Unique Holiday Cocktails

If you know me, you KNOW that I love unique cocktails. Every party I throw needs to have a signature cocktail to match the theme, and holiday cocktails are no exception. Everyone does the basics- red wine, egg nog, holiday martinis.

This holiday season, I have created a list of my favorite cocktails that don’t require odd liqueurs (that Rootbeer Rum is stilllll sitting in my cupboard from years ago). Cheers to a season filled with joy, hope and the best booze you can buy. Oh, and did I mention any of these bottles/mixes make a great gift?

Hot Buttered Rum with Papa’s Pilar

Whatever your outdated memories of rum are, toss them aside. Bacardi is pretty basic and if you have never experienced a rum outside of that realm, welcome to a whole new world. Papa’s Pilar just released a special edition Sherry Finish of their Dark Rum just in time for the holidays.

This is a true sipping masterpiece, with a slightly sweet yet uniquely spicy finish meant to sip and savor. If you have a rum lover in your life, this Hemingway-inspired bottle is the ideal gift.

Want to wow your guests this holiday season? Serve this rum neat in a snifter for sipping. Want to give it a litle twist? Complement the sweet and spicy nature by concocting a twist on the classic Hot Buttered Rum with this recipe, adapted from Martha:


1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmet
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
(can also use Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of above spices)
1 tsp. orange zest
Papa’s Pilar Sherry Finish Dark Rum
Boiling water
Splash fresh-squeezed OJ


Create spiced butter- beat butter, sugar, zest and spices with a mixer on medium for 1 minute.
Combine 2T spiced butter with 1.5 oz. Papa’s Pilar Sherry Finish Dark Rum in a heat-proof glass and add 3/4 cup boiling water and stir. Top with a squeeze of orange juice.

Segura Viudas Sparkling Pear

I have a love affair with Segura Viudas Cava. My husband and I served the elaborately decorated bottles of Heredad at our wedding (ok, actually we made our wedding party serve). I buy the Cava bottles by the case for parties (ok, I admit…actually most Sunday mornings) and the splits to drink while getting ready to go out. It is the best buy in bubbly- tastes MUCH more expensive than the price tag- currently $8.99 at Binny’s.

Photo: @seguraviudas

When I saw this recipe for a unique holiday cocktail via @seguraviudasusa on Instagram, I snapped a screenshot and made my own for a party last weekend. I adapted it to decrease the sweetness. Big bonus- this can be made by the glass or in a big batch.


4 cups pear juice
1 bottle Segura Viudas Cava
3/4 cup vanilla vodka
Fresh pears for garnish


Pour pear juice and vodka into a pitcher and stir to combine. Crack open the Cava and slowly pour into the pitcher; stir gently. Pour into ice-filled party glasses and add fresh pear to the rim for garnish.

Mulled Wine in a Crock Pot

The most annoying thing about making mulled wine? Buying all the darn spices. Cloves. Cinnamon Sticks. Star Anise (I mean, where in the hell do you find star anise? What is it?). This is where my gal pals from the zen of slow cooking come into play to make this holiday concoction. They have created a Zen Holiday Mulling Spice blend that you combine with wine in the slow cooker for 2+ hours. In addition to a deliciously spicy sip, the whole house is filled with the aroma of cloves and cinnamon.
This makes an excellent hostess gift tied around a bottle of red wine, and for only $5 each I would buy slew to use throughout the holiday season.

Photo: the zen of slow cooking

What are your favorite go-to holiday cocktails? Have you discovered any unique holiday cocktails that you are dying to try?

Cheers to being all dressed up with something fabulous to drink this holiday season!