Life

Holiday Drinks That Will Convince People You're Fancy

These cocktails are sure to impress.
FAAAAAALLLLLL ON YOUR KNEEEEEEEES.
FAAAAAALLLLLL ON YOUR KNEEEEEEEES.

If you’re anything like me, you hope to do something special for the holidays, only to get to the day and realize you’re woefully unprepared.

But one area where it truly is worth your while to prep before the winter holidays is in the drink department. A lot of cocktail recipes out there can seem intimidating at first glance, but don’t scare yourself out of it.

Getting the hang of just one one fancy drink is well worth the investment. Look for a recipe with elements you like — whether that means whiskey, cranberries or citrus fruit — and just watch how impressed everyone gets. I did this at Thanksgiving three years ago and people still talk about it.

Here are some great holiday drinks that are sure to impress everyone.

Mistletoe margarita

The mood: For when you really wish you were celebrating Christmas in a tropical climate.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Mostly simple (involves a blender).

Flavour profile: Cranberry, tequila.

Get the recipe at Delish

Winter tea

Pour some Wayne Gretzky whiskey in your tea!
Pour some Wayne Gretzky whiskey in your tea!

The mood: You want to be cosy but feel fancy.

Served hot or cold? Hot.

Level of complication: Simple.

The flavours: Lavender, honey, whiskey.

Get the recipe via Wayne Gretzy’s Ice Cask Whisky:

4 oz. Earl Grey tea
1 oz. whiskey (suggestion: Ice Cask Whisky)
1 tbsp wildflower honey
1 lemon twist
2 shakes of Dillon’s Ginger Bitters
3 sprigs of lavender

Bring a kettle to a boil and add 4oz. of hot water to a small mug with an Earl Grey tea bag (or loose leaf tea in a steeping vessel).

Add a tablespoon of honey, bitters, the whiskey, and one sprig of lavender to the mug and stir.

Twist the lemon rind over the cocktail and drop in with the other ingredients.

Garnish with two sprigs of lavender bridged over mug.

Christmas Carol Barrel

Christmas carol barrel.
Christmas carol barrel.

The mood: Cosy and decadent but still sophisticated.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Simple to make, but with specialty ingredients.

The flavours: Coffee, chocolate.

Get the recipe via mixologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry at Toronto pop-up Miracle on Ossington:

1.75 oz. blanco tequila (such as Espolòn)
0.5 oz. coffee liqueur (such as Mr. Black)
0.45 oz cocoa nib-infused Grand Marnier
6 oz. iced hot chocolate
Coffee and cocoa nib dust (optional garnish)
Dehydrated orange wheel (optional garnish)

Notes: Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Flavor Hot Cocoa Mix can be bought in large containers and is very inexpensive. To make the coffee and cocoa nib dust garnish, use a spice grinder to finely grind two parts cocoa nibs to one part coffee bean.

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake.

Pour into a mug and fill with crushed ice.

Dust top of drink with coffee & cocoa nib mix.

Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and a cocktail parasol.

Pom cider

YUM.
YUM.

The mood: Laid-back.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Simple.

The flavours: Fruit and whiskey, with a dash of holiday spices.

Get the recipe via the LCBO:

1 oz rye
½ oz pomegranate liqueur
½ oz orange liqueur
Chilled non-alcoholic apple cider
Pomegranate seeds and cinnamon stick (optional garnish)

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add rye, pomegranate liqueur, orange liqueur, and top with chilled nonalcoholic apple cider.

Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and finish with a cinnamon stick.

Salty Godfather

Have yourself a very Amaretto Christmas.
Have yourself a very Amaretto Christmas.

The mood: Amaretto Sour, but make it Christmas.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Medium (like any food sour, it includes egg white).

The flavours: Amaretto.

Get the recipe via Toronto mixologist Amanda Chen at Salty Paloma.

Sugar cookie martini

The mood: Your childhood dreams, but with alcohol.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Complicated if you make it with the sugar cookie included in the recipe, medium if you don’t.

The flavours: Sweet, creamy indulgence.

Get the recipe via Delish

Golden Hour

We'd drink this at all hours.
We'd drink this at all hours.

The mood: You don’t want anyone to notice you aren’t drinking alcohol, but you don’t want to drink something boring like juice.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Simple, as long as you have the foresight to buy a non-alcoholic gin alternative.

The flavours: Pear and ginger

Get the recipe via The Lake’s Pleasure Seeker’s Holiday Market

1.5 oz. Seedlip Spice 94
1 oz. pear nectar
Smoky ginger ale (such as Fever Tree)
Star anise (optional garnish)

Mix Seedlip and pear nectar in a rocks glass over ice. Top with ginger ale and stir.

Canadian holiday punch

We'll take three.
We'll take three.

The mood: You want to be as happy as possible before you go to sleep.

Served hot or cold? Hot.

Level of complication: Medium. It’s easy to make but involves buying a lot of ingredients and cooking for about half an hour. It’s also a commitment, as you’re making a giant batch.

The flavours: Apple cider, citrus, and warm Christmas-y spices.

Get the recipe via the LCBO:

1 bottle (750 mL) Canadian whisky
1 cup Madeira
1 orange, zested
1 lemon, zested
2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp ginger
1 L fresh (cloudy) apple juice or apple cider
1 cup pineapple juice
6 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp honey
Orange slices (optional garnish)

In a large saucepan, combine whisky, 1 cup Madeira, orange and lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, apple juice or apple cider, pineapple juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, and honey.

Bring to a simmer for at least 25 minutes.

Strain out liquid and place in a heatproof serving vessel.

Serve in mugs and garnish each with an orange slice.

Rudolph Spritzer

The mood: Sweet and light.

Served hot or cold? Cold.

Level of complication: Medium, but make it more simple by skipping the step of sugaring the frozen cranberries.

The flavours: Cranberry and Prosecco.

Get the recipe via Delish

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