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Oh Tannenbaum - Holiday Cocktail Recipe
Photo by Ute Londrigan

Polly’s Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Aside from the good food and quality time with family, one of the things I look forward to during the holiday season is making fun cocktails! Making cocktails allows you to tap into your creative side as well as your scientist side as you measure, mix, and decorate your drink. Here is a list of some holiday cocktails to make for your family and friends. If you’re under 21, just make them virgin by replacing the alcohol with more of the base, seltzer water, or ginger ale!

  1. Sparkling Pomegranate Mimosa


  • 0.5 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 6–8 sprigs of rosemary
  • pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of champagne


Add 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, a rosemary sprig, and 1.5 oz of pomegranate juice to each glass. Top with champagne and serve!

Recipe from: https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/sparkling-pomegranate-mimosas/

  1. Apple Cider Moscow Mule


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • 3 oz fresh apple cider
  • 1 tsp cinnamon sugar
  • 2 or 3 apple slices
  • Cinnamon stick to garnish (optional)


Place one or two apple slices in the bottom of a copper mug or cocktail glass. Sprinkle in the cinnamon sugar, then muddle using a muddler or with the back of a spoon. Fill the mug with ice, then pour in vodka, ginger beer, and apple cider. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with an additional apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Sip and enjoy!

Recipe from: https://thesweetestoccasion.com/2016/10/apple-cider-moscow-mule/

  1. Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail


  • 1.5 oz gin
  • 1 oz pear juice
  • 0.75 oz spiced pear liqueur
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 or 3 drops of cardamom bitters
  • Slice of pear and sprig of thyme to garnish


Add the gin, pear liqueur, lemon juice, and a dash of cardamom bitters to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of pear and sprig of thyme, and enjoy!

Recipe from: https://inspiredbycharm.com/spiced-pear-gin-cocktail/

  1. Gingerbread White Russian


  • Gingerbread Syrup
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 3 tablespoons molasses
    • 1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gingerbread Russian
    • 2 oz vodka
    • 1.5 oz Kahlua
    • 1-2 oz gingerbread syrup
    • 1-2 oz heavy cream
    • cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies, for garnish


Gingerbread Syrup:

In a medium pot, combine 1 1/3 cups water, honey, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Gingerbread Russian:

Fill a glass with ice, and add the vodka, Kahlua, and gingerbread syrup. Stir gently. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon and gingerbread cookies, and enjoy!

Recipe from: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/gingerbread-white-russian/

  1. Maple Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail


  • 4 oz bourbon
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz maple cranberry syrup 
  • 2 oz seltzer or club soda
  • Maple cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish

Maple Cranberries:

  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


Maple cranberry syrup:

In a small saucepan, mix the real maple syrup and fresh cranberries. Simmer until the cranberries begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.


Add ice to two glasses, top each with a tablespoon of cranberries from the simple syrup. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, cranberry juice, and maple cranberry syrup. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared rocks glasses. Top each with a splash of seltzer water, garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and enjoy!

Recipe from: https://inspiredbycharm.com/maple-cranberry-bourbon-cocktail/

  1. French 75


  • 1.5 oz gin
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Champagne
  • Long spiral lemon twist (for serving)


Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. After it is shaken, strain the cocktail into a large flute. Top with Champagne, garnish with lemon twist, and serve!

Recipe from: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/french-75-3

Give these a try with your family and friends over the holidays! 

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Polly Rae

U Maine '22

I am a senior Zoology pre-med student at umaine, I like school
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