The holiday season goes hand in hand with delicious foods and exquisite glasses of booze. Though whiskey and gin are the preferred beverages during the holiday season, nothing beats a well-made cocktail. Get glamorous with a wine cocktail or create a signature cocktail by adding your own twist to a classic. As the party season begins with Christmas, here is a quick easy-breezy look at some innovative cocktail recipes.

10 DIY Holiday-Special Cocktail Recipes 

1. Chai Spiced Mule

Inspired by the comforting flavors of tea, this vodka drink was created for the desi chai lover. The Chai Spiced Mule belongs to the family of drinks that stem from the Moscow Mule, a zesty, sweet and refreshing drink made with ginger beer, vodka, and lime. This particular recipe increases the depth by using chai spices, adding a hint of autumn richness to it.

Ingredients:

  • 60ml vodka of choice
  • 20ml lime juice
  • 20ml house made ginger syrup
  • 2 tbsp chai spice mix
  • Beer, preferable ginger

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients except the ginger beer into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a glass or Moscow Mule mug over crushed ice, then top with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
  4. You can add toasted whole spices for garnish.

2. Indian Summer Mango Cocktail

Having a holiday party at home but it’s barely chilly out? Shake up some vodka with summery ingredients like fresh mangoes, lime juice and mint leaves.

Ingredients:

  • 60ml vodka
  • 60 gram fresh mangoes
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves (pudina)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 20 ml sweet and sour syrup
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 1 for garnishing mint sprig

Method:

  1. Add the vodka, fresh mangoes, mint leaves, ginger, lime juice, sweet and sour along with a few ice cubes in a blender. 
  2. Blend until well combined.
  3. Pour it in a margarita glass and serve frozen garnished with a mint sprig.

3. Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine is on everyone’s holiday absolute-must list. If you’re entertaining a crowd or just plan on having a drink every day till New Year’s, this mulled wine recipe can be made in big batches in the slow cooker, or you can quickly whip up a batch on your stove top. Relish this delicious and warm drink on chilly nights!

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 60 gms castor sugar
  • 5 whole cloves (laung)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 3 fresh bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 1 tsp whole vanilla essence
  • 1 red wine bottle

Method:

  1. Put the castor sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Peel large sections of peel from your oranges, lemon and lime using a peeler.
  3. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
  4. Add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the juice.
  5. Put vanilla essence and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
  6. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and add more wine.
  7. Bring the mixture to boil.
  8. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you have got a beautiful thick syrup.
  9. When the syrup is ready turn the heat down to low.
  10. When it is warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

4. Guava Mary

If you love peru, then you are in luck because this spiked guava juice is the perfect cooler. The bitters and the cloying sweetness of the guava juice toned down by vodka is sure to elevate the flavour of this elegant cocktail. So go ahead and sip along! 

Ingredients:

  • 40ml vodka
  • 150ml guava juice
  • 150 dry ginger ale
  • 5ml lime juice
  • Angostura bitters, or citrus peels
  • 4-5 whole mint leaves (pudina)

Method:

  1. In a large jug, add vodka and guava juice and stir to combine, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Before serving, add dry ginger ale, lime juice, 5-6 dash of bitters or citrus peels, mint leaves and lots of ice cubes to the prepared mixture.
  3. Serve chilled and get on your holiday cheer!

5. Aam Panna With Vodka

The classic aam panna recipe spiked with vodka, this one’s for those who can’t get enough of some tangy deliciousness. The cumin adds the perfect balance needed and refreshes you.

Ingredients:

  • 60ml vodka
  • 1 green mango
  • 200ml water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted (jeera)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar

Method:

  1. Place mangoes in a pan along with water and bring to boil.
  2. Drain off the water and peel, stone and pulp the mangoes with a spoon.
  3. Place the pulp in a deep bowl.
  4. Add water, sugar, salt and cumin.
  5. Whisk thoroughly.
  6. Transfer in a glass and add vodka.
  7. Serve with ice cubes.

6. Herbed Beer

A hint of cinnamon and ginger with an apple note can take your beer up several notches. Ditch your same-old brew this holiday season and give it some syrup-y goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 10ml green apple syrup 
  • 60ml ginger juice
  • 5ml cinnamon syrup
  • 120ml beer (wheat or lager)

Method:

  1. In a shaker, combine everything except the beer, with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain and pour it into a glass or beer mug.
  4. Top it off with the beer and enjoy.

7. Tiki Mexicana

As appealing as it looks, as tasty it tastes. Try this beautifully blended cocktail out of a barrel or a treasure chest. This is a lethal combo of white rum with cranberry juice which is intoxicated with fresh orange juice to give tangy flavour and tequila.

Ingredients:

90 ml Old Monk

60 ml passion fruit juice

30 ml orange juice

30 ml lime juice

15 ml cranberry juice

15 ml sugar syrup

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice.
  2. Shake and pour into a glass and top with more ice.
  3. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve.

8. Coffee Martini

The filter coffee martini is another vodka-based drink that smells exactly like a cup of steaming hot coffee. The only difference being that this cocktail is served chilled. This is prepared by adding vodka to cold coffee and then topping the mixture with ice. This desi cocktail evokes memories of Bailey’s Irish Cream and is sure to turn every coffee teetotaler into a cocktail lover.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml sugar syrup
  • 100ml vodka
  • 50ml freshly brewed filter coffee
  • 50ml coffee liqueur
  • 4 coffee beans (optional)

Method:

  1. Put 2 martini glasses in the fridge to chill.
  2. Pour 1 tbsp of cold sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, the vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur. 
  3. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker feels icy cold.
  4. Strain into the chilled glasses. 
  5. Garnish each one with coffee beans if you like.

9. Sangria Barcelona

This is a fresh fruit red wine cocktail with a hint of spices. The drink is filled with fruit cubes, though you can always pick up a fruit of your choice.

Ingredients:

  • 750ml dry red wine
  • 1 pint club soda
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 cup orange juice
  • 1 ounce cognac
  • 2 lemons, washed and sliced
  • 2 oranges, washed and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. First make the simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan. 
  2. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Cover pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large pitcher, mix together wine, club soda, juices, cognac, fruit slices and cinnamon sticks.
  5. Stir in simple syrup.
  6. Mix all together and chill.
  7. Stir again, then serve in a clear glass pitcher over ice cubes.

10. Strawberry Margarita

One happy way to take advantage of the strawberry season is to make a cocktail out of the fruit. And tequila is a magic potion that’s perfect for the holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 40ml tequila
  • 20ml triple sec liqueur
  • 1/2 juice of half lime
  • 60 gram strawberry puree
  • 3 crushed ice cube
  • 1/2 tsp salt for the rim

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a shaker and shake well for about 30 seconds.
  2. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and then roll it in salt.
  3. Pour the margarita in it and serve.

Skip the age-old LIITs, Pina Coladas, Cosmos and beers. Holiday season deserves fun, festive drinks like the desi Aam Panna cocktail or the Chai Spiced Mule. Pick your favourite, gather around family and friends or just relish in some tasty, boozy potions. Share in the comments your pick of the season or share a classic recipe with your twist!

Disclaimer: Please keep your own circumstance and health into consideration before trying any of the recipes or recommendations. Drink in moderation.

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.

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