On the weekend before Christmas, you may be off work and ready to celebrate with friends before the whole family gets together. A Christmas party only takes people and maybe some food and refreshments (although a good game or two is nice as well), but along with your Christmas treats and snacks and drinks, you should have at least one visually-stimulating recipe that will truly impress your guests with your ingenuity and style. With that in mind, here are some eye-popping holiday beverages you can whip up, including cocktails, punches, non-alcoholic drinks, and jello shots. However, many of these have intense Christmas flavors, so you should offer some plainer alternatives as well. Follow the yellow links for the complete recipes.
There are many ways to incorporate the taste of peppermint candy canes into drinks.
1. The Candy Cane
The cocktail called the Candy Cane consists of white chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps. Make the visual effect grand with a rim of crushed candy canes!
2. Candy Cane Spritzers
Why should adults have all the cocktail fun? Candy Cane Spritzers are fancy holiday drinks with no alcohol that kids will love. And it's not too sweet. The flavor and color comes from pomegranate juice; the canes are just for garnish.
3. Candy Cane Punch
Candy Cane Punch is an easy, non-alcoholic party punch that gets its Christmas flavor from the use of peppermint ice cream. But miniature candy canes for garnish add an extra touch.
4. Candy Cane Milkshake
This looks amazing -and fattening. But no! This Candy Cane Milkshake has only 205 calories, because it contains no ice cream or candy. It does, however, taste like a candy cane, thanks to peppermint extract and low-calorie sweetener. A perfect non-alcoholic treat that won't blow your diet.
5. Candy Cane Swirl
I promise that there are drinks that aren't candy cane flavored coming up! The Candy Cane Swirl gets its kick from vodka, peppermint schnapps, and white creme de cacao. But there are mixers as well.
6. Santa Shot
The Santa Shot has both the look and the taste of Christmas, which is good, because you'll want to limit the number that you serve. There are no mixers, just layers of grenadine, green creme de menthe, and red peppermint schnapps.
7. Cranberry Margarita
If limes and strawberries make great margaritas, you know the traditional holiday flavor of tart cranberries would, too. This Cranberry Margarita also has a touch of orange from orange liqueur, which should taste like my mother's traditional homemade cranberry-and-fresh-orange sauce.
8. Jingle Jangle Holiday Punch
Jingle Jangle Holiday Punch contains your favorite fresh berries, both crushed in the mixture and again whole as an eye-pleasing garnish in the individual servings. Oh, it also has vodka, wine and Grand Marnier in it.
9. Mistletoe Mojito
The Mistletoe Mojito is a mojito spiced up with the flavor of pomegranate. If you don't already associate pomegranate with Christmas, maybe you should start! Mint, lime, and pomegranate have the perfect colors.
The Boozehopper is basically a grasshopper with chocolate. Doesn't that sound delicious, especially for Thin Mint fans! The garnish is a rim of crushed chocolate-mint cookies, with another cookie floating on top of the drink.
11. Gingerbread Apple Cocktail
The Gingerbread Apple Cocktail gets its taste from ginger liqueur and apple cider, and vodka adds the kick. The rim is crushed gingersnaps held on with honey!
12. The Grinch
The Grinch cocktail has more of the Christmas look than the flavor. Just make sure your melon liqueur is the right color! The cherry garnish represents the Grinch's shrunken heart.
There are those who might argue that Jello shots aren't beverages. Instead of arguing, let's just enjoy some ways to make your Jello shots more Christmas-y. The folks at your party don't care.
13. Blue Christmas Jello Shots
The liquor is subtle in these Blue Christmas Jello Shots, containing champagne and blue Curacao instead of vodka. Marshmallows and blue candy canes complete the look.
14. Caramel Apple Jello Shots
Caramel Apple Jello Shots are apple slices containing a homemade gelatin mixture with coconut milk, caramel hot chocolate mix, and butterscotch schnapps. The combined effect is that of a caramel apple -with alcohol.
15. Jingle Bell Rock Jello Shots
But if you want to make Jello shots in Christmas colors, here's your recipe. Jingle Bell Rock Jello Shots are layered with cranberry juice and vodka for red, apple flavor for the green, and condensed milk and peppermint schnapps for the white.
16. Candy Cane Jello Shots
Oh yes, here's one more candy cane recipe! Candy Cane Jello Shots are a culinary/mixology work of art. It takes time, as the red and white gelatin layers must be carefully poured and chilled one at a time, then sliced and cut into shapes. The flavor comes from peppermint schnapps.
Bonus: Christmas Ice Cubes
Then again, some people want to drink nothing but Sprite or champagne or water, in which case you can dress up your clear drinks with Christmas Ice Cubes. Making them is just a matter of finding the nice decorative yet edible ingredients to freeze inside filtered water. Lovely!