It’s officially the run-up to Christmas - the time of year when we make plans to get together, swap presents and savor the very best food and drink of the season. For cocktail lovers, the holiday season also provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in liqueur cocktails. As we eagerly await festive parties and family get-togethers, there’s ample opportunity to enjoy a range of great-tasting holiday cocktails.
To that end, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite liqueur drinks to enjoy this season. Whether you’re hosting a festive party or want some ideas for Christmas liqueurs to give as gifts for loved ones, we’ve got you covered. And while playing mixologist is fun, we understand that during this busy time of year, time is of the essence. So, alongside our recipe suggestions, look out for our selection of seasonal premixed cocktails.
NIO Cocktails’ award-winning cocktails are produced with top spirit brands like Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Ketel One Family Owned Vodka, Tequila Exotico 100% Blue Agave and premium Ron Santiago de Cuba. Not only are they expertly crafted, but they’re also easy to enjoy. Just shake, tear, and pour over ice!
What Is a Liqueur?
A liqueur is a product of distilled spirits with added fruits, sugar, herbs or spices. Originally invented and used for their medicinal properties, today, we use them to add bold flavor to drinks. The versatility of liqueur means there’s bound to be a taste for every palate—from light and herbal to rich and nutty. There are also whiskey liqueurs (sweetened or flavored spirits that start with a whiskey base) and liqueurs designed to be enjoyed on their own pre- or post-mealtime. So if you’re on the hunt for alcohol Christmas gifts, you’ve got plenty of choices.
Now you know more about this popular type of spirit, let’s jump into our roundup of the best liqueur-based cocktails for Christmas.
Liqueur cocktails: our top selection
1. Milano Torino
A renowned Italian cocktail and predecessor to the Negroni, the Milano Torino uses Campari as its liqueur and is a popular aperitif. While its fruitiness may seem ideal for summer, this drink’s sweet-sour taste is well-suited for spicing up winter evenings.
- 1 ½ oz. Campari
- 1 ½ oz. Martini Rosso sweet vermouth
- Orange twist for garnish
Try this on-trend cocktail in seconds with our bar quality, ready to drink Milano Torino.
The rich taste of a Boulevardier makes it a winter favorite. With warm bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitter Campari, this simple cocktail is the ideal post-dinner drink on chilly nights.
- 1 ½ oz. bourbon (or rye)
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- Orange twist for garnish
Gift your loved one with a cold weather pick-me-up they can enjoy in seconds with our Boulevardier premixed cocktail.
3. Amaretto Sour
The Amaretto Sour cocktail is named for the almond-flavored Italian liqueur it contains, as well as its distinctly tangy taste. A few dashes of bitters helps create a drink that’s perfect as a Christmas cocktail and is highly recommended for those who like old-school drinks.
- 2 oz. Amaretto liqueur
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz. pasteurised egg whites
- 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
- 1 lemon or lime slice for garnish
Now we move from Italian liqueur to French with the Bramble. Fueled by crème de mûre, a rich purple liqueur made from juicy blackberries, this fruity gin cocktail provides the perfect finishing touch for any holiday meal.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp. simple syrup
- 1 tbsp. crème de mûre
- Lemon half-wheel for garnish
- Fresh blackberry for garnish
Add a fresh, fruity flavor to your Christmas liqueur lineup with a Cosmopolitan. Made with citrusy triple sec, vodka and cranberry juice, this pale pink cocktail is perfect for cozy catch-ups with friends in the comfort of your home.
- 1 ½ oz. lemon vodka
- ½ oz. triple sec
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- Orange zest or a lime wedge on the rim of the glass for garnish
For a tangy-sweet cocktail you can sip on in seconds, try our bar quality ready to drink Cosmopolitan instead.
6. Espresso Martini
The full-bodied and sophisticated Espresso Martini is sure to be one of the most popular coffee liqueur cocktails this Christmas. A blend of coffee liqueur, bold espresso and vodka, this simple cocktail is the ultimate party drink.
- 2 oz. vodka
- ½ oz. coffee liqueur
- 1 oz. espresso, freshly brewed (or cold brew concentrate)
- Coffee beans for garnish
If you’re looking to relax with your drink quickly and easily at home, try our bar quality ready to drink Espresso Martini cocktail, a smooth classic made with Ketel One Vodka and FAIR Cafe Liqueur.
7. Black Russian
The best Christmas liqueurs are ones you can share, and with only two ingredients, a Black Russian is incredibly easy to make for a crowd. This cocktail combines vodka and Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur made with rum, sugar and arabica coffee. The Black Russian also forms the basis of its well-known successor…
White Russian variant
Created simply by adding cream to the Black Russian, the White Russian is another candidate for easy (and indulgent) homemade Christmas liqueur cocktail drinks. Whip it up in no time to impress guests at a festive dinner party or even for a casual Christmas get-together with friends.
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. Kahlúa
- 1 splash of heavy cream (White Russian only)
8. NIO Cocktail Purple Breeze
NIO Cocktails has a range of classic and signature cocktails all crafted by Master Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi, owner of Drink Kong (the 16th best bar in the world according to Top Best Bars 2022). This lavender-hued cocktail, inspired by an après ski mood, blends floral violet notes with the sharp, herbaceous flavor of Tanqueray gin. The result: A ready-to-drink cocktail that’s perfect for chilly winter evenings.Those are eight tasty suggestions for how you can enjoy liqueurs in your cocktails this holiday. In addition to making for delicious drinks, alcohol gift sets make great stocking fillers for friends, loved ones or colleagues for Secret Santa gift swaps. Another way to share great festive tastes is by gifting a customized NIO Cocktail Gift Box. NIO Cocktails has a cocktail for every home occasion and every palate, so spread the love this season!