Holiday Cocktail Ideas

Just a spoonful of cinnamon sugar (and some pumpkin, buttered rum and autumn fruits) and you’ve got yourself a reason to celebrate this season. Sick of pumpkin spice lattes yet? We didn’t think so. But just in case you wanted to combine your love of the season with your passion for clinking glasses with your besties, we’ve scoured the web for the most mouthwatering cocktails inspired by your favorite autumn ingredients. Cheers!

The best holiday cocktails

The holiday season is a great time to celebrate, especially after the year we’ve all had. While all of these holiday cocktails contain alcohol, they can easily be made into mocktails by skipping the alcohol.

Fig bubbly

If you’re on the champagne campaign (and who can blame you?), you know don’t want to add too much flavor to distract from your bubbly beverage. Which is why fig makes the perfect fruit to mix with your sparkling wine. Simply slice one fig into about ¼-inch thick pieces and let the parts soak for a few minutes before adding just a teaspoon of sugar. If you’re really trying to get fancy, make a fig syrup by boiling water along with the sugar and figs until it’s reached a simmer. Use leftover pieces as a garnish and Instagram away.

Get the recipe: Valley & Co. Lifestyle

Apple pie moonshine

Okay, so this isn’t technically moonshine, given the fact that distilling your own liquor is illegal in the U.S. (without proper licensing). But it’s definitely the closest we’re going to get. The good news is that this version is seriously delicious, especially when paired with some favorite fall ingredients like apple cider and cinnamon. Try using real sticks to let the flavor simmer while you sip. One note: consider yourself warned – this cocktail is no joke. It’s made with 190 proof grain alcohol, so you definitely want to be cautious.

Get the recipe: Sweet C’s Designs

Caramel apple sangria

While most wine enthusiasts will swap a cold, crisp glass of white for a warm, deep glass of red once the cold weather sets in, this creation may be the exception to the rule. Think of it as hot apple cider’s refrigerated sister, only better because it also contains gooey caramel. You’ll definitely want to use a dessert white wine like moscato as a base, or if you’re not that big into sweets, try a drier white wine like pinot grigio. You can also use a sugar-free caramel syrup if too much of the sweet stuff upsets your stomach.

Get the recipe: A Night Owl Blog

Autumn sangria

Sangria isn’t just for summer – trust us. Let us introduce to you the delicious fruits of early autumn: fig, dried apricots, plums and pears. The combination of the pear and apricot adds a sweetness that’s countered perfectly with the bitterness brought in by the plum. The fig also adds a nice nutty flavor. This cocktail is best prepared with a light red like pinot noir. For added flavor, throw in some sparkling pear juice. Yum!

Get the recipe: Boulder Locavore

Whipped pumpkin cocktail

Most of us are already well versed when it comes to pumpkin-flavored beers, but adding everyone’s favorite fall flavor to an actual cocktail beverage—especially one that also calls for whipped cream—is a no-brainer. Imagine if you could turn your favorite pumpkin pie recipe into a delectable libation that was far less heavier but just as delicious. That’s exactly what you’ll get from mixing these five easy ingredients together.

Get the recipe: Real House Moms

Apple cider margarita

Though you might not be sitting on a beach in Mexico anytime soon, tequila can still hold a special place in your heart (or liquor cabinet). It might seem a little off to pair your fave liquor with some cinnamon sugar and apple cider, you can never go wrong when margarita-making is involved. For an oakier flavor, use gold tequila with one ounce of Grand Marnier for a sweeter kick. Garnish the rim of the glass with some cane sugar and cinnamon, and use a cinnamon stick as a stirrer. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila – more?

Get the recipe: How Sweet Eats

Pumpkin chai hot buttered rum

Rum kings and queens of the world, we haven’t forgotten you. We’ve simply saved the best for last. This seasonal cocktail features a favorite wintertime drink—hot buttered rum—so you can really keep this party going all the way through February. The only difference here is the addition of pumpkin (gotta have it) and chai spices of cardamom and black pepper. Top with a scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt and you might never get up off the couch!

Get the recipe: White Lights on Wednesday

Jenn Sinrich is an editor in New York City, a self-proclaimed foodie always looking for the healthier version of all recipes, a passionate lover of all things cheese, a friendly New Yorker, Bostonian at heart and proud Red Sox fan. Love cats? Cheese? Mac n' Cheese? Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.