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11 Favorite Holiday Cocktail Recipes

11 Favorite Holiday Cocktail Recipes

  I love serving a special cocktail for our holiday family celebrations. Over the years I have created and collected quite a few good ones. Here are our top 11 favorite holiday cocktail recipes for the fall and winter.  

The Queen Bee

The queen bee gin cocktail | Something New For Dinner   The Queen Bee is our latest cocktail and a riff on the Prohibition era Bees Knees cocktail.  Read the headnotes to this recipe to learn the fun history behind this cocktail (hint: it has something to do with bathtub gin and the unsinkable Molly Brown). I make the Queen Bee with indigo-colored Empress 1908 gin and Mike's Hot Honey. Trust me, you need both in your life.
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The Paper Airplane

Paper Airplane Cocktail - Something New For Dinner My niece Madi introduced me to the Paper Airplane cocktail. It is a potent concoction of bourbon, Aperol and Amaro Nonino. It tastes delicious, but buyer beware, it packs a punch. Its glorious tomato-red color makes it a perfect holiday cocktail. Paper Airplane Cocktail | Something New For Dinner  

Kumquat Gin and Tonic

Kumquat gins and tonic | Something New For Dinner Last year my two little kumquat trees produced hundreds and hundreds of kumquats. While looking for what to do with them I developed this refreshing gin and tonic holiday cocktail. In addition to gin and kumquats, I include a splash of St. Germaine and Grand Marnier.
What readers have to say about this holiday cocktail: 
  • "This a vibrant and tasty drink. So fresh and beautiful. Not too sweet and definitely citrusy, but not bitter." -- Stacy
  • "This was my favorite cocktail of the evening…not too sweet, and has a citrusy punch." -- Liz
  • "Love this drink! I was looking for something to make with kumquats and this drink caught my interest. I followed the recipe and it was perfect. It’s pretty and refreshing." -- Diane Dales

St. Germaine Lavender Gin and Tonic

A Spanish-style fusion Gin and Tonic that pairs Scottish Hendrick's gin with French St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, lavender and orange bitters. This faintly floral lavender gin and tonic makes for another festive holiday cocktail. The lavender scent is created with lavender bitters. Judiciously added, the bitters create a wonderful floral aroma. Beware of a heavy hand, however, or you will wind up with a cocktail that tastes like herbal hand soap!
What readers say about this holiday cocktail:
  • "This was the signature drink at our wedding. It was a hit!" - Michael Eichelberger
  • "Best cocktail of the year. Am I selfish not to share? I kind of like the expressions on my friend’s faces when they savor that first sip…" -- Cherie

Pomegranate Moscow Mule

A festive Pomegranate Moscow Mule made with Pama Pomegranate Liqueur is just the thing for celebrating the winter holidays. There are many variations on the Moscow Mule, but this one makes for a particularly beautiful holiday cocktail. Made with vodka, Pama, ginger beer, fresh pomegranate seeds and rosemary, it looks like a holiday arrangement in a glass, or better yet, in a copper Moscow mule mug.  

Aperol Gin & Tonic

This refreshing and beautiful bright orange cocktail is perfect for Thanksgiving or truly any time of the year. Considered by many to be my signature drink, this drink has stood the test of time and remains one of my favorites. This holiday cocktail is the older, more sophisticated sister to the Aperol Spritz.  It makes for a wonderful holiday cocktail, or anytime of the year cocktail.
What readers say about this holiday cocktail: 
  • "Perfect drink and makes cooking a meal a lot more enjoyable!" -- Pam
  • "This is my first post but I am a BIG fan of yours! I made these gorgeous drinks with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit…along with your braided bacon turkey…awwwww amazing! Love your website and design too! You are terrific! Great job!" -- Lynn
  • "Your Aperol G&T is my new favorite. It’s a refreshing summer drink" -- Jennifer
  • "I didn’t need to be converted to gin, and loved this cocktail. It was so refreshing, beautiful and delicious!" -- Liz

Ginger Smash Christmas Cocktail

Ginger Smash Cocktail Recipe | Something New For Dinner This holiday cocktail was my gateway for learning to enjoy bourbon. Made with bourbon, fresh ginger, mint, and ginger beer, it makes for a fun way to start a holiday occasion.


Mezcandalosa mezcal cocktail with Kumquats, mint & rosemary | Something New For Dinner There is a fun family story behind naming this holiday cocktail. You will have to read the headnotes of the recipe to get the details, but suffice it to say my son's girlfriend Caley came up with the name. It is a blend of the word mezcal and scandalosa, the Spanish name for scandalous. The idea is that when you begin to partake in this delicious mezcal, kumquat, mint and rosemary cocktail scandalous things are bound to happen. Check it out; it's a virtual party in a glass!
What readers say about this holiday cocktail: 
  • "Absolutely delicious! Refreshing and tasty!" -- Eric

Old School Bourbon Eggnog

This delicious eggnog is based on a recipe from the original Joy of Cooking cookbook, originally published in 1931. People must have been hardier in those days, because I cut back on the booze significantly. If you have never tasted a great eggnog, this is your opportunity.
I love this old picture from my early days of blogging. The quality of the picture is not great, but I love how I have captured a picture of our Boston Terrier puppies hanging with our Frenchie in front of a fire in the background. Sweet memories!
What readers say about this holiday cocktail: 
  • "This is the most delicious eggnog I have ever tasted!!! Thank you for posting the recipe! -- Janis Allen

OMG That's Good Martini

OMG That's Good Chocolate Martini | Something New For Dinner If a chocolate martini sounds too sweet to you, keep an open mind. This chocolate martini is delicious, not overly sweet and oh-so-easy to make. It is a nice substitute for dessert and a festive finish to a holiday meal.   Cheers and have a wonderful holiday season!  

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