mankind celebrate, all over the world, since the dawn of human history: alcohol.

Hanukkah Hot Toddy

A classic hot drink to warm your soul at the end of a cold winter’s day, also said to help alleviate cold symptoms.

  • 1 ½ ounces dark rum (or your favorite whiskey)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 cup hot water (optional: use chamomile tea for a bedtime beverage)
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge
  • Serve in a mug

Tip: swap out honey for maple syrup for a sweeter drink, or use a little of both!


Kwanza Kalua Coffee

A no-brainer cocktail for the caffeine lovers out there.

  • 2 ounces Kalua coffee liqueur
  • 3 ounces freshly brewed coffee
  • A splash of half n half (or skim milk)
  • Optional: garnish with chocolate syrup drizzle or cinnamon stick.


Spiked Agnostic Eggnog

You don’t need to dig organized religion to enjoy some eggnog. This is a great drink to try if you’re feeling a bit more culinary.

  • 1 ½ ounce dark rum
  • 1 ½ ounce brandy
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup milk (whole or skim)
  • Whisk the egg a bit with a fork, mix all the ingredients together with ice, then strain and serve (use a shaker if you have one).
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg

Merry Christmas (Mint) Mocha Cocoa

There’s nothing like hot cocoa for the holidays. Take your childhood favorite and give it a boozy upgrade.

  • 1 ½ ounces Baileys
  • 3 ounces hot cocoa
  • 1 ounce espresso (or normal coffee)
  • Optional: ½ ounce mint schnapps
  • Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle


Winter Solstice Sangria

Celebrate Nature by imbibing a pitcher of spicy, sweet goodness with your friends this winter season.

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum (preferably spiced)
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  • Mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate overnight, or for a few hours.
  • Serve garnished with a cinnamon stick and an orange slice.

Tip: add slices of any additional favorite fruits—get creative!


Whatever you are (or aren’t) celebrating this holiday season, any of these cocktail recipes would be a great nightcap for warming up and having fun with friends and family. Concoct responsibly!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

I'm just a SoCal kind of gal who loves the sunshine. I just transferred to Cal Poly SLO and so far I'm digging it. Like many an English major before me, I like reading and writing, but I also really love movies, magazines, tv, blogs, etc. When I'm not consuming media some hobbies of mine that actually involve me going outside and moving are yoga, sailing, and playing with other people's dogs.
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