Affordable Holiday Cocktails

The year-end holidays are a wonderful time when we have the opportunity to celebrate the things and people that are important in our lives. It’s one of the only times of the year that most people make the effort to spend time with their families, and that means one thing: Serious drinking. Whether you are looking for a way to enjoy holiday time with or in spite of your family, here are a few festive and affordable cocktail recipes that will put a rosy glow in your cheeks for the season.

Candy Cane Rimmed Chocolate Martini

2 ounces vodka—any kind will do; all you are going to taste is chocolate and peppermint
2 ounces Irish cream liqueur, such as Baileys or Carolans
1 ounce chocolate syrup

Margaritas with salt on the rim are familiar to just about everyone, but there are tons of things you can crush and put on the edge of a glass to add an additional component to a fancy beverage. Chop the candy cane as fine as you can and use a stripe of chocolate syrup on the outside rim of the glass to hold the resultant delicious pink powder in place. For extra credit—and chocolate—spiral some chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass as well.

Once you have the glasses prepared, chill the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into your beautiful glass. It may be a cold drink, but one or two will warm you right up.

Christmas Coffee

6 ounces coffee
1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey, such as Jameson, Bushmills or Tullamore Dew
1 ounce Irish cream liqueur, such as Baileys or Carolans

This is one of the few times of year that daytime drinking is less frowned upon—relatives everywhere, remember? To get your morning started off with plenty of yuletide spirit, try one of these special coffees. They’ll get you through a morning of watching spoiled children open presents with your good mood intact.

Prepare the whipped cream ahead of time by mixing a little peppermint extract with whipped cream, or shell out a few dollars for the pre-made variety. Microwave an empty mug for 30 seconds to warm it, then add the coffee and alcohol and top with whipped cream.

Hot Buttered Rum Snuggie

This recipe requires you to spend a few dollars to make a batch of the mixture, but it keeps indefinitely in the freezer so you can drink these all winter long.

Hot Buttered Base:
1 pint vanilla bean gelato
1 pound butter
1 pound brown sugar
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves

Mix all ingredients until it becomes creamy deliciousness.

When you are ready to settle onto the couch with your snuggie, make a batch in a saucepan, heat it up and get ready to be incredibly comfortable.

2 ounces hot buttered base
2 ounces rum
5 ounces water

Don’t boil the mixture or leave it on the heat. There’s no need to cook any of the alcohol content out of it. Heat your mug up as instructed in the last recipe, and you’ll warm yourself up inside and outside. Thanks to Seth Waddell of the Crowbar in Corvallis, Ore., for his recipe. If visiting family in Corvallis is on your holiday itinerary, stop by and see if your snuggie measures up to the original.

Wherever you go for the holidays and whomever you plan to spend them with, if you come armed with the ability to make a couple of these cocktails you will definitely be the one spreading festive, nondenominational holiday cheer.