Best Twists on Classic Holiday Cocktails

by Alexandra Appino-Tabone

Champagne is a classic, wine is a given, and eggnog is a crowd-pleaser; but they’re so…expected. Mix it up this holiday season with these fresh takes on sparkling, spiced, and sip-friendly glasses of cheer.




Black Velvet 

I’m a French 75 kind of girl. I also enjoy a hearty Irish stout from time to time. Black Velvet is the holiday love child of these classics. Add 4 parts champagne to 1 part black Irish stout, and you’ve got yourself a frothy, bubbly, golden-hued delight. This is going to be my new favorite drink.


Gingerbread Eggnog White Russian

This is just your run of the mill holiday dessert drink on steroids. Add 4 oz. eggnog, 4 oz. vodka, 4 oz. Kahlua, 3 tsp. molasses, and 1/8 tsp. ginger to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake. Wet the rim of each glass and dip into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Then pour the contents of the shaker into the glasses and top with whipped cream and a drizzle of molasses for the sweetest buzz.





This festive bubble bomb is equal parts pretty and delicious. It owes its rosy color to a splash of cranberry juice added to 1 part Triple Sec and 4 parts champagne.



Pomegranate Moscow Mule

The only thing I love more than fresh rosemary on my plate is fresh rosemary in my drink. Which is why this will probably go down as my second favorite on the list. In a festive glass, stir together 2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. pomegranate juice, 1 tbs. pomegranate seeds, 1 tbs. lime juice, 1 tsp. honey, and ½ c. ice. Top with a splash of ginger beer and a sprig of fresh rosemary. The tartness from the pomegranate, spice from the ginger beer, and herbaceous warmth from the rosemary delivers all the comfort of Christmas dinner with a kick.



Warm Bourbon Cider

Forget chamomile tea. This is what I drink when I can’t sleep. Heat 1 gal. fresh apple cider, 5 tsp. ground cinnamon, 2 ½ tsp. ground nutmeg, and 2 ½ tsp. ground ginger in a stockpot. Remove the mixture from the heat before it reaches a boil and add 3 c. bourbon. Stir and pour into steaming mugs.