15 Winter Cocktails and Mocktails to Make the Season Bright

Because everyone should get a choice


Oh ho ho, it’s that time of the year again! If you’re thinking, “Oh yes! Hanukkah! Christmas! Kwanzaa!” let me tell you guys, no, that’s not what I’m talking about here. It’s time for holiday-themed boozy winter cocktails, like the alcoholic hot chocolate recipe below that I immediately forwarded to my mother-in-law. Because what says, “Hey family, let’s hang!” like sitting together and getting toasted? Or not—there are also five non-alcoholic winter cocktails on this list.

These drinks will equally slay at in your home around the fire (be it in a fireplace or on your computer screen, like we roll) or at your frosty-but-delightful winter wedding. They’ll keep you happy, warm, and may keep some of those post-election anger feels at bay (for a bit, anyway).

10 boozy winter cocktails

a glass of christmas sangria

Christmas Sangria

Don’t let the name fool you:  you can totally drink this sangria any time in December, whether or not Christmas is your bag. It’s also pretty easy to make (there are seven ingredients involved, but it’s manageable!) and heavy on the white wine and cranberries.

winter bourbon smash cocktail

Winter Bourbon Smash

I’m not usually a bourbon person, but this drink looks so tasty that I might ask my father-in-law to make it anyway. Plus it’s not red and green, but it is still entirely on the holiday train.

vanilla and cherry mimosa for winter

Vanilla and Cranberry Mimosa

Here I want to give a little shout out to everyone who makes mimosas and keeps contributing to mimosa diversity, because as someone who relishes any and all chances to drink champagne, I appreciate you. I have not yet tried a vanilla and anything mimosa, but I’m giving this vanilla and cranberry concoction a shot.

cranberry and rosemary sangria

Cranberry & Rosemary Sangria

Sangria, sangria, sangriiaaaaa. Why don’t they make up holiday songs just about you? I think there’s no sangria like a seasonal sangria, and this cranberry and rosemary mixture is right up my alley.

winter cosmo cocktail

Winter Wonderland Cosmopolitan

The first time I met my mother-in-law, she told me I was pretty and handed me a cosmopolitan. It was also my first time ever drinking a cosmo, and since then I’m an on-again, off-again fan. I’m intrigued by this drink, though, and its elderflower liqueur.

jack frost winter cocktail

Jack Frost Cocktail

This drink can be made with vodka or a light rum, and also is heavy on pineapple and coconut—which means it’s very helpful if all you want to do is close your eyes and pretend that you’re somewhere warm.

the blizzard winter cocktail

The Blizzard

I was immediately drawn to this cocktail because, if we’re being real, it reminded me of the Misty Palms Oasis. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s okay, because it’s pretty nerdy.

cinnamon white russian winter cocktail

Cinnamon White Russian

OH HELLO gorgeous, don’t you look nice? I’m of the opinion that cinnamon makes everything better, and this winter cocktail fully supports that idea.

alcoholic frozen hot chocolate

Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate

Like I said above, I immediately sent a link to my mother-in-law with a holiday request attached. Ice cream! Hot cocoa! Irish Cream! Yes, please.

plum and thyme prosecco smash winter cocktail

Plum and Thyme Prosecco Smash

I’m not sure it would ever occur to me to add plum to Prosecco, but I’m glad it occurred to someone.

5 non-alcoholic winter cocktails

non alcoholic winter sangria

Non-alcoholic Winter Sangria

You know what’s excellent about this drink? Since it’s non-alcoholic, it’s spot on for anyone who doesn’t drink (obviously) and for anyone who is looking for a delicious alcohol-esque beverage on a random Thursday afternoon but who wants to, you know, not get drunk.

non alcoholic festive sparkling cider

Non-alcoholic Festive Sparkling Cider

What’s yellow and orange and utterly delicious? This totally booze-free sparkling cider!

mandarin mint winter lemonade

Winter Mandarin Mint Lemonade

My kid loves mandarin oranges, but I’m not sure I ever would have thought to put them into a drink. There’s also something super appealing about the idea of a “winter lemonade,” you know? Even if it’s really just super fancy orange juice.


White Chocolate Peppermint Mocktini

This festive pepperminty concoction will put you in wintery spirit from the second it meets your mouth, promise.

hot vanilla milk drink

Warm Vanilla Milk

Technically speaking, the real name of this drink is “Olaf’s Warm Hug Hot Vanilla Milk,” but since not everyone digs on Olaf, I left that part out. You can serve this to adults, kids, and everyone in between.

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