Carly Rubach

Holiday Cocktails and Entertaining

Team TCD mixes up a few holiday cocktails to keep your guests entertained and asking for more.

By - Dec 23rd, 2012 10:00 am

ThirdCoast Digest has you covered for some last minute holiday cocktail ideas including Winter Campfire (aka S’mores in a glass). Photos by Angela Morgan and Howard Leu.

What pairs better with the holidays than a cleverly crafted cocktail? Presents and family might fit in there somewhere but most of us could use a stiff drink at some point during the upcoming festivities.

So, Angela Morgan (staff photographer and bartender extraordinaire), Howard Leu (photography intern and creative mixologist) and myself got together to mix up a few original cocktails for you to share with your family and friends this season.

We hope you take the time to make them and share the results with us OR post your favorite holiday cocktail recipe in the comments section and perhaps we’ll give it a taste. And check out our last-minute entertaining tips for your holiday party.

Angela’s Delectable Dessert Drinks

Angela has the most experience out of all of us when it comes to cocktail invention and she proved it with these three richly delicious dessert drinks. The presentation was gorgeous and Santa will surely take note of the naughtiness that goes along with these adult beverages. But I’m sure he already got your gifts. I learned a lot from Angela, including the lovely invention called cinnamon marshmallows. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. Try making these drinks for your holiday party.

Drink: Chocolate Caramel Kiss

Chocolate Caramel Kiss

5-6 oz. hot cocoa (preferably dark chocolate)

1-2 oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka

– Fill a mug or your favorite glass with hot cocoa and add 1-2 oz of Kissed Caramel Vodka. Top with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings or dust with cocoa powder.

– Substitute vodka with Baileys to make a Chocolate Irish Kiss

Santa’s Little Helper

5-6 oz. hot apple cider

1-2 oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel or Fluffed Vodka

– Fill a mug or your favorite glass with hot apple cider and add 1-2 oz of Kissed Caramel or Fluffed Vodka. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish with apple slice. 

Winter Campfire (aka S’mores in a glass)

2 oz. marshmallow vodka

1/2 oz. Creme de Cocoa

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate liquor

1 oz. cream (or Baileys for that extra kick)

– Rim glass with chocolate sauce (remember, outside of the glass only) and dip into crushed graham crackers until coasted. Pour ingredients over ice and top with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings. Finish with a bamboo stick willed with marshmallows of your choice (classic, cinnamon roll, German sweet chocolate, Neapolitan…)

* NOTE: Any of the above beverages can be served as non-alcoholic versions for holiday fun for all

Howard’s Blue Christmas

Drink: Blue Christmas

Howard’s Blue Christmas was a true treat. After putting some time in at the Foundation Tiki bar, he was able to find the perfect ingredients and he combined them in magical proportions. Must drink this cocktail while listening to Elvis’ “Blue Christmas.”

Blue Christmas

1 1/2 oz light rum

3/4 oz lime juice

1/4 oz sugar syrup

3/4 oz blue Curaçao

– Shaken and poured over half a glass of ice

– Top off the glass with your choice of either tonic water, club soda, or champagne (our preference!). Garnish with red and green maraschino cherries or red and green M&M’s

Drink: Rasta Santa

Team TCD‘s Rasta Santa

The Rasta Santa was a result of trial and error and true collaboration. All I knew was that I wanted to make a drink with Power’s and Bitters, and with the direction of Angela and Howard we came up with one mighty fine cocktail. The holidays: Island Style.

Rasta Santa

2 oz. Powers (or other whiskey of choice)

10 drops Bittercube’s Jamaican #1 bitters

2 oz. of ginger beer

pinch of lemon zest

splash of grenadine

– Mix ingredients together and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon wedge.


Remember to always have finger foods available for your guests, like these delicious Madeleine cookies.

Last-Minute Entertaining Tips

  1. Go to the fabric store and by a few yards of red burlap or another festive fabric for your table cloth. This option will often times save you a great deal of money and give a unique look.
  2. Make simple felt ornaments as take-home keepsakes for your guests. They can be as simple as you want them to be and add a nice personal touch. Make sure you stitch the date on somewhere!
  3. Have a few Santa hats and reindeer antlers lying around. People tend to loosen up when they know they’re not being taken so seriously.
  4. Use this simple how-to and brighten up a few of your empty bottles or Mason jars for a dazzling centerpiece.
  5. Keep it simple. Make finger foods ahead of time that you can easily replenish. Bruschetta and crostinis are perfect for this. Make a pesto, chopped tomato topping and a green pea spread ahead of time and continue to add more or allow guests to spread their own toppings. Bread also helps fill people up!


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