10 Cocktails With a Festive Twist

10 Cocktails With a Festive Twist

The holiday season is in full swing, and for many of us, that means spending plenty of quality time with our loved ones. The season’s frequent parties also provide the perfect opportunity for cocktail lovers to indulge in their favorites so, we’ve curated a list of the best Christmas cocktails to enjoy this winter.

And because we believe enjoying cocktails with friends shouldn’t have to mean being stuck in the kitchen, we’ve included NIO Cocktails premixed suggestions so you can be in the moment while entertaining at home. NIO Cocktails is not just a great way to enjoy top mixology at home. It’s a flat box which makes it easy to have a sleek home bar in the most unexpected places. From your kitchen to your living room, it becomes a talking point at every gathering.

Discover our top 10 cocktails with a festive twist, ahead.

1. Christmas Margarita

A delicious addition to festive gatherings large and small, this classic cocktail boasts a splash of cranberry juice for a festive twist. Try it out and discover why our Christmas Margarita is one of our favorite tropical Christmas cocktails.


  • 3 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. triple sec or orange liqueur
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • Lime slice, orange slice, cranberries, rosemary for garnish

2. Spiced Sidecar

Update your classic sidecar by swapping regular cognac for a winter-spiced version. You can also use bourbon if you prefer it to cognac—either way, this spiced Christmas cocktail is the perfect remedy for a chilly winter day..


  • 1 ⅔ oz. spiced cognac (recipe below)
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice, plus a lemon wedge for the glass
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For Spiced Cognac: 

  • 6 ¾ oz.  cognac
  • 4 cardamom pods (bruised by cracking open on a cutting board)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 small slices ginger

3. Winter Sidecar

Another Sidecar variation, this time with a subtle tropical twist. Warm cinnamon paired with sweet clementine makes for one of the more memorable tropical Christmas drinks


  • ½ oz. clementine juice 
  • 1 ⅔ oz. cognac
  • 1 oz. Martini Bianco
  • Ground cinnamon to taste

4. Mulled Old Fashioned

Take the signature warmth of an Old Fashioned and make it even warmer by pairing it with mulled wine. This updated yet traditional spicy Christmas drink is ideal for sipping by the fire after dinner — or anytime the mood strikes. 


Mulled Syrup (makes approximately 15 oz): 

  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 10 ½ oz. oz granulated sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • A few nutmeg gratings 

Old Fashioned:

  • 1 ½ oz. bourbon whiskey
  • ½ oz. mulled syrup
  • 2-3 drops chocolate bitters
  • A strip of lemon peel

5. Mistletoe Manhattan

Cranberries put a fun (and delicious) holiday spin on the classic Manhattan. Sipping it under the mistletoe is optional — savoring it with loved ones, however, is a must. 


  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • ½ oz. maraschino cherry juice
  • ½ oz. cranberry juice
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherries, sugared cranberries and rosemary for garnish

6. Winter Daiquiri

A Daiquiri with spice is extra nice. Darker spirits and bitters create complex flavors designed for slower sipping. Don’t be surprised if this quickly becomes one of your favorite spiced rum holiday drinks.


  • 1 ⅔ oz. dark spiced rum
  • ¾ oz. clementine juice
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish


Pretend it’s summer and blend your drink with ice to create festive frozen Christmas cocktails that your guests will love.

7. Gingerbread Espresso Martini

This velvety-smooth Gingerbread Espresso Martini is one of the more savory Christmas cocktails you’ll find this season. It’s the ideal pick-me-up for chilly days — or as a delicious (and boozy) alternative to dessert.


  • 1 ⅔ oz. Ketel One vodka
  • ¾ oz. espresso coffee, chilled
  • ½ oz. gingerbread syrup
  • 3 coffee beans for garnish

8. Christmas Mocktail

Get merry with a mocktail by blending winter fruits with warm cinnamon spice. This non-alcoholic option is an ideal offering for guests who may be driving. It’s also a useful way to avoid a sore head the next morning!


  • 2 large wedges oranges
  • 1 tsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Soda water
  • 1 stick cinnamon to serve

9. Apple Cider Rum Punch

If you’re hosting a dinner party or having a few friends round, this spicy Christmas cocktail is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 


  • 12 ½ cups apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • Dash of salt

10. Spiced Negroni

A list of Christmas spiced cocktails isn’t complete without the Spiced Negroni. This drink blends a summertime classic with distinct festive flavors, giving you the best of both seasons all in one satisfying sip. 


  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. red vermouth
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 allspice berries
  • Orange peel for garnish

For more festive favorites to enjoy all season long, build a box of your favorite pre-mixed NIO Cocktails.