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4 Festive Cocktails for Your Holiday Happy Hour

4 Festive Cocktails for Your Holiday Happy Hour

Words Apartment Therapy

You can still share warmth and toast to the end of the year with your loved ones. These easy, elegant recipes will help you turn your holiday cocktail party into a virtual holiday happy hour.

The holiday season is typically filled with cocktail parties and other gatherings that bring together family and friends to toast to the end of the year. Though these parties might be on hold this year, you can still share a festive drink with those you love. A virtual holiday happy hour is the perfect way to share warmth this year, even while apart, and create a new tradition.

We’ve created four extra festive cocktails that couldn’t be more perfect for the season. Even better: With the help of the right tools, they’re easy to make. Pick your favorite of the four recipes to share with family and friends before your virtual happy hour so everyone can shake (or stir) the same celebratory drink for the occasion.

4 Festive Cocktails for Your Virtual Holiday Happy Hour

Mulled Wine

A steamy mug of red wine infused with orange zest and holiday spices like ginger and cardamom is a classic winter cocktail that’s easy to make and even easier to love. A strainer makes it simple to remove the zest and whole spices from the mulled wine after it’s simmered.

Mulled Wine

Serves: 4 to 6 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes


1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

1 medium orange

3 green cardamom pods

1 (750-mL) bottle dry red wine

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

Orange slices, for garnish


  1. Thinly slice a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger. Use a citrus or vegetable peeler to remove the zest from 1 medium orange in large strips. Place the ginger, orange zest, and 3 green cardamom pods in a medium saucepan. Use a muddler to crack the cardamom and smash the ginger and orange zest. Juice the zested orange into the saucepan.
  2. Add 1 bottle dry red wine and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible, cover, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. To serve, ladle the mulled wine through a fine-mesh strainer into mugs or heatproof glasses. Garnish with orange slices.

Cranberry Negroni

This twist on a negroni cocktail is perfectly seasonal thanks to a splash of sweet and tangy cranberry juice. A cocktail shaker is an essential tool in this recipe, making it easy to stir the ingredients together with ice, so the drink is perfectly chilled before it’s strained into a glass.

Cranberry Negroni

Makes: 1 drink Prep time: 5 minutes



1 ounce Campari

1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail

1 ounce dry vermouth

1 ounce gin

1 (about 3/4-inch wide, 3-inch long) orange twist


  1. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and place in the refrigerator or freezer. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway with ice. Add 1 ounce Campari, 1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail, 1 ounce dry vermouth, and 1 ounce gin. Stir until the outside of the shaker or glass is frosty, about 30 seconds.
  2. Strain through a cocktail or fine-mesh strainer into the prepared glass. Rub the rim of the glass with 1 orange twist, then garnish with the twist.

Hot Toddy

Nothing warms you up better from the inside out than a hot toddy. This simple combination of rye whisky, honey, ginger, lemon, and hot water is festive and seasonal. Reach for a set of measuring spoons to make it easy to measure and add the sticky honey to the mug.

Hot Toddy

Makes: 1 drink Prep time: 5 minutes


2 (1/4-inch thick) slices peeled fresh ginger

1/4 medium lemon

1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey

1 tablespoon honey

1/3 cup boiling water


  1. Place 2 slices peeled fresh ginger in a 6-ounce or larger mug or heatproof glass and muddle until the ginger is crushed. Cut 1/4 medium lemon into 2 wedges, add to the mug, and muddle until the lemon releases its juice. Add 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey and 1 tablespoon honey, and top with 1/3 cup boiling water. Stir until the honey is dissolved.

Pomegranate Bellini

Bubbles feel celebratory all year long, but they especially fit the mood during the holiday season. Use a double jigger to easily measure out both the tart pomegranate juice and prosecco for this simple cocktail.

Pomegranate Bellini

Makes: 1 drink Prep time: 2 minutes


1 1/2 ounces 100% pomegranate juice, chilled

5 ounces prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled

1/2 teaspoon fresh pomegranate arils (seeds)


  1. Chill a champagne glass. Fill with 1 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice, then top with 5 ounces prosecco and 1/2 teaspoon fresh pomegranate seeds.

Even though this year wasn’t what we expected, there’s still a lot to celebrate. These festive cocktails are the perfect way to toast the good moments with the people you love. For more holiday recipes and cooking tips, read more on the blog.

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