Posted on: November 30, 2023

Crafting Festive Beverages

Most people spend the holidays gathering with friends and families for dinner and parties. And what better way to get in the festive mood than with a delicious cocktail?

Below, you'll find ideas and inspiration to spice up your seasonal drink menu.

Focus on Festive Flavors

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's all come with their own traditional flavors, not to mention winter in general. You can give any of your cocktails a holiday twist by altering your recipes with some type of festive zing.

Thanksgiving's most distinctive flavor is pumpkin, naturally, but the "taste" is defined more by the spices that are traditionally added to pumpkin pie, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. A nice Apple Cider Sangria or Pumpkin Spice Martini could be perfect for this time of year.

Meanwhile, candy canes and cranberries might remind you of Christmastime. A Peppermint White Russian is a great holiday spin on the classic cocktail, while a cranberry margarita can be both a sweet and refreshing drink to add to your seasonal menu.

As for New Year's, what is there but champagne? While you can have your classic glass to toast to the New Year, you can also mix it up to include a champagne cocktail for a nice change. Order some peach purée for some sweet Peach Bellinis, or add French 75s for a slightly stronger drink on your menu with some gin and lemon juice.

Heat Up Your Drinks Menu

November, December, and January are great times of year to heat up your cocktail menu. And we mean that literally.

From hard, spiced cider to spiked hot chocolate, mulled wine to hot toddies, there are lots of traditional heated holiday drinks to choose from.

Then, there are less traditional offerings. Irish coffee isn't particularly seasonal, but it's still a hit. Eggnog is traditionally served cold, but you can find recipes for heated versions.

You can have a lot of fun with hot beverage garnishes, from cinnamon sticks to marshmallows.

Go Global

Bring an international twist to your cocktails with traditional Christmas drinks from around the world. Popular suggestions include Waissail (from the UK) to Coquito (from Puerto Rico), Glögg (from Sweden), and Bombardino (from Italy); the world is your inspiration.

Many of these global beverages amount to variations on mulled wine, spiced cider, or eggnog, but this can give them an exotic (and educational) twist.

Make the Holidays Safe with Alcohol Server Training

Drunk driving rates spike during the holiday season. The last thing you want is for your fun, festive cocktails to play any role in those accidents.

That's why, as the holiday season approaches, it's the perfect time to give your staff a refresher on responsible alcohol server training.

Our courses are online, self-paced, and effective, with state-specific curricula in many jurisdictions. Get your staff enrolled today!