Cups of Cheer: Our Favourite Holiday Drink Recipes

One of the best parts of the cold weather is getting to enjoy a nice, steamy cup of something delicious. It’s one of life’s greatest luxuries really; a good book, a comfy couch and a delicious drink. Who can ask for anything more? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite holiday drinks in the hopes that you too will have some time to indulge this holiday season. 

The Ultimate Hot Chocolate

Ingredients (Serves 6)

4 cups milk

1 cinnamon stick, 6 sprigs fresh mint

or 2 split vanilla beans (optional)

10 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces

Whipped cream for serving (optional)

Chocolate shavings (optional)


1) Heat milk to scalding in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon, mint or vanilla, if desired. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; strain and return to saucepan. Reheat milk; using a whisk, stir in chocolate until melted and milk is frothy. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream garnished with chocolate shavings, if desired.


Amazingly Good Eggnog

Ingredients (Serves 12)Holiday Drink Recipes

4 cups milk

5 whole cloves

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 egg yolks

1 ½ cups sugar

2 ½ cups light rum

4 cups light cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


1) Combine milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for five minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.

2) In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for three minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves and let cook for about an hour.

3) Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Source: Recipe by “Nataliesmom” on All Recipes,

Butterscotch Coffee

Ingredients (Serves 8)

1 cup butterscotch chips, divided

8 cups hot brewed coffee

½ cup half and half cream

5 to 8 tablespoons sugar

Whipped cream in a can


1) In microwave, melt ½ cup butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry of plastic bag, insert a #4 round tip. Fill with melted chips. Pipe eight garnishes onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

2) In a large pitcher, stir coffee and remaining butterscotch chips until chips are melted. Stir in cream and sugar. Pour into mugs. Top each serving with whipped cream and a butterscotch garnish.

Source: Originally published as Butterscotch Coffee in Quick Cooking May/June 2008,

Mulled Wine

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 large orange

2 cardamom pods

6 whole cloves

6 allspice berries

6 whole black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish

1 bottle fruity red wine

½ cup sugar

¼ cup brandy


1) With a fine grater, zest, then juice the orange.

2) With the flat side of the knife, press firmly on the cardamom pods to bruise them. In a large pot (not aluminum) combine the zest, juice, cardamom, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, wine, sugar and brandy. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.

3) Reduce heat to low, simmer until flavours have melded, about 30 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve; garnish with cinnamon stick if desired. Serve immediately.

Source: Everyday Food, December 2005,

Hot Almond n’ Cream Drink

Ingredients (Serves 16)

1 cup butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

2 teaspoons almond extract

Ground nutmeg


1) In a small saucepan over low heat, cook and stir butter and sugars for 12 to 15 minutes or until butter is melted. Pour into a large bowl; add ice cream and extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping the bowl often.

To make one serving:

1) Spoon ¼ cup mix into a mug, add ¾ cup boiling water and stir well. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Can be kept in covered container for up to one week.

Source: Originally published as Hot Almond Cream Drink in Country Woman, January/February 1997, 

Chocolate Cherry Cappuccino

Ingredients (Serves 48)

3 cups sugar

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 ¹/³ cups powered non-dairy creamer

1 ¹/³ cups instant coffee granules

1 cup baking cocoa

1 envelope unsweetened cherry Kool-Aid mix

Each serving will need:

1 cup, 2% milk

2 tablespoons mini marshmallows


1) In a large airtight container, combine the first six ingredients. Store in a cool, dry place for up to two months.

2) To prepare cappuccino, place two tablespoons of the mix into a mug. Stir in hot milk until combined, top with marshmallows.

Source: Originally published as Chocolate Cherry Cappuccino in the Taste of Home Cookbook.,

Holiday Mimosa

Ingredients (Serves 6)

¼ cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 (750 millilitre) bottle brut champagne, chilled


1) Pour the orange liqueur in a shallow bowl; put the sugar in a saucer. Dip just the rims of 6 glasses in the orange liqueur and then in the sugar to form a thin sugared rim.

2) Divide the remaining orange liqueur and orange juice among the 6 prepared glasses. Top with champagne. Serve immediately.

Source: Recipe by “SILVREAS” on All Recipes,

Warm Vanilla Cider

Ingredients (Serves 6)

6 cups fresh apple cider

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 whole nutmeg seeds

1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)

6 ounces (¾ cup) bourbon, if desired

Whipped cream

Honeyed walnuts


1) Combine apple cider, dark brown sugar, nutmeg seeds and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add bourbon if desired. Remove and discard solids. Divide among six mugs or heatproof glasses and top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a few honeyed walnuts.

With whipped cream and honeyed walnuts, this drink is like a dessert. And when made without the bourbon, it’s perfect for children.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2009,

The Blizzard Cocktail

Ingredients (Serves 1) 

1 ½ ounce Irish whiskey or rum

½ ounce hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico

½ ounce Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s

Hot coffee

Dollop of whipped cream


1) In a glass coffee mug, stir together whiskey, hazelnut liqueur and Irish cream; top with coffee. Garnish cocktail with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December 2008,

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider

Holiday Drinks Ingredients

8 cups apple cider or juice

1 cup caramel flavouring syrup

¼ cup lemon juice

1 vanilla bean

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon whole allspice

Whipped cream, caramel dip and cinnamon sticks


1) In a 3 qt. slow cooker, combine the apple cider, caramel syrup and lemon juice. Split the vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add seeds to cider mixture. Place the bean, cinnamon sticks and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to cider mixture.

2) Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag-pour cider into mugs; garnish with whipped cream, caramel topping and additional cinnamon sticks if desired.

Source: Originally published as Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider in Taste of Home Christmas Annual, 

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