Bottoms up! A holiday cocktail guide

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Cocktails for the Holiday Season

Sure, the holidays are filled with family celebrations, window-shopping and endless caroling. But the season also comes with stress — traveling during the busiest season, trying to buy gifts that won’t be thrown away and hosting hopefully enjoyable parties. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve got a secret: Nothing melts away the tension of family gathering like copious amounts of eggnog. This year, take another step toward preserving your sanity while staying classy with this holiday guide to cocktails and merriment. With drinks like these, you’re sure to avoid answering the “So, what are you doing after graduation?” question and still impress Grandma. You’re welcome.

 

Peppermint Mojito

2 parts white rum

1.5 parts Peppermint Schnapps

Mint leaves

Lime

Crushed peppermint candy (for the rim)

Simple Syrup (for the rim)

This extra-minty mojito is quite the refreshing drink for a frenzied holiday season. It’s light and not overly sweet, but the Peppermint Schnapps adds an extra kick to create a mixed drink that finally masks the taste of the alcohol. The flavor ends up being subtle at best and mildly bland at worst, but that’s where the crushed peppermint candy on the rim comes into play, bringing an extra layer of sweetness that ties this drink together.

Taste: 6

Alcohol Content: 8

 

Christmas Mimosa

1 part Champagne

1 part apple cider

You really can’t go wrong with Champagne and apple cider. Full of fragrant spices and childhood nostalgia, it’s the perfect complement to the holiday brunch and, most importantly, a great excuse to start drinking in the morning.

Taste: 10

Alcohol Content: 4

 

Mulled Wine

1 bottle of a fruity red wine (We used Ménage à Trois’ Silk)

1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and then juiced (you might want to strain it to get rid of the zest)
4 whole cloves
3 star anise

This modified version of the classic mulled red wine is best enjoyed steaming hot, in a paper cup and while walking down the warmly lit streets of Paris. But if you can’t snag a last-minute plane ticket, throw the whole thing in a pot on the stove, and wait for the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and cloves to infiltrate the house. And now, there’s no need to hit the nearest Bath & Body Works for a holiday candle. Two birds, one stone.

Taste: 10

Alcohol Content: 3

 

Cranberry Gin and Tonic

1 part gin

2 parts soda water

1/2 part simple syrup

1.5-2 parts pomegranate juice

3-4 dashes of cranberry bitters

A splash of lime juice

Lime slice and/or pomegranate seeds for garnish

It’s a holiday twist to the classic gin and tonic. You have the sweetness and fruitiness from the pomegranate juice, plus an extra dimension of taste from the cranberry bitters and the slightest twinge of tart fizziness. Add a slice of lime and perhaps some pretentious opinions as garnish, and you’ll be sure to seem more put together than the raging alcoholic you really are.

Taste: 8

Alcohol Content: 6

 

Straight Gingerbread Vodka

1 bottle

1 holiday-themed mug

Classier than Fireball, right?

Taste: 0

Alcohol Content: 10

Contact Elena Aguirre and Lynn Zhou [email protected].