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10 Cocktails to Help You Ring in the Holiday Season

On the 10th day of cocktails my true love gave to me…

The holidays are here so we’re getting in the festive spirit with 10 cocktails sure to delight. These recipes are perfect for any time between now and New Year. Plus, they’re delicious and oh so simple—bartending certification not required. So grab your shaker, strainer, and favorite liquor, because we’re boozing up the holidays.

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Maple Margarita

Just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean we need to shelf the tequila. While a fruity margarita might be something we reserve for a warm summer night or what we sip poolside, there is a variation perfect for accompanying any holiday dinner. The maple margarita from Patrón calls for 1.5 ounces of their silver tequila, three-quarters of an ounce of their Citrónge Orange, a quarter ounce of mezcal, one ounce of maple syrup, and one ounce of lime juice. Once mixed, strained, and poured over ice, you’ll have yourself a surprisingly sweet and festive margarita.

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Apple Punch

And for those who can’t stomach tequila (because maybe someone drank a little too much of it in college), there’s another equally delightful cocktail that’s perfect to accompany a big meal and might better suit your taste. This apple punch is simple and perfect for those without a bar kit. All you need is a punch bowl and these ingredients: 26 ounces of NOLET’s silver gin, 13 ounces of apple juice or cider, 6.5 ounces of lime juice, 6.5 ounces of honey, and two sliced apples. In a punch bowl, mix the ingredients until honey is dissolved and then you’re done and it’s ready to pour over ice. It’s simple, it’s tasty, and one punch bowl will fill up your household.

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Pumpkin Pie Martini

And what would this time of year be without pumpkin pie? For those looking to drink this dessert rather than eat it (though why not both?), there’s a cocktail just for you. 3 Yummy Tummie’s pumpkin pie martini combines everything we love about the holidays with everything we love about being 21+. This martini calls for flavored vodka—meaning no simple syrup creations necessary—and is topped exactly like you would your pie, with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream.

PHOTO: Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock
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White Christmas Martini

And here’s another spin on a classic martini. Inspired by Charm created a perfectly creamy, snow-white martini to get us through the holidays. The White Christmas Martini is creamy, sweet, chocolatey, and surprisingly boozy. It’s the perfect drink for someone looking to indulge this holiday season.

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Melted Snowman

And not far off from the White Christmas martini is the Melted Snowman, another cream and vodka filled drink (’tis the season!). This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is easy to follow and so simple to make—top with two pieces of chocolate and an orange jimmie to make this holiday cocktail all the more festive.

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Eggnog is the obvious drink of choice at Christmas, so of course, it made it on the list! It’s traditional, and there’s a good chance your family has their own variation of the recipe, but if not, we found the one you can make for many Decembers to come. Food Network’s Alton Brown shared his own version of the popular drink, and close to 300 people have made it their nog of choice. While this recipe is his, you can make this drink yours by using your favorite bourbon (the options are endless).

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Mulled Wine

We’ve finally made it to the warm drink of the list—it’s winter after all! Mulled wine is a traditional Christmas drink in the UK made of warmed wine and mulled spices. It’s perfect for warming up the cold winter days, so why not try it at your holiday party? This recipe from Gimme Some Oven is a bit more involved than some cocktails that require just a simple pouring of ingredients over ice, but the outcome is delicious, warm, and perfect for the holidays.

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Peppermint White Russian

While the White Russian is probably a drink you already associate with winter, we wanted to give you a twist perfect for the holidays. The Peppermint White Russian from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie combines two December favorites: the creamy, coffee liquor cocktail and candy canes. This fresh take on the classic is both sweet and crisp, perfect for a warm night around the fire.

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Holiday Mojito

While cranberries aren’t necessarily a winter food, their flavor is typically reserved for winter holidays. Why eat cranberry sauce when you can have the tart fruit right in your drink? This holiday mojito from As Easy as Apple Pie is not far off from your standard mojito, give or take a few cranberry add-ons. Following this recipe, you’ll create a simple syrup from cranberries that is both tart and sweet, the perfect accompaniment to this classic mint and lime cocktail. In addition to tasting festive, it also looks it—the perfect shade of light red to serve on Christmas eve (top with fresh cranberries for an additional, “look at them go above and beyond”).

PHOTO: Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock
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Golden Champagne

And we can’t forget New Year’s Eve. While the drink of choice will always be a freshly popped bottle of champagne, there’s no reason to not get a little creative with your pre- and post-midnight cocktails. The golden champagne is perfect for the occasion, matching the glitz and glam of the night while also sticking to drink-tradition. Over at The Flavor Bender, we learned that creating this cocktail that looks almost too pretty to drink (or maybe too much like paint to drink) is much simpler than meets the eye. So whip up a batch and pour glasses high this New Year’s, because the celebration to end of this horrid year deserves pretty drinks aplenty (emphasis on the aplenty).