When I think holidays, I think of drinking. I'm not an alcoholic. I swear.
Growing up in an interfaith household, there was certainly a lot of holiday-time "celebrating." I think of the red wine that accompanies our Hanukkah dinners and the eggnog that my grandmother makes on Christmas Day. I think of the champagne toasts on Christmas Eve and the spiked coffees we used to bring to our rival town football games.
Of course there are other things that make the holiday season. There's putting up the tree and the Black Friday thrill that kicks it all off. There are comfortable scarves, mittens, and the very notion of gift giving that stirs happiness inside me.
But, ahem, back to the alcohol.
The holidays bring the opportunity to celebrate with the ones you love. Whether it's cocktail at midnight on New Year's Eve or a festive toast on Christmas Day, take a look at our hot holiday cocktail suggestions with the really fun names that are sure to brighten up your festivities.
Candy Cane Martini: Combine 1 1/2 oz. vodka with 1 tsp. peppermint schnapps, and shake with ice. Dip a martini glass into broken up candy cane pieces for a festive (and tasty) garnish.
The Grinch: Channel your inner Suess with this Midori-based martini. Combine 2 oz. Midori, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, and 1 tsp sugar syrup. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a cherry.
White Christmas: So many holiday favorites in one place! Combine 4 oz. of your favorite eggnog, 1/2 oz. white chocolate liqueur, and 1 oz. Southern Comfort in a snifter glass. Garnish with some white chocolate flakes.
Christmas Cosmo: Creating a classic cosmopolitan for the holidays is the perfect way to satisfy holiday party guests. Simply combine 1/2 oz. Cointreau, 1 tsp. lime juice, 1/2 oz. cranberry juice, and 1 oz. vodka in a shaker with ice. Serve in a chilled glass.
Very Merry Punch: This recipe from Delish.com offers a delectable drink for 12 special guests. Combine 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 bottles of cabernet sauvignon, 1 sliced apple, 1 sliced orange, 1 cup chunked pineapple, 4 whole star anise, and 1/2 cup orange curaçao. Simply mix in a large bowl and serve.
Hanukkah Gelt Martini: Enjoy this creative cocktail from DrinkoftheWeek.com that combines 2 parts chilled potato vodka and 1 part Goldschlager. Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass, and garnish with shaved gelt pieces. L'chaim!
Holiday Hopper: This classic twist on a grasshopper will have you happy it's holiday time. Combine 1 oz. Midori melon liqueur, 1/2 oz. green creme de menthe, 2 oz. half and half, 1/2 oz. white creme de cacao, and ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with raspberry and mint leaves.
Pointsetta: Combine 1/2 oz. triple sec, 3 oz. cranberry juice, and 3 oz. champagne for a sweet holiday cocktail with a fizzy, fruity splash.
Mistletoe Martini: Lookin' for some loving this holiday? This drink will get you in the mood. Combine 2 oz. vodka, 3 oz. chilled cranberry tea, 2 oz. orange juice, 3/4 oz. lemon juice, and 3 tsp. sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and serve in a chilled glass
Gingerbread Apple Martini: For this sweet seasonal treat, combine 1 oz. vanilla vodka, 2 oz. Canton ginger liqueur, 2 oz. apple cider, a splash of lemon juice, and some orange zest into a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled glass rimmed with graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon.
What will you be sipping on this holiday season?
Image via Ansik/Flickr