Maven’s Favorite Merry Cocktails and Mocktails

It’s the holiday season! The Maven team is sending holiday cheer to you and your family this year with some of our favorite festive cocktails and mocktails to spice up your holiday. Whether you’re gathering with friends, getting cozy with your favorite winter movie, or hosting a crowd, we have something delicious to celebrate the season!



Abby– Peppermint Mocha Latte

When I wake up on those cold winter mornings, my first instinct is to make a fun, seasonal, coffee drink. Peppermint is a holiday essential, and luckily, it blends perfectly with chocolate.


  • Shot of espresso
  • Milk
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Peppermint extract
  • Chocolate powder

Directions: I use my ground espresso maker to make a (very) generous shot. Then, I froth my milk, grab my mug, drizzle chocolate syrup on the bottom, and add a dash of peppermint extract. Finally, blend in your espresso and milk, top with some extra chocolate powder, and you’re ready for the day!


Amanda – Cranberry Basil Sangria Mocktail

Holidays are a bit different for me this year – hello Baby Hall #2. When the holidays roll around, no one should be left empty-handed at your festive get-togethers. And that’s especially true if you’re opting for a non-alcoholic mocktail over the boozy stuff. Here is a tasty virgin holiday sangria that is welcoming to all. 


  • 3 c. cranberry juice 
  • Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 c.) 
  • 1 (12-oz.) can seltzer 
  • 1 orange, sliced 
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced 
  • 1/3 c. frozen cranberries 
  • 1/4 c. packed basil leaves 
  • Ice 

Directions: In a large pitcher, combine cranberry juice, orange juice, and seltzer. Add fruit and basil and stir to combine. Pour over ice to serve.  


Bailey – Winter Pomegranate Margarita

During the winter, all I can think about is how ready I am for summertime to roll back around again. The warm weather, trips to the beach, sun-kissed skin—ugh it’s just the best! With this, I like to bring the taste of summer into my holiday celebration with my winter pomegranate margarita. This has become my go-to drink for all winter holidays and get-togethers.  


  • Lime juice 
  • Pomegranate juice 
  • Cointreau 
  • Patron tequila 
  • Ice 

Directions: Mix fresh lime juice, pomegranate juice, agave syrup, Cointreau, and Patron together in a chilled glass and add some pomegranate seeds on top for a little crunch. Delicious! 


Carly – Espresso with Sambuca

I have two favorite holiday drinks I like to mix during the holiday season! My first go-to is something my Italian family loves to drink once dinner is over and all our distant relatives leave the Christmas party: freshly brewed espresso with one shot of sambuca. My second favorite is a classic eggnog with a splash of brandy and a dash of nutmeg.  


  • Freshly brewed espresso 
  • One shot of sambuca liqueur  

Directions: Pour your shot of sambuca into your preferred glass, add in your shot of brewed espresso, and sprinkle in some coffee beans for aesthetic!


Emanne – Hot Cocoa

My favorite holiday drink is definitely a simple cup of hot cocoa, made with the Swiss Miss packets you can buy at the grocery store. Growing up in snowy New Hampshire, I can remember countless mornings spent digging out my family’s driveway after a storm and then coming inside to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. It never tastes as good as when you’ve just spent hours outside in the cold shoveling heaps of snow. 


  • 1 packet Swiss Miss hot cocoa
  • 8-oz. boiling water

Directions: Mix and enjoy!


Emily C. – Apple Cider Mimosa 

My holiday favorite is an apple cider Christmas morning mimosa. There is no better way to kick off your holiday morning. The recipe is so simple, but a favorite!  

Ingredients and Directions:  

  • Fill half of flute with champagne (or sparkling white grape juice!)  
  • Top with apple cider 
  • Garnish with cinnamon sugar rim and apple slice   


Emily K. – Apple Cider Margarita

Margaritas aren’t just for the summer. This recipe is the perfect and easy way to make your standard margarita a little festive.   


  • Tequila (reposado or blanco, but I prefer blanco)  
  • Cointreau (little bit) 
  • Apple Cider  
  • Lime Juice 
  • Top with Ginger sparling water  

Directions: I measure nothing, just do what feels right. Pour first four ingredients into a shaker, shake, serve over ice, finish with the ginger sparkling water, and enjoy! 


Jessica – Hot Toddy 

Say hello and let’s warm up to the most delicious hot drink you’ve ever tasted – Hot Toddies! They could not be easier to make. For this classic cocktail, you’ll just need hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon. Unlike your typical mulled wine, wassail or warm cider, hot toddies are light and hydrating rather than overwhelmingly sweet. Hot toddies are lovely slow sippers or night caps. 


  • 6 tbsp honey 
  • 8-oz. bourbon (I prefer Basil Hayden) 
  • 24-oz. boiling water 
  • 4 lemon slices 

Directions: Grab a heatproof pitcher and fill with bourbon and honey. Slowly add boiling water and stir until honey is dissolved. Pour into four mugs and top with a lemon slice.


Joey – “Not my gumdrop buttons” Gingerbread Stout Recipe

There is nothing I enjoy more than sitting around the fire with a nice gingerbread stout during the holiday season. It is delicious and brings back many memories of making homemade gingerbread cookies and failing to make those pesky gingerbread houses. This recipe was one of the first beer recipes I tested and came up with when I was just starting out as a homebrewer. Some of the things I love about this recipe are the additions of lactose, molasses, and all of those holiday spices to reinvent that classic gingerbread cookie flavor. I also like taking gingerbread cookies and dumping them in towards the end of fermentation to add an extra layer of flavor and complexity to the finished product (something you can only do when your beer is 6% ABV and above because sanitization is key when brewing beer). Stouts are one of my favorite beer styles because it is one of the only styles that can incorporate chocolatey, roasty, and sweet flavors like this one. Bonus: Paired nicely with a warm cozy blanket, fire, ice cream, cookies, chocolates or a stew. 

Mash ingredients at 155° F for 60 minutes: 

  • 10 lbs Rahr 2 – Row 
  • 3 lbs Weyermann Barke Vienna Malt 
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Caramel 20L 
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Caramel 60L 
  • 0.5 lbs Weyermann Carafa Special II 
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Chocolate Malt 

Boil additions & times: 

  • 1-oz. US Magnum (60 min) 
  • 1 lb Lactose (60 min) 
  • 0.5 lb Molasses  
  • 4 tsp Ginger Root (zested, @ 5 min) 
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (@5 min) 
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice (@ 5 min) 
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves (@ 5 min) 

Cool wort to 70° F and pitch yeast: 

  • Imperial Yeast A07 Flagship. Optimum temp: 60°- 72°F 

Primary fermentation (1-2 weeks): 

  • Move the fermenter to a warm, dark, quiet spot until fermentation begins.

Secondary Fermentation (1-2 weeks): 

  • Dump yeast or transfer to secondary fermenter.
  • Add gingerbread cookies.


Tom – Christmas “Gingerbread” Old Fashioned

My favorite holiday drink is this Christmas-y take on the best cocktail there is: the classic Old Fashioned. If you’re like me and enjoy making your own simple syrup, this “gingerbread” spiced cocktail is perfect for wrapping presents or enjoying a cozy Christmas Week Netflix binge by the fire. I enjoy the simplicity of this drink, which reminds me of the first holiday season I spent living in New York City.  

Ingredients for gingerbread simple syrup: 

  • 4 in fresh ginger root 
  • 1 tsp cloves 
  • 3 cinnamon sticks 
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns 

Chop the ginger root very finely, and pour in the water and sugar, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Add the spices, and let it simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Next, let the syrup sit until it reaches room temperature, and then strain it. 

Cocktail ingredients:  

  • 2-oz. Bourbon whiskey 
  • 1-oz. Gingerbread simple syrup see recipe below 
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters 
  • 1 orange peel for garnish
  • Pomegranate seeds 

Directions: Place your ice in a rocks glass, add the bourbon, then the gingerbread simple syrup and stir. Add three dashes of bitters and stir again. Garnish with the orange peel and, if so inclines, a few pomegranate seeds to add a festive red touch.  


Rebecca – Merry Manhattan 

Manhattan’s are essential to a warm and toasty Christmas Eve at our house. The recipe is simple, which means quality ingredients are important! Cheers!  


  • 2-oz. rye whiskey (I use Bulleit or Rittenhouse Rye) 
  • 1-oz. Antica Farmica vermouth 
  • 1-2 dashes of orange bitters 
  • Luxardo cherry with a drizzle of cherry juice for extra sweetness 

Directions: Combine all cocktail ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice; shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty to the touch. Pour the contents into your glass and taste your merry creation!


Veronica – Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail 

I have a few favorite holiday drinks but my sister harbors those special recipes. The easiest holiday drink that is also festive is a Poinsettia champagne cocktail. The poinsettia is an elegant cranberry-flavored Champagne cocktail that is perfect for holiday parties. It’s simple, easy and ready in three minutes for those juggling kids and gifts. 


  • 1/ liqueur 
  • 3-oz. cranberry juice 
  • 3-oz. Champagne 
  • Fresh cranberries, for garnish 
  • Fresh rosemary sprig, for garnish 

Directions: Pour your champagne, cranberry juice, and orange liqueur together. Toss in some cranberries to float as garnish and a rosemary sprig for an added level of fancy.

Posted In