• Elizabeth Listerman

DIY Holiday Cocktails

It is that time of the year again! The seasons have changed— snow is falling, the wind is howling, lights are dancing, and the wood stoves are burning! It is the most wonderful time of the year—and hopefully, we can end 2020 on a high note and kick this horrendous year behind us.

2020 has been a year. A horrible year. The world has been rocked— forever. It is important that we celebrate the holidays the right way— safely, happily, and of course by taking a moment to be thankful to have made it through this year with your loved ones by your side. Many families have lost someone dear to them this year, many families are struggling to stay afloat, and many families will be separated and alone this holiday season. Take a second and be grateful that you have come this far, and you are continuing to come this far. Stay positive and have a wonderful holiday season!

With that being said, let’s get creative and try something unique this holiday season. Fall is gone and winter is here. Do you know what that means?! Apple, pumpkin, maple, and nutty flavors are being kicked out the door! Now it’s time to end the year with flavors that will make your tastebuds cheer with delight: gingerbread, orange, cranberry, eggnog, peppermint, and a whole lot of whiskey are coming your way. These flavors will wrap you up in a blanket of childhood nostalgia, Christmas cheer, and of course a slight buzz of wonderful giddiness. Let’s make some homemade cocktails and channel our inner bartender!

Bartending utensils you might need: (only the basics)

· Jigger (or shot glass for measurement)

· Cocktail shaker

· Stirring spoon

· Rocks glasses

· punch bowl or pitcher

· Knife (for cutting garnishes)

· Cutting board (for cutting garnishes)

· Any festive glasses

(image by Smells Like Home)

The Mistletoe Kiss

Yields: 2 cocktails

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Total time: 12 minutes

Ingredients for Rosemary Simple Syrup:

· ½ cup of water

· ½ cup granulated sugar

· 1 sprig rosemary

Ingredients for Small Batch of Mistletoe Kiss:

· 6 oz vodka (Tito’s)

· 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

· 2 oz rosemary simple syrup

· Top off with club soda

· Handful of fresh cranberries (frozen is also fine)

· 2 sprigs rosemary

Instructions for Rosemary simple syrup:

· Combine water and sugar in small saucepan and set over medium-high heat.

· Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.

· Allow mixture to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and drop in rosemary sprig.

· Allow rosemary to steep for 15 minutes.

· Discard rosemary.

· Pour simple syrup into a glass jar, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.

Instructions for Cocktail:

· Pour vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a drink shaker filled with ice.

· Cover and shake well to blend.

· Divide drink mix between two rocks glasses filled with ice, straining the ice from the shaker as you pour.

· Fill glass ¾ full.

· Top with club soda, and a few cranberries for garnish.

· Add a sprig of rosemary.

· Voila!


(image by HalfBakedHarvest)

Gingerbread White Russian

Yields: 1 cocktail but the syrup serves up to 16 drinks

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for Gingerbread Syrup:

· ¼ cup honey

· 3 tbs molasses

· 1 1/3 cup water

· 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced

· 2 cinnamon sticks

· 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Gingerbread Russian:

· 2 oz vodka

· 1 ½ oz Kahlua

· 1-2 oz gingerbread syrup

· 1-2 oz heavy cream

· Cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies for garnish

Instructions for gingerbread syrup:

· In a medium pot, combine water, honey, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon.

· Bring to a boil over high heat.

· Boil 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.

· Stir in the vanilla.

· Let cool.

· Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Instructions for Cocktail:

· Fill glass with ice.

· Add the vodka, Kahlua, and gingerbread syrup.

· Stir gently.

· Add the heavy cream and stir to combine.

· Garnish with cinnamon sticks and gingerbread cookies.

· Yay!


(image by HalfBakedHarvest)

Holly Jolly Christmas Citrus Cocktail

Yields: 1 cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


· 2 oz vodka

· ½ oz St. Germain (elderflower liquor)

· 1/3 cup freshly squeezed clementine or blood orange juice

· Ginger beer to top it off

· Pomegranate arils, for garnish

· 1 sprig fresh thyme or mint, for garnish


· Fill a cocktail glass with ice.

· Add the vodka, elderflower liquor, and clementine juice.

· Top with ginger beer.

· Add the pomegranates and thyme or mint.

· Enjoy!


(image by HalfBakedHarvest)

Cranberry Bourbon Sour

Yields: 6 cocktails

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


· ½ cup maple syrup

· 2 cups fresh cranberries

· Zest 1 large orange

· 8 oz bourbon

· 4 oz lemon juice

· 1 cup 100% cranberry juice

· 4 oz lemon juice

· 3-4 dashes orange bitters

· 1 blood orange or regular orange, sliced

· A couple of rosemary sprigs

Instructions for Cranberry Syrup:

· In a medium pot, bring ½ cup water, maple syrup, and cranberries to a boil over high heat.

· Boil 5 minutes or until cranberries begin to burst.

· Remove from heat.

· Stir in the orange zest, if the syrup thickens too quickly just add additional water to thin.

· Let cool.

· If desired strain out the cranberries.

Instructions for Cocktail:

· In a punch bowl combine cranberry syrup, bourbon, lemon juice, cranberry juice, and orange bitters.

· Stir to combine, chill until ready to serve.

· Serve over ice.

· Garnish with an orange slice and rosemary sprig.


Tada! Enjoy these safely and surrounded by the people you love!

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