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Since at least the day after Thanksgiving, you’ve been subjected to countless Christmas carols, masses of tinsel and hoards of crazed shoppers. It’s been...a lot. But now, it’s time to sit back and put a well-deserved drink in hand.
No matter if you’re planning a big family meal or a low-key gathering, a great Christmas cocktail should be on the menu (These are so good you’ll want to make them even if you’re not celebrating the holiday.)
From a decadent bourbon-and-spiced-rum Eggnog that’s perfect for Christmas Eve to the crowd-pleasing and celebratory Kir Royale, these are a few stellar ideas for what to drink during this holly jolly holiday.
Forget milk on Christmas Eve. After a long night of delivering presents to all the good boys and girls, Santa needs a stiff cocktail. That’s where the Tom & Jerry comes in. The recipe for this historic and creamy cognac-and-rum drink comes from cocktail historian and writer David Wondrich. Best of all, it pairs beautifully with gingerbread cookies.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be related to master mixologist Dale DeGroff to use his uncle’s recipe for Eggnog. He’ll just share it with you right here. The recipe, which calls for both bourbon and spiced rum, is one of the best we’ve tasted. Go ahead, have a second glass. It’s Christmas, after all.
Need a seasonal drink that serves the whole family? Try this classic double-liquor punch from Wondrich. It’s a potent elixir, but it goes down easily and pairs well with traditional holiday items, from cookies to ham. Mix a batch before you decorate the tree, or have one handy to quench thirsts while you’re opening presents or singing carols.
Hosting friends and family on Christmas Day? Make this citrus-and-rum punch from all-star New York bartender Phil Ward. It pairs nicely with sweet treats like gingerbread cookies as well as savory snacks. And with a large batch at the ready, you won’t have to play bartender all day.
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If you’re having a white (or just plain frigid) Christmas, the perfect beverage is this classic hot elixir. You can even make the batter, which includes ice cream, spices and, of course, butter, ahead. Then when it’s time to serve your guests, all you’ll need do is add a spoonful of the batter, some hot water and a bit of rum to a mug. Effortless entertaining ahead.
The spiced Christmastime drink known as coquito is a tradition in Puerto Rico. This recipe comes from talented New York bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez and combines your choice of rum, cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It will definitely satisfy—and satiate—a thirsty crowd.
Planning a Yuletide brunch? Whip together this frothy New Orleans classic. It, of course, features brandy as well as milk, vanilla, powdered sugar and nutmeg. It’s the perfect addition to your waffles and eggs Benedict, and it can, yes, really liven up a bowl of cereal.
Class up any party by serving this elegant two-ingredient drink. Just mix some sweet crème de Cassis with dry sparkling wine right in your flute, and you’re done. If you want to get fancy—hey, this is Christmas—add a lemon twist for its fragrant aroma and pop of color.