5 Festive Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Washington barkeeps put the cheers in your celebration.

A gin-and-Champagne cocktail with pomegranate seeds makes an easy, festive sip. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Holiday drinking: It’s not excessive, it’s festive! Here are five great recipes to try, whether you want to impress friends with a few cocktails or are whipping up punch for a party.

Mazel Tov cocktail from DGS Delicatessen

Toast Hanukkah dinner with this sparkling sip, which gets floral notes from sloe gin (or Averell Damson plum gin liqueur, if you can find it) and lavender syrup.

Spiced Swedish punch from Todd Thrasher

The Swedes know their booze, as does Todd “Liquid Savant” Thrasher. Put the two together and you have an impressive, party-worth punch.

Sparkling pomegranate cocktail

This is my holiday go-to: easy to make, fairly potent, but not so strong that wine-drinking friends will shy away. The pomegranate seeds bob up and down with the bubbles, which is like a little fruit party in a glass.

Cape cobbler from Micah Wilder

If there’s any leftover cranberry sauce kicking around from a holiday dinner, this is your cocktail. The bourbon-based sip is also delicious, so it’s worth splurging on a fresh container of the red stuff.

Ben Franklin’s Milk Punch

The America Eats Tavern bar team helped rediscover this brandy-based punch. It’s much lighter than eggnog—no heavy cream, less sugar—and can be stored for long lengths at room temperature.

And for a little nibble…

Bacon-roasted pecans from Ripple

Party guests will eat this savory snack like peanuts. Or pecans roasted with Benton’s bacon, which are far superior.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.