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holiday cocktail recipes

Must-Try Festive Cocktail Recipes for Your Next Holiday Party

Nov 15, 2021

9 Tasty Holiday Cocktail Recipes to Serve This Year

It’s almost that time of the year again –– where holiday parties begin to fill your evenings and the sound of holiday carols fill the air. If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, don’t serve traditional cocktails guests are expecting –– instead, put a fresh twist on some of the season’s most popular cocktails. 

To help you start planning, here are nine holiday cocktail recipes you can serve at your next party, guaranteed to impress your guests and have them asking for the recipe. (Side note: You can find more specialty cocktail recipes created by The Cliffs Culinary Team at the bottom of this post!) 

1. Pomegranate Smash | A Keowee Vineyards Specialty

holiday cocktail recipes

First on our list is a refreshingly bold and fruity pomegranate cocktail from our lakefront community at The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards.  


  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • .5 ounce Pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
  • 5-8 Pomegranate pearls
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 2 ounces Prosecco


In a mixer, stir vodka, pomegranate juice, and maple syrup. Serve in a glass and top with Prosecco. Garnish with pomegranate pearls and thyme and serve. 

2. Cranberry Ginger Bellini

The fresh, sharp flavor of fresh cranberries mixed with warm ginger makes for a delightful yuletide-inspired take on the classic Italian drink –– cranberry ginger bellini.  


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger 
  • 750 ml bottle Prosecco
  • Fresh rosemary, for garnish


Begin by creating a cranberry-ginger simple syrup. To do so, first prepare the ginger by peeling and thinly slicing it. Then, in a medium saucepan, mix the water, sugar, cranberries, and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and, once boiling, reduce the heat until the sugar is dissolved. Watch the mixture carefully, as the cranberries can pop in the heat. As soon as the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, remove from heat and cover, allowing to steep for 15 minutes. Lastly, strain the syrup mixture and let cool completely before preparing the cocktail.  

To make the cocktail, fill a champagne flute halfway with prosecco. Then, top off with the simple syrup, garnish with fresh rosemary, and enjoy! 

3. The Nutcracker Cocktail | A Walnut Cove Specialty  

Inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround our The Cliffs at Walnut Cove community, The Nut cocktail has become a club favorite. Here’s how to make it! 


  • 1.5 ounces Rittenhouse Rye Whisky 
  • 1.5 ounces Amaro Montenegro
  • 4 dashes of walnut bitters
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Orange zest 
  • Luxardo cherry 


Begin by mixing the rye whisky and amaro. Then add the walnut and orange bitters. Serve and garnish with orange zest and a luxardo cherry.

4. Espresso Eggnog Martini 

With a splash of espresso, you can shake your favorite eggnog recipe this holiday season with this delightful espresso eggnog martini recipe.   


  • 2 ounces of your favorite eggnog 
  • .5 ounce of coffee liqueur
  • .5 ounce of cold brew concentrate
  • .5 ounce rye whiskey
  • .25 ounce amaretto
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
  • Whole coffee beans, for garnish 


In a mixer, combine the eggnog, coffee liqueur, cold brew concentrate, whiskey, amaretto, and a bit of grated nutmeg. Then, add ice and shake for 10 to 12 seconds. To serve, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh nutmeg and whole coffee beans.

5. Candy Cane Mimosa

Do you plan to host a holiday brunch this year? Check out this festive minty, candy cane mimosa, sure to wake up your tastebuds and get the celebrations started.    


  • .75 ounce of white crème de menthe, chilled
  • 1 dash chocolate bitters
  • Sparkling wine of your choice, to top
  • Chocolate chips 
  • Candy canes 


Begin by crushing several candy canes and melting chocolate chips to rim a Champagne flute. In the prepared glasses, add white créme de menthe and chocolate bitters. Then, top with sparkling wine and garnish with a whole candy cane.

6. Pumpkin Spice White Russian | A Mountain Park Specialty 

A seasonal twist on the classic White Russian Cocktail, check out our Mountain Park specialty drink for a decadent sweet holiday treat!


  • 1.5 ounces of vodka
  • 1.5 ounces of Kahlua
  • 1 ounce of pumpkin spice creamer 
  • Pumpkin Spice (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger mace, cloves)
  • Sugar 


Mix the vodka, Kahlua, and pumpkin spice creamer in a mixer. Serve in a glass rimmed with pumpkin spice and sugar combo. Then, garnish with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

7. Sparkling Apple and Brandy Toddy

Stay warm this winter with an apple and brandy toddy. Its rich cinnamon flavors paired with the subtle sweetness of brandy make it the perfect drink for the holidays.


  • 750ml of sparkling cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 180ml of brandy


Begin by placing the sparkling cider in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick and honey and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let it infuse for five minutes. In serving glasses, mix the brandy with the cider mixture and serve.  

8. Fall Cider Margarita | A Keowee Vineyards Specialty

holiday cocktail recipe 

Enjoy a delicious margarita, no matter the season, with our fall cider margarita! This is another of our Keowee Vineyards specialty drinks available at our clubhouse during the autumn and winter months.   


  • 1 ounce Gold tequila 
  • 1 ounce Mezcal
  • .5 ounce Cointreau 
  • Juice from Lemon or Lime
  • 3 ounces Apple cider
  • Cinnamon & star anise 


In a mixer, add gold tequila, mezcal, Cointreau, and stir. Then, add a dash of lemon or lime juice and apple cider. Stir and garnish with cinnamon and anise. 

9. Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate

Dreaming of sunny summer days spent on a tropical island? Put a tropical twist on classic hot chocolate with this toasted coconut hot chocolate holiday cocktail recipe.     


  • 1 ounce of rum
  • .25 cup of toasted coconut, extra for topping 
  • 1 cup prepared white hot chocolate (made with coconut milk) 
  • Whipped cream, for topping 


First, prepare the hot chocolate using coconut milk for a richer, creamier consistency. In a glass combine the rum and hot chocolate drink. Then, mix in half of the toasted coconut, and garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Looking for even more tasty cocktail recipes to try at home?  

Check out our expert bartenders’ recommendations in our post, The Seven Best Southern Cocktails for Sipping On Your Porch!

Clubhouse Drinks with a Personal Touch

At The Cliffs, we offer more than just a fine-dining experience –– we also have a team of bartenders who are experts at their craft. They love to get creative, experimenting with new cocktails and drink recipes for our guests. When you are a member of The Cliffs, you will be able to enjoy their delicious creations at any of our many venues hosted within our community. 

Wine Experience 

When it comes to wine, you won’t be disappointed with our wine experience at The Cliffs. Our wine consortium program includes a dozen sommeliers who can guide you through wine selection, tasting, and pairing recommendations. We even have a private social club that is solely dedicated to all things wine –– so you can connect with other members who share your passion for the drink.       

Culinary Experience

Our exclusive membership experience doesn’t stop at wine, we also pair your experience at The Cliffs with private fine-dining venues at each of our seven communities. Using the freshest seasonal produce from local farms, our celebrated chefs create exquisite dishes prepared exclusively for you. Their passion for food and artistry in the kitchen enhances the overall dining experience, offering an array of creative menu options so you’ll never run out of new choices to try.

Ready to Become an Exclusive Member of Our Community? 

The Cliffs offers the opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life, all while surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. We offer a way of life that can be molded to fit any lifestyle, so whether you enjoy lakeside living, or prefer to be tucked away on the side of a mountain, we can help you find the luxury home of your dreams in one of our welcoming communities

If you would like to learn more about our seven premier luxury communities in the Carolina Mountains, our Real Estate Sales Team is available to assist you. Simply click on the button below to get in touch with a member of our team. 

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