Entertaining Ideas: Holiday cocktails

Whether you’re hosting a holiday bash or just snuggling with your sweetie, these flavor-filled cocktails are the ideal way to warm your winter evenings.


Modern English cocktail with cinnamon stick on marble and wood coaster

The Modern English

Bring a woodsy sweetness to a delicious cocktail with muddled pear and a drizzle of maple syrup. A cinnamon stick adds a holiday flourish to this golden drink.

What You Need to make one serving

  • 2½ oz. gin
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • ½ oz. maple syrup
  • Half a fresh ripe pear
  • 1 cinnamon stick for serving

Muddle all the ingredients except the gin in a shaker.

Add the gin and fill with ice. Shake well.

Strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Hanky Panky cocktail on royal blue and gold napkin

The Hanky Panky

A few sips of this aptly-named cocktail, invented at London’s Savoy Hotel, might have you feeling a bit playful, thanks to the sizzling combination of gin, sweet vermouth and licorice notes from Fernet-Branca.

What You Need to make one serving

  • 1½ oz. Gin
  • 1½ oz. Sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Fernet-Branca
  • Orange twist for serving

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.


Bijou cocktail in a tumbler on a christmas napkin with Campari bottle in the background

The Bijou

The Bijou is a robust libation from the pre-Prohibition era. Named after the French word for “jewel,” this twist on the traditional gem boasts a boozy quartet of gin, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse and Campari.

What You Need to make one serving

  • 1 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. Sweet vermouth
  • ¾ oz. Green Chartreuse
  • ¼ oz. Campari
  • Orange twist for serving

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Note: The traditional Bijou recipe calls for equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Green Chartreuse, plus a dash of orange bitters.


Last Word Fizz in coup glass on a christmass tree napkin with glass christmas trees in the background

Last Word Fizz

Try this inventive mash-up of the classic Gin Fizz and Last Word cocktails. It delivers the best of both cocktails: the freshness of the Last Word’s herbal Green Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueur—plus the froth of a well-shaken Gin Fizz.

This recipe is from John Currence’s cookbook Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey.

What You Need to make one serving

  • ¼ oz. Gin
  • ¼ oz. Green Chartreuse
  • ¼ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg white
  • Club soda
  • 1 tsp Cherry juice for serving
  • 1 Lime twist for serving

Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and shake without ice for 20 seconds.

Add a few crushed ice cubes and shake again for 15 seconds.

Strain into two cocktail glasses and top each with a splash of club soda.

Drizzle both drinks with the cherry juice.

Rub each rim with a lime twist and use as garnish.

Note: This one is sooooo good.


Spiked Cocoa in glass mug on candy-cane napkin with pepermint chocolate kisses chocolate in the background

Spiked Cocoa

The perfect drink when cuddled up by a blazing fire, it’s also the ideal beverage following an afternoon of ice skating or sledding.

What You Need to make 6 servings

  • 1 quart milk or half-and-half
  • 6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur
  • 9 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • 6 peppermint sticks and crushed peppermint sticks, for serving

Heat 1 cup of the milk or half-and-half in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate, stirring constantly, until melted. When the chocolate has melted, increase heat to medium and add the remainder of the milk while whisking rapidly. Don’t allow milk to boil.

Serve in Irish coffee mugs and stir in a jigger (1½ ounces) of peppermint schnapps, and ounce of chocolate liqueur. Add a dollop of whipped cream.

Sprinkle crushed peppermint on the whipped cream and add a peppermint stick to stir.

Note: You can never go wrong with a nice cup of surprise hot chocolate.

We’d love to hear what your favorite cocktails are for the holidays. Or do you prefer a punch for larger gatherings. Please share your suggestions in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Happy Holidays from the Caruth Studio team!
Drink ResponsIbly and Joyously.


© Caruth Studio

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  1. After trying a few of these I have to say the Modern English is by far the most tasty, if you like pear of course.

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