Warm your heart with DIY boozy holiday drink recipes

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Jack Fonseca | Assistant Photo Editor

Spike your hot chocolate with bourbon to stay extra warm during the holiday season.

When it comes to the holidays, there’s a drink for every kind of get-together.

Whether you’re looking to enhance your holiday party’s Jell-O shots, spice up your pregames or snuggle in bed with a warm drink, there are several ways to upgrade your holiday party offerings from canned spiked seltzer and plain liquor. We sifted through holiday drinks and compiled a list of standouts you should try:

Eggless-nog from Bon Appetit

With an espresso addition, this brandy-based cocktail is a strong substitute for your average brunch cocktail.

Yields 1 serving

1 ½ shots brandy
1 ½ shot heavy cream or almond milk
½ shot simple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cold espresso shot (optional)

To make this creamy drink, first combine the brandy, cream, simple syrup, vanilla extract and optional espresso in a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker handy, you can dump the ingredients in any large cup and fill it with ice. Shake the mix until the outside of the shaker or cup is cold and frosty and strain it into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with ground nutmeg, and your eggless-nog is complete.

Spiked hot chocolate

If you’re in the mood to snuggle up and watch a holiday movie, whip up this bourbon-spiked hot chocolate to feel extra warm.

Yields 1 serving

1 ½ shots bourbon
1 packet dark hot chocolate mix
1 ½ cups hot milk
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup mini marshmallows (optional)

In a mug, pour hot milk over hot chocolate mix and cinnamon and stir until combined. Add in bourbon and chocolate syrup and mix well. Top the drink with marshmallows.

Hot chocolate pudding shots from Delish

Looking for an unconventional party shot? This Bailey’s spiked pudding shot is as tasty as a pudding dessert and will be a hit at your next holiday gathering.

Yields 12 pudding shots

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 packet of hot chocolate mix
⅔ cup of milk
⅔ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can whipped cream (optional)
½ cup mini marshmallows (optional)

Find a large bowl and mix together your chocolate pudding and cocoa mix with milk. Add the booze and vanilla and whisk again. Then, pour your mixture into disposable shot cups and stick them in your refrigerator until they’re thick, which usually takes about two hours. Top off the shots with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder and marshmallow bits.

Apple ‘pie’ cocktail

Upgrade the classic combo of Fireball and apple juice with the more concentrated flavor of apple cider and a hint of vanilla.

Yields 1 serving

1 shot Fireball whiskey
1 shot vanilla vodka or 1 shot vodka plus
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup spiced apple cider

To make this simple and spiced cocktail, combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or large cup. Then, fill it with ice and shake until the cup is frosty, which takes about 30 seconds. Strain your cocktail into a glass filled with ice and you have spiked apple pie in a cup.

Spiced cranberry hot toddy from She Wears Many Hats

If the cold weather has you craving a warm cocktail but you want to keep it light, try this refreshing cognac and cranberry hot toddy.

Yields 4 servings

4 cups cranberry juice
¾ cup cognac or dark rum
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

This drink requires some work in the kitchen, but it is guaranteed to warm you up. First, add the cranberry juice, sugar, allspice ginger and cinnamon to a large saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Reduce your heat to keep the drink warm and stir in the room temperature cognac before serving.

‘Grinch’ fizzy punch

This champagne-based green punch is a vibrant adult version of the sorbet punch you loved as a kid, and the green color is fitting for this time of the year.

Yields 13 champagne glass servings

2 bottles champagne
1 liter ginger ale
1 quart lime sherbert
4 drops green food coloring
½ cup mint leaves for serving (optional)

Chill the champagne and ginger ale overnight. On the day of your party, take a large ice cream scoop and empty the carton of lime sherbert into a large punch bowl. Then, pour over the bubbly booze and ginger ale. Add green food coloring until it looks like the color of the Grinch and stir until thoroughly combined. Place four to five mint leaves in the bottom of champagne glasses for serving.

Gingerbread Man Jell-O shots from A Beautiful Mess

Put those holiday cookie cutters you have laying around to good use and try out these gingerbread man-spiced Jell-O shots with vodka and Kahlua.

Yields 23 ounces of Jell-O mixture

1 ½ cups vodka
1 ¼ cup heavy cream or almond milk
3 packets of unflavored gelatin
1 shot gingerbread syrup
1 shot Kahlua liqueur
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Gingerbread man cookie cutters (optional)

Heat the vodka in a pan at medium temperature and stir in the gelatin packets, whisking together until dissolved. Then, pour into a bowl and stir in the cream, gingerbread syrup, pumpkin pie spice and Kahlua. Next, pour your mixture into a greased pan and let it set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Once it has set, use your gingerbread cookie cutter to cut out as many as you can fit in your pan. If you can’t find cookie cutters, pour the mixture into disposable shot cups, refrigerate until set and serve like a normal Jell-O shot. Keep the shots refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

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