7 Festive Holiday Cocktails to Toast the Season

December 15, 2015

What makes for a perfect holiday cocktail? We asked some of our favorite authors and local mixologists to share theirs. A mulled wine made more indulgent with rich chocolate. A warming hot buttered rum. Raise a glass with these and other go-to holiday drinks sure to make spirits bright.


Sassafras Sidecar
Photo: Claire Lloyd Davies

Sassafras Sidecar
“I love brandy-based cocktails around the holidays. The Sidecar is one that seems to take a back seat to other dark-spirit based cocktails. I love this one— it’s fun and festive and a little unexpected. A good one for the repertoire!” —Amy Zavatto, Forager’s Cocktails


Fortified Fig Manhattan
Photo: Emily Kaelin for Edible Columbus

Fortified Fig Manhattan 
“Figs often remind one of a European winter holiday. Utilizing an at-home infusion technique and a locally made bitter brand, we can bring the Old World to Columbus, [Ohio] especially when we add the triumphantly complex OYO Michelone Reserve Bourbon Whiskey to the mix. To make this Manhattan-inspired, spirituous sipper, we dip into the aforementioned lands across the sea to add a few spirit choices that enhance the flavor profile, and the time of year.” —Derek Reno, Founder/Creative Director, The Reno Reserve 



Rich Chocolate Mulled Wine
Photo: Con Poulos

Rich Chocolate Mulled Wine
“Way more indulgent than traditional mulled wine this velvety and warming hot cocktail makes a wonderful night cap for naughty Santas or with cookies as an after dinner dessert.” —Laura Santtini, At Home with Umami



hot buttered rum
Photo: Chris Chowaniec for Edible Silicon Valley

Hot Buttered Rum
“Hot Buttered Rum is very simple to make with a good quality aged rum. Some companies are even making butter balls specifically for home bartenders to easily make a delicious warm cocktail at home.“ —Matt Grippo, manager & bartender, Blackbird Bar, San Francisco


green mountain mule
Brent Harrewyn for Edible Green Mountains

Green Mountain Mule
“You’ll want to use a good-quality ginger beer rather than ginger ale, whose sugariness will overpower the subtle maple flavor. Think spicy winter tang, not summery sweetness.” —Julianne Puckett, blogger, yankeekitchenninja.com


Autumn Apple Cocktail
Photo: Sara Remington for Edible Marin and Wine Country

Autumn Apple Cocktail 
“One of my favorite drinks to make for friends around the holidays is the Autumn Apple. This tart, refreshing, and beautifully presented drink has many layers of flavor including those of ginger, lemon, apple, whiskey, and even a hint of coconut.” —Scott Beattie, Artisanal Cocktails


a wise choice cocktail from Agricola
(A Wise Choice pictured, far right) Photo: Guy Ambrosino

A Wise Choice
"This cocktail is the perfect kickoff to a party, an elegant sparkler that is both pretty and pairs nicely with rich appetizers. It’s also sophisticated yet simple. At [Agricola Restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey] we make it with our Housemade Grenadine, which takes all of 5 minutes and tastes vibrant and complex. You’ll never go back to store-bought grenadines.” —Jim Nawn, Agricola Proprietor