12 holiday drink recipes to make the season merry

The Aviary Glogg. (Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

We’ve entered the season where all our attention is turned to eating, drinking and being merry. If you need a little help with the second directive, look no further as we’ve rounded up an array of holiday drink recipes — hot and cold, spiked and zero-proof, and portioned for crowds big and small — to sip and savor this time of year.

There are classic nogs and cocoas, and also festive options from Scandinavia and the Caribbean.

Looking for something else? Head to our archives for many more ideas for celebratory sippers.

Can’t decide on a cocktail? Give our drink generator a shake.


Winter Sunburst Punch

This citrusy punch features gin and sparkling wine. “The meringue topping is optional — the punch is delicious without it — but the topping increases the fancy factor and provides a soft landing for garnishes, as well as the ‘clouds’ for the sunny punch to shine through,” spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan wrote. Get the recipe.


Deluxe Eggnog

This recipe from “Joy of Cooking” lives up to the name and may be the ne plus ultra of nogs. It’s loaded with egg yolks, rum, cream or half-and-half, cognac or brandy and orange liqueur. A little goes a long way, and it lasts a long time in the fridge thanks to all that booze. Get the recipe.

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Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut Rum Punch)

If you don’t want to deal with eggs for nog, then coquito is the drink for you. This recipe for the Puerto Rican specialty includes two types of rum and a rich combination of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut and coconut milk. Get the recipe.


The Aviary Glogg

The recipe for this Swedish mulled wine comes from “The Aviary: Holiday Cocktails” by the famed Chicago cocktail bar. “One thing that makes glogg distinct is that it’s usually served with some of its flavoring agents as a snack,” Allan wrote. “The drinker spoons up almonds and raisins that have been simmering into the boozy stew, imparting their flavors to it and soaking up its vinous goodness.” Get the recipe.

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Horchata With Cinnamon and Vanilla

This is a leaner but no less lovely alternative to eggnog or coquito. The bulk of this Mexican drink comes from milk and ground rice, which is perked up with lots of cinnamon. It’s also a zero-proof quaff, though you are free to spike it if you choose. Get the recipe.


Triple Hot Chocolate

This version of the wintry staple combines cocoa powder and bittersweet and semisweet chocolates with milk and heavy cream for the right balance of decadent and drinkable. For an extra dose of indulgence, we highly recommend topping with homemade marshmallows. (For a dairy-free option, check out this recipe for Salted Cardamom Drinking Chocolate.) Get the recipe.

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Boozy Hot Chocolate

Leave it to Allan to devise a hot chocolate that channels a childhood favorite into a special grown-up treat. You’ll find plenty of suggested combinations of spirits and liqueurs. Get the recipe.

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Persephone’s Pomegranate Punch

Have fun garnishing this vibrant drink made with pomegranate juice, tequila, sparkling wine, allspice liqueur, Bénédictine and vermouth. Hibiscus-Pomegranate Punch is another option that features the gorgeous red juice. Get the recipe.


Stocking Clementine

Punches needn’t just be for crowds. This citrusy drink (above, center) with fresh juice, mezcal and St-Germain serves one or two, as does Pomegranate Fizz (above, left) and A Pear-tridge in a Chai Tea (above, right). Get the recipe.

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Portly Pear

This riff on mulled wine features an aromatic blend of toasted spices infusing a mix of pear nectar and ruby port. You can add pieces of fresh pear to add even more fruit flavor and then use them on top of ice cream. Get the recipe.


Cider Wassail

Bust out the carols for this old-timey drink of yore. If you want it nonalcoholic, swap in cranberry juice for the ale. Get the recipe.

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Winter Warmer Sorrel Cocktail

Sorrel is a spiced hibiscus beverage found all around the Caribbean islands. During Christmastime, it’s typically served over ice, but in this recipe it’s served warm in the style of hot buttered rum. Get the recipe.