10 Recipes for a Virtual Holiday Cocktail Tasting

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Yummy Christmas cocktails can spice up any holiday party, even if it's a virtual celebration! Check out these tips for how to organize a virtual holiday cocktail tasting then get suggestions for delicious recipes from the list below that will warm everyone’s spirits. 

  • Invitation: Gather all of your besties from near and far for a fun evening of mixology. Send a festive Christmas online invitation to share details about your event and gather RSVPs. In addition to the event details, like day and time, you can also include a link for your event (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.).

  • Holiday Spirit: Encourage guests to wear festive attire to help give the party a celebratory mood. You could ask everyone to don their favorite holiday ugly sweater or opt for something a bit more upscale. You are doing a cocktail tasting, after all. Cocktail attire might be appropriate. 

  • Music: Assign one of your guests to be the DJ for the night. This person is tasked with creating a holiday playlist that will play in the background. Nothing too loud -- you still want to be able to catch up and need to hear each other over the music. 

  • Cocktails: Share a handful of recipes with guests in advance so they can pick out what they want to try. Most people will need to shop for ingredients in advance. See below for a list of our top 10 holiday cocktails. There's something for everyone on this list. 

  • Compare Notes: Ask everyone to rate their cocktail! Would they make it again? How easy/difficult was it to make? What would you do differently next time? This way everyone can learn a little bit about the various holiday drinks on the list -- and can keep it in mind for next time! 
Here are the top 10 Christmas cocktails recipes to try:

  1. Candy Cane Cocktail: Festive Christmas cocktails add to the cheery atmosphere. For this drink, combine 2 ounces strawberry vodka, 4 dashes white creme de menthe, 2 ½ ounces cranberry juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Combine well and strain into glasses. Use crushed candy cane as a garnish around the rim.

  2. The Blizzard: Hot Christmas cocktails are a comforting beverage when it’s cold outside. In a glass coffee mug, stir together 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey or rum, ½ ounce hazelnut liqueur, and ½ ounce Irish cream liqueur. Top with hot coffee and a dollop of whipped cream.

  3. Pear and Cranberry Bellini: This pretty drink pairs well with elegant bites. In a small pitcher, combine 1 cup pear nectar and 1 cup cranberry juice cocktail. Set out 8 champagne glasses and pour ¼ cup of the juice mixture into each. Finish by topping off with Prosecco or another dry sparkling white wine.
  4. Eggnog Martini: This Christmas cocktail recipe puts a new spin on an old classic. Stir in your favorite brandy with either homemade or store-bought eggnog and ladle into glasses garnished with pumpkin-pie spice. If you’re feeling adventurous, try this homemade eggnog recipe.

  5. Kumquat-Champagne Cocktail: Spreading good cheer is easy with this sparkling drink. Prick two pints of kumquats with a pin and cover with cold water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then drain immediately. Repeat this process twice and then add 3 cups sugar and 2 cups water to the drained kumquats in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat immediately. Let your kumquats and syrup cool completely. To serve, spoon 3 kumquats and 1 tablespoon syrup each into 12 glasses and top off with champagne.
  6. Berry Little Cocktail: Lend some festive fizz to your holiday bash with this light and bright drink. Dissolve ½ cup sugar into 1 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a cup of fresh cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes or until softened before removing from the stove and letting cool. Strain your berries and place them on a tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. For each drink you will need to chill 2 ounces of champagne, 1 ounce ruby red grapefruit vodka, 1 ounce cranberry juice, and 1 ounce black currant juice. Mix liquids in a champagne glass and garnish with a skewer of 4 or 5 frozen candied cranberries.

  7. Mulled Wine: Warm Christmas cocktails are a toasty treat. Start by zesting and then juicing a large orange. With the flat side of a knife, bruise two cardamom pods and combine with the zest, juice, 6 whole cloves, 6 allspice berries, 6 whole black peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cups of fruity red wine, ½ cup of sugar, and ¼ cup of brandy in a large non-aluminium pot. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the flavors have melded (approximately 30 minutes). Pour through a fine-mesh sieve and serve immediately.

  8. Winter Solstice Cocktail: A citrusy delight for your tastebuds! Combine 1 ½ ounces orange vodka, ½ ounce orange-flavored liqueur, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, and ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a splash of chilled club soda and garnish with a mint leaf and raspberry.
  9. White Cosmopolitan: Perfect for a chilly, sophisticated Christmas cocktail. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then add 1 cup white-cranberry juice, 4 ounces vodka, and 2 ounces Cointreau. Shake to combine well and strain into large martini glasses. Serves 2.
  10. Gin Fizz: Invented in New Orleans in 1888, this concoction has a distinctive frothy cap. In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce gin, 3 dashes fresh lime juice, 3 dashes lemon juice, 3 dashes orangeflower water, 2 teaspoons superfine sugar, 1 large white egg, ¼ cup light cream, and ice. Shake vigorously and pour into your cocktail glass. Top with ¼ cup seltzer and garnish with ground cinnamon.
With so many delicious cocktails from which to choose, there is certainly something for everyone at your virtual holiday cocktail tasting! 
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