Festive Cocktails to Warm the Holiday Season

Cocktails of the Month for December

By Sid Robinson

The holidays provide the obvious theme for our featured December cocktails, and nothing says Christmas more than egg nog. Perhaps the most famous recipe for this seasonal beverage comes from the Father of Our Country, George Washington. No doubt he was as bold in his mixology as he was in leading the nation. Be careful with this one, and, as always, drink responsibly.


We’ve added a couple more cocktails to round out the holiday season, and there are literally hundreds more concoctions from which to choose for your December festivities, including a traditional New Year’s Eve cocktail, the French 75, which was created in 1915 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.

George Washington’s Egg Nog


1 pint brandy

pint rye whiskey

½ pint Jamaican rum

¼ pint sherry wine

eggs, separated

tablespoons sugar

quart milk

quart heavy cream


Mix the liquor first by stirring in pitcher. Separate yolks and whites of the eggs. Add sugar to beaten yolks and mix well. Add combined liquors to the yolk and sugar mixture, drop by drop at first, slowly beating it all the while. Add cream and milk and mix thoroughly. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold these into cream, liquor and yolk mixture. Set in the refrigerator for several days before serving. Taste frequently.

Makes three quarts.


Christmas Punch Cocktail


1 ½ oz. light rum

½ oz. cranberry juice

½ oz. simple syrup

¼ oz. tart cherry juice

1 dash Allspice

1 dash grated fresh ginger

1 dash freshly grated nutmeg

2 oz. ginger ale


Combine all of the ingredients except for the ginger ale and nutmeg in shaker with ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass over ice, and top with the ginger ale. Gently stir and garnish with ground ginger.

Makes one cocktail.

Recipe courtesy of Dave Taha, Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland


Holiday Mule


1/2 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice

1 1/2 oz. gin or vodka

2 oz. chilled ginger beer

1 rosemary sprig

Orange slice for garnish

Sugared cranberries for garnish


Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Makes one cocktail

Recipe courtesy of Home Sweet Jones


French 75


1 oz. gin

½ oz. lemon juice

½ oz. simple syrup

2 ½ oz. Champagne

Lemon twist for garnish


Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice until chilled. Strain into a flute glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with lemon twist.

Makes one cocktail.


Happy New Year!