holiday-themed drink

Impress Your Guests With These Festive Holiday Drink Recipes!

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your holiday get-togethers – and I’m not just talking about the meal or baked goodies! Punch up your next holiday party by adding a selection of delicious and festive drinks! Your guests will love you for it.

Here’s a list of fun holiday drink recipes that will accommodate all of your guests: from the kids (non-alcoholic) to the adults (alcoholic), and even those on specialty diets (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, Paleo).

Non Alcoholic holiday drink recipes

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Peppermint White Chocolate Hot Cocoa

A classic holiday drink perfect for warming your guests and indulging their sweet tooth! This drink will taste complex but is super simple to make.


  • 3 cups of whole or 2% milk
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of Peppermint Hershey’s Kisses
  • Whipped cream (optional but encouraged!)

Preparation/Cook Time: 10 minutes or less! Get the full recipe from Will Cook for Smiles here.

Hot Chocolate (Vegan)

Have vegan guests and don’t want them to feel left out? Here’s a vegan hot cocoa recipe that is both delicious and accommodating!


  • 2 ½ cups soy milk (or almond milk!)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar (or substitute with maple syrup to taste for a natural sweetener!)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation/Cook Time: 10 minutes or less! Check out the full recipe from All Recipes here.

Homemade Hot Apple Cider (Paleo, Vegan, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)

This holiday treat accommodates even the most complicated diets! It’s quite easy to make and will allow all of your guests to participate in a delicious holiday treat, even if they have dietary restrictions!


  • 4 cups apple juice (no sugar-added)
  • 2 cups water (if you want a stronger apple taste, do an additional cup of apple juice and 1 cup water)
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 orange, sliced but with the skin still on
  • Optional: Maple syrup to taste if you want to naturally sweeten it

Preparation/Cook Time: 15 minutes. See here for the full recipe from Elana’s Pantry.

Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte (Naturally Sweetened, Gluten-free)

This drink is accommodating to those who are gluten-sensitive or intolerant while still being indulgent. Even those on a sugar-free diet can enjoy it as it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Since it’s a latte, this would be a great afternoon treat or after dinner drink!


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond (or soy) milk
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 tbsp of pure pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (preferably pure vanilla!)

Preparation/Cook Time: 10-15 minutes. Haute & Healthy Living has the full recipe with very tempting pictures of the end result!

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Sleigh Driver

This punch is a fresh, festive take on the traditional holiday cider! It does contain sugar but it’s suitable for guests who are gluten or dairy intolerant.


  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled, sliced)
  • 3 pears chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 quarts of apple cider
  • 1 lemon (halved, sliced)
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Preparation/Cook Time: 1 hour. Visit Eating Well for the full recipe and step-by-step instructions.

Indulgent Peppermint Punch:

This one’s a crowd pleaser! It is super simple to make, plus who doesn’t like ice cream-based drinks?


  • 1 quart of peppermint ice cream
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 liters of chilled ginger ale

Preparation/Cook Time: 5 minutes or less! Review the full recipe from All Recipes here.

Refreshing Cranberry Lime Spritzer

This is a great ‘mocktail’ and is accommodating for a sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free diet! It’s also great for any ‘dieting’ guests since it’s calorie-free. You can easily turn this into a alcoholic drink by adding vodka and if you use potato-based vodka, it’ll still be gluten-free. (Psst! Check out this list of gluten-free vodkas)


  • 2 cups natural cranberry juice without added sugar
  • 2 cups lime seltzer water
  • 2 limes
  • Cranberries and lime wedges for garnish
  • Can naturally sweeten with Agave nectar if desired! (1/2 tsp)

Preparation/Cook Time: 5 minutes or less! Full instructions for this super simple drink recipe provided by Sugar-Free Mom here.

Alcoholic holiday drink recipes

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Hot Spiced Christmas Wine

This traditional mulled wine is a great accompaniment to your holiday dinner! It’s fairly easy to make and you can even use a slow-cooker to make the process a little less labor intensive.


  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bottles of red wine (750 ml each)
  • 1 bottle white wine (750 ml)
  • 1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup brandy (optional)

Preparation/Cook Time: 1 to 1.5 hours. You can find the directions (and rave reviews from those who’ve made it for their holiday parties) at All Recipes here!

Spiced Hot Milk Brandy

For your guests who are on a sugar-free, gluten-free diet, this recipe will be a nice holiday treat! It’s a popular drink in New Orleans and ideal for sipping after a rich meal.


  • ½ cup milk (sub with almond milk or soy milk if you have vegan guests!)
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation/Cook Time: 5-10 minutes! Check out the full recipe from Nosh My Way here.

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Chocolate and cherry make a great combination, especially when you invite bourbon to the party! Your guests will love you for introducing them to this indulgent drink.


  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 5 tbsp hot chocolate mix
  • 2 ounces of Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon (Jim Beam)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings

Preparation/Cook Time: 10 minutes or less! Sugar and Soul has the recipe here.

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Christmas Punch

A sweet and festive Christmas Punch that is great without alcohol for the kids but can easily be adapted for the adults by mixing with champagne or adding rum and triple sec to taste!


  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5-6 cups of pineapple juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 liter of ginger ale (alcohol version can sub this for champagne!)

Preparation/Cook Time: 10 minute then let it chill. Here’s the full recipe from Taste of Home.

American Eggnog

No holiday party is complete without eggnog, but did you know you can make your own? This recipe is a bit more complex and does need to be made 5-10 days ahead of time but the end result is worth it!


  • 1 cup brandy
  • ½ cup sherry wine
  • ½ cup Jamaican rum
  • ½ cup whiskey
  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream (for serving!)
  • 1 tbsp of nutmeg as garnish

Preparation/Cook Time: 30 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time then 5-10 days refrigerated. Find the full instructions on All Recipes here.

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