Usually, you know it’s the holiday season once you get into an argument in a crowded food court while Mariah Carey sings that one Christmas song that makes her a lot of money in the background. But this year is obviously pretty different. You’re going to have to supply your own holiday spirit, and one easy way to do so is by making some festive cocktails. Don’t know where to start? Read on for some of my favorite celebratory drinks that will make your apartment feel like a claymation wonderland where the snow tastes like vodka.
There’s a three-month window when hot cocktails reach their full potential, and we’re entering it right now. Eggnog is obviously an appropriately festive choice, but the thing about Eggnog is that it’s about as heavy as latex paint or an oatmeal-based smoothie. So go with a Hot Toddy instead. It’s a soothing drink with honey and lemon, and there are some light arts-and-crafts involved, in case you ran out of activities several months ago.
There are plenty of cocktails made with Champagne, but there’s only one true Champagne Cocktail. This drink was invented shortly after the Industrial Revolution, and it’s still around today, due to the fact that it tastes really good. As an added bonus, you only need a couple of ingredients - and there’s no shaking or stirring required. So if you need to make something quick at 11:59pm on December 31st, this is the correct answer.
At any other time of the year, a regular Southside would do just fine. But right now, you need a Southside Royale. The “royale” part just means that you add Champagne - and few things feel more celebratory than expensive French bubbles. That said, you can also use a dry cava or prosecco (both of which are considerably more affordable) for this minty gin cocktail.
Rum and Champagne are two of the most delicious things on this planet. You should, therefore, do your best to drink both of these things at the same time. The easiest - and best - way to do so is by making an Airmail. This is a supremely underrated cocktail, and it’s ideal for when you need a holiday drink that also vaguely reminds you of summer.
Thanks in part to a certain fictional British spy who appreciates a good tux, the Martini is a go-to drink for any sort of black-tie affair. And this makes perfect sense. The Martini is simple and elegant, and the fact that it’s colorless means it’ll match anything you’re wearing. So if you’re getting all dressed up for an unofficial gala in your apartment, make a couple of Vespers. This is the Martini variation invented by the author of James Bond, and it’s the rare cocktail that has both gin and vodka.
Technically, a Clover Club qualifies as holiday decor. It’s pink and fluffy, and the berries on top will match any holly or poinsettias you’ve elegantly placed around your home. That should be reason enough for you to make this all-time classic, but if you need more motivation, consider the fact that a Clover Club tastes like alcoholic raspberry ice cream. The not-so-secret ingredient is a raw egg white - and if you have yet to put an egg white in a cocktail, now’s the perfect time to try it out.
A well-made Penicillin is smoky, spicy, nuanced, and luxurious. It’s something you want to drink by a fireplace while you watch Gremlins, Home Alone, or another classic holiday film that has yet to make it into the Criterion Collection. The only catch is, this scotch-based modern classic requires both ginger and honey syrup - but both of these things are easy to make, and there’s a good chance you have plenty of time on your hands anyway.
At some point, cranberries became the official fruit of the holiday season. And we have no complaints about this, because it means you can make a Cosmopolitan and call it a holiday drink. Granted, we tend to make ours with raspberries, but just go with the version that speaks to you on a spiritual level. We have recipes for both.