Top Picks: Winter Holiday Cocktails

Posted on December 14, 2012 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

If you follow the CdS Board or my personal Board on Pinterest you know that I am an absolute Pinterest addict. I have discovered so many fabulous things thanks to all the dedictated pinners out there.   

Anyway, while rounding up some cocktail ideas for the holidays I came across these recipes on a few boards. They all sound delicious, but the photographs really reeled me in! These cocktails are all so gorgeous! I can't wait to serve them to my mother's guests over the holidays.

Sweet Savannah Fizz

1.5 oz. Sweet Tea Vodka
2 Blackberries
4 Mint Leaves
0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

Muddle blackberries and mint with simple syrup. Add sweet tea vodka and shake. Strain into champagne flute and top with champagne. Garnish with either a mint leaf or blackberry.

Photo and recipe credit: Camille Styles


Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus

4 cups water

2 cups (2 ounces) dried hibiscus flowers or dried rose petals*

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup vodka, chilled

1 cup ice

*Can be found at specialty Latin markets

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, hibiscus flowers, and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool for 25 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, and vodka.

Place the ice in a tall pitcher. Strain the hibiscus tea into the pitcher and discard the flowers. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


Blooming Champagne Cocktail with Wild Hibiscus

Makes 1 cocktail

1 Wild Hibiscus Flower
A few drops of syrup from the flower

Champagne or Prosecco

Drop a hibiscus flower that’s been preserved in syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill with your favorite bubbly. As the champagne happily fizzes away, the hibiscus flower will open up and bloom in your glass. The cocktail is ridiculously delightful and a little bit sweet—with just the faintest hint of raspberries.

Recipe and Photo: Jessie Cross, The Hungry Mouse


Red Nose Punch

Makes about 3 Quarts

28 oz. cranberry juice, plus 2 cups fresh cranberries
8 oz. bourbon
4 oz. fresh lime juice, plus 3 sliced limes
3 oz. cinnamon-infused simple syrup
4 12 oz. bottles lager beer

1. Place cranberries in a bundt pan and pour over 4 cups hot water; freeze until set (the hot water will freeze clear), about 2 hours.

2. Combine juices, bourbon, and syrup in a large punch bowl; stir to combine. Unmold frozen ice ring and float in punch; top with beer and sliced limes.

Recipe from Saveur Magazine Photo credit: Helen Rosner, Saveur


Thank you to Tiffani Rogers for sharing this recipe and photo with us! Sign up for their newsletter here

Cranberry Maple SBT*ini


  • 1.5 ounces Cranberry Vodka
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup (Grade A)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • Floater of Champagne
  • Maple Sugar (for rim)
  • Frozen Cranberries (optional) for garnish


  1. Use lemon wedge around martini glass and rim with maple sugar.
  2. Combine Vodka, grenadine, syrup and lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into martini glass until 3/4 full. Fill the remainder of the glass with champagne. Drop in a couple of frozen cranberries and ENJOY!


Honey Sage Gin Fizz

3 oz gin
.5 – 1 ounce honey sage syrup, depending on your desired level of sweetness (recipe below)
.5 oz fresh lime juice
5 oz club soda
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Honey sage syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
5-6 fresh sage leaves

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir until it appears that all of the honey has dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit until completely cooled to room temperature. Remove sage leaves before using. This can be made well ahead of time and store in a jar in the fridge.

For the smoked honey rim:
Fine smoked sea salt
Finely crumbled bacon

(Note: one slice of bacon will garnish about 4-6 glasses if you only coat 1/4 of the rim.)

On a plate, combine bacon and salt, mixing well to combine. Take your glass and rub a drop of honey on 1/4 of the rim, then dip, twist and turn it around in the bacon salt, coating it. I don’t recommend coating more than 1/4 of 1/3 of the rim because it will overpower the honey sage. If you cannot find smoked sea salt, regular can be used in place of it. If you are vegetarian or prefer not to use bacon, the salt is just fine too.

Fill the glass with a few sage leaves and ice cubes, then add gin, 1/2 ounce of syrup and lime juice, stirring well. Pour in club soda, stirring a bit more, then taste and determine if the drink has enough sweetness. If not, add a bit more. Garnish with an extra sage leaf and serve.

 Recipe and Photo Credit: Jessica of How Sweet It Is







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