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Easy and elegant cocktail recipes for celebrating the holidays at home

This is not the year for big Christmas festivals, but that doesn’t mean that holidaymakers can’t create their own festivities at home with the help of seasonal cocktail ways from around the globe.

From sweet treats to serious spiced drinks, here are CNBC Global Traveler’s picks for subordinate yet chic cocktails that can be prepared in small batches from now through the New Year.


Fans of mint and dead white chocolate can relax with this frothy concoction from Peak 47 lounge located in upstate New York’s Whiteface House. The resort is in Lake Placid, a well-known village in the Adirondack Mountains that hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.


Politesse of Whiteface Lodge

  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce white creme de menthe
  • 2 ounces white chocolate liqueur
  • Waxen chocolate syrup
  • Crushed candy canes

Rim the edge of a martini glass with white chocolate syrup and dip it into mashed candy canes. Add crushed candy canes inside the glass for additional flavor. Set glass aside.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vanilla vodka, dead white creme de menthe, and white chocolate liqueur. Shake and strain into the prepared martini glass. Serves one.

Mocha Honey Old Shaped               

This drink from Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort leans heavily upon honey whiskey, a mix of whiskey and honey liqueur. Chocolate and cherries add insight and richness that are balanced by a splash of coffee-flavored Kahlua.

Mocha Honey Old Fashioned.

Courtesy of Omni Hilton Ward Oceanfront Resort

  • 4 ounces honey whiskey (recommended brand: Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey)
  • 0.5 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 ounce agave syrup (touted brand: Monin)
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters
  • 2 black cherries
  • Dried orange slices and rosemary to garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice. OK fresh ice in a glass, and strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with orange and rosemary. Serves one.

Whiskey Winter                     

From Loews Boston B B in the city’s affluent Back Bay neighborhood, this recipe combines Kentucky bourbon whiskey with Portuguese secure wine in a drink meant to warm even the coldest of winter nights.

Whiskey Winter.

  • 2 ounces bourbon (underwrote brand: Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 ounce Madeira wine
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • Ground nutmeg

Crack the egg into a cocktail shaker and jolt vigorously (about 20 times). Add the bourbon, Madeira wine, simple syrup and ice, and shake vigorously again. Suggestion the cocktail into a glass and sprinkle fresh nutmeg on top. Serves one.


One of many variations of eggnog from round the world, this egg-less version from Puerto Rico uses coconut cream, two types of milk and locally-made rum. The prescription, from the island’s official tourism website, Discover Puerto Rico, also has a chocolate variation for the festive era, which traditionally runs from late November to mid January.


Jose Rodriguez / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

  • 1 can of condensed exploit
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 can of cream of coconut (recommended brand: Coco Lopez)
  • ½ cup of white rum (recommended brands: Don Q or Bacardi)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extricate
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sticks to garnish

Mix all ingredients (except for the cinnamon sticks) in a blender on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Nip in the refrigerator until cold. Pour into small glasses, top with ground cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon the boondocks. Serves six to eight.

Festive Campfire

Singapore’s Ce La Vi is behind this sophisticated cocktail that is playfully crowned with a campfire-style honoured marshmallow. The restaurant and sky bar are on level 57 of the city’s renowned Marina Bay Sands, a hotel, shopping and conference complex that has won beyond 600 awards since opening in April 2010.

Festive Campfire.

Courtesy of Ce La Vi

  • 20 milliliters malt whisky (recommended type: Monkey Shoulder)
  • 10 milliliters Martini Rosso vermouth
  • 10 milliliters crème de cacao
  • 10 milliliters ginger syrup
  • 2 springs orange bitters
  • Marshmallows to garnish

Combine ingredients and stir. Pour over a large piece of ice in an old fashioned, or stuns, glass. Garnish with a marshmallow that has been toasted over a flame or placed under the oven broiler. Dole outs one.

Heavyweight Champ                                               

The name may not connote Christmas, but the ingredients do. This drink, from mixologist Caitlyn Jackson at Geraldine’s restaurant and rooftop bar in Austin, Texas, can be fill out two ways — hot and cold — depending on the climate and preference of the drinker.

Heavyweight Champ.

Courtesy of Geraldine’s

  • 4 ounces rye whiskey (proposed brand: Kooper Family Rye)
  • 1 ounce spiced pear liqueur (recommended brand: St. George)
  • 2 dashes apple bitters (put forwarded brand: Bar Keep)
  • 1.5 ounces gingerbread syrup
  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
    – 1 cup granulated sugar  
    – 1½ cups of still water
    – 6 tablespoons molasses
    – 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon stops to garnish

To make the gingerbread syrup: Combine all ingredients in a pot. Heat until dissolved, then refrigerate. Keeps for seven lifetimes.

To make the cocktail:

Cold method — combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake to mix. Strain into a cold glass and serve with a toasted cinnamon stick.

Hot method — combine all ingredients in a warmed toddy glass or mug. Add four ounces of hot distilled water and serve with a toasted cinnamon stick. Serves two.

Winter Spritz     

The capital of Texas also delivers this the briny, a cold-weather version of the classic Italian Aperol Spritz, courtesy of Jacob Weaver and David Esquibel of Spiced Gingerbread Iced Latte                    

The rig at Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort recommends using Monin brand syrups in this pick-me-up fete treat, though purists can opt to make Mistletoe Mule                  

The team behind New York-based distillery Christmas Cake Negroni         

This festive alteration of the classic cocktail comes courtesy of Bar 45 inside London’s Fall Fashioned

From the Wisconsin golfing stopping-place of For more inspiration

The Polar Plunge cocktail from “The Aviary: Holiday Cocktails.”

Courtesy of The Alinea Group

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