Recipes: 8 Festive Holiday Cocktails

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! Serve up one of these delicious cocktails or “mocktails” at your next holiday gathering.

Watermelon Snowball

With the tropical flavour of coconut and the smooth taste of crème de cacao, this cocktail will set the tone for a chilled night in with friends.

1 ice cream scoop chilled watermelon
1/4 cup (50 mL) shredded coconut
1 1/2 oz (42.6 mL) chilled watermelon purée
3/4 oz (21.3 mL) chilled crème de cacao

Dredge scoop of watermelon in coconut flakes. Mix the purée and crème de cacao in a martini glass. Place snowball into the centre of the glass. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail.

Recipe and image provided courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more recipe ideas, visit

NEXT: Holiday Bellinis

Holiday Bellinis


1 bottle (750 ml size) sparkling wine or champagne, chilled
2 bottles (10 oz size) cranberry juice drink, chilled
1/3 cup peach schnapps
Whole fresh strawberries for garnish


Stir together first 3 ingredients. Pour into glasses. Garnish, if desired, with strawberries.

Watermelon Mango Rum PunchWatermelon Mango Rum Punch

This refreshing punch combines watermelon, mango and cran-raspberry with rum and cherry brandy to create a deliciously smooth-sipping punch.

8 cups (2 L) watermelon purée
4 cups (1 L) mango juice or purée
4 cups (1 L) cranberry raspberry juice
2 cups (500 mL) rum
1/2 cup (125 mL) cherry brandy
Ice for serving

Purée watermelon in a blender and then combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill for at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, stir punch and serve over ice.

Makes 16 servings.

Tip: For a pulp-free version, strain chilled liquid. Punch can also be prepared without alcohol.

PER SERVING: about 180 cal, 1g pro, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 24g carb, 1g fibre, 0mg chol, 25mg sodium. %RDI: iron 2%, calcium 2%, vit A 6%, vit C 10%

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more recipe ideas, visit

Christmas Heat

When it comes to cocktails, some like it hot! Try this trio of ingredients with hot apple juice to taste.


1 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce cinnamon schnapps
Hot apple juice, to fill


Add the triple sec, vodka, and cinnamon schnapps to mug; stir.

Fill with hot apple juice; stir.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: CDKitchen.

NEXT: Two Traditional Favourites Your Guests Will Love.

Mulled Wine Wassail recipeRed Wine Wassail

Wassail got its start as a spiced, mulled cider served during the Yuletide season, but more modern versions have a base of wine or fruit juice instead.


2 cups water
1 cup honey
4 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 bottle (750-ml size) red wine


Boil the water, honey, cloves, and cinnamon for five minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemons, and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Add the wine and heat slowly until just below the boiling point. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: CDKitchen.

Photo © Friis-Larsen

Colonial Hot Buttered Rum (in a slow cooker)

Hot buttered rum is a holiday favourite and there are many different versions out there. This classic recipe uses a slow cooker to simmer the mix and fills your home with a tempting aroma.


2 cups brown sugar (or less for a drink that isn’t quite so sweet)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 pinch salt
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 quarts hot water (about 1.89 L)
2 cups rum
heavy cream, whipped (about 1 cup), for topping
ground nutmeg, for topping


Add all ingredients except the rum, cream and nutmeg to a 5-quart slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in rum.

Using a ladle, serve directly from the pot and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg.

Note: you can add a little extra rum to the mug to taste, or serve the hot drink before adding the rum for guests who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.

Serves 8-10.

If you prefer to make individual servings on demand, try a mix instead like this from A Thought for Food. (It makes a great gift too!)

NEXT: Mocktails So Good You Won’t Miss the Alcohol.

Spiced Cranberry Cocktail recipeSpiced Cranberry Juice

What if your guests prefer not to imbibe? Don’t make them settle for soda — try a warming, flavourful drink instead.

4 1/2 cups cranberry juice
4 dried apricot halves
2 tablespoons cranberries
2 tablespoons raisins
4 whole cloves
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain juice mixture and pour into mugs and serve hot — or chill and serve cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Submitted by reader JSC788

Photo © Kolpakova

Raspberry Frost

If your guests prefer something cool, try this sweet mix of fruity flavours.

1 1/2 cups canned pineapple juice
1 cup Raspberry Sorbet
5 ounces frozen raspberries
1 litre Ginger Ale

Combine pineapple juice and sorbet in a blender and process until frothy, about 1 minute. Add frozen raspberries and continue processing.

Divide mixture evenly between 4 tall glasses. Fill the rest of each glass with chilled Ginger Ale.

Makes 4 servings.

Submitted by reader JSC788

What’s your favourite holiday drink? Share with us in the comments.

More holiday party ideas:
Dips delicious
Tis the season to feast
Budget-savvy holiday gatherings
Crazy for cookies: Readers’ Choice
Design a holiday menu