3 Cocktails for the Holiday Season

22 Nov, 2018

Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us; it’s time to raise a glass with friends and family!

Here are 3 of our favourite cocktail recipes that are perfect for celebrating…

Pumpkin Spice Martini

Pumpkin Spice Martini Holiday Cocktails Winerist

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Pumpkin spice ‘everything’ has become a bit of a cliché for the holiday season it’s true, but it is just too good to give up. Even those of us that roll our eyes at it secretly love to pick up a pumpkin flavoured treat when no one is watching. Perhaps the best place to find this autumnal guilty pleasure is on the dining table on Thanksgiving Day. However, if you don’t have enough room for the pumpkin pie this year, or if you have some vegan friends or family members coming over, you can try this recipe to satisfy your cravings.


  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tbsp. pure pumpkin (fresh is best!)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. vodka
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 cup crushed ice

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Mix together all the spices except the brown sugar in a bowl. Separate ¼ tsp of the spice blend, mix it with the brown sugar, then spread it on a small plate. Run the orange slice around the rim of your martini glass and dip the glass into the mixture on the plate. Pour all the remaining ingredients into a shaker, shake well, and pour. Garnish with a small orange slice or twist and a cinnamon stick.

Traditional Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine Holiday Cocktails Winerist

Records of wine being spiced date back to 2nd century Rome while the first actual mention of mulled wine appears in a late 14th-century English cookbook. The drink didn’t truly become popular until it began appearing in the works of Charles Dickens, including A Christmas Carol. Everyone, English and otherwise, can enjoy a warm cup of mulled wine on a cold day. It goes wonderfully with gingerbread which makes it the perfect drink to have with dessert after Christmas dinner and a few Christmas cocktails.


  • 1 bottle of red wine (merlot works well with its soft, fruitiness)
  • 1 peeled and sliced orange
  • ¼ cup of brandy
  • 8 whole cloves
  • Honey (or sugar) to taste
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp. allspice

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Mix all the ingredients in a slow cooker or large pot and slowly warm on low to medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Be careful to avoid boiling. Stir on occasion to make sure the honey or sugar has fully dissolved. When the wine begins to steam, it is ready to serve.

New Year’s Cocktail

New Year’s Cocktail Holiday Cocktails Winerist

Whether you are in Times Square watching the ball drop or hosting a party in your living room, New Year’s Eve should not be easily forgotten by you or any of your old acquaintances. One way to make the day memorable is to serve a unique cocktail with bubbles. Here’s a simple bubbly cocktail recipe that is perfect for a New Year’s Eve party.


  • 3 oz. sparkling wine
  • ½ oz. apricot brandy
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup


Pour all the ingredients except the champagne into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Pour the ingredients into a glass and top with sparkling wine and garnish with mint or a lemon twist.

Want more recipes? See this piece on Thanksgiving cocktails, or this one on how to drink like James Bond. If you’d rather someone made them for you however, then why not check out these fabulous cocktail bars in NYC. Cheers from Winerist!

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