Nothing says holiday cheer like spiked eggnog! 

It's the most wonderful time of the year AKA Christmas AKA family time AKA lots of excuses to drink your favorite drinks to excess without feeling guilty! It's literally a statistic that more alcohol is consumed around the holidays, and while that's certainly no surprise to me, I felt it was worth mentioning considering the context of this blog.

Anyhoo. I'm certainly a beer girl (mostly because it's cheaper) but I do enjoy a fancy cocktail when the mood strikes. That mood seems to strike a lot more often around the holidays. A warm whiskey apple cider always tastes better when you're sitting in front of a fireplace around Christmas time. While I don't consider myself an expert, I've found my top 5 favorite holiday mixed drinks that I think you need to whip up at your next holiday gathering.

Bailey's Spiked Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

You'll need:

3 c. Hy-Vee 2% reduced-fat milk, divided

Add Hy-Vee 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
2 (3.5-oz. each) Zoet white chocolate bars, chopped

Add (3.5-oz. each) Zoet white chocolate bars, chopped
1 c. Bailey's red velvet liqueur

Add Bailey's red velvet liqueur
Whipped Cream Cheese Topping
2 tbsp. Hy-Vee powdered sugar

Add Hy-Vee powdered sugar
½ (8-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee cream cheese, softened

Add (8-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee cream cheese, softened
1 c. Hy-Vee frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions: 

1) Combine 1 cup milk and white chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring frequently until chocolate has melted. Add remaining 2 cups milk and continue stirring until very hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat; set aside.
2) In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together powdered sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add whipping cream and whip until combined.
3) Pour Bailey’s red velvet liqueur into hot chocolate; stir gently. Serve in 6-oz. mugs topped with cream cheese whipped cream.

 

Apple Cider Sangria

You'll need:

2 cups Apples
1 cups Cranberries, frozen
2 cups Pears
Baking & Spices
4 Cinnamon sticks

4 cups Apple cider
1/4 cup Orange juice
Beer, Wine & Liquor
1/4 cup Brandy
*Optional*
1 (750-ml) bottle Pinot grigio
2 cups Orange segments

Directions:

1) Combine all of the ingredients except for the cranberries in a large pitcher
2) Chill for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) before serving to give the flavors a chance to mingle
3) Add the frozen cranberries to the pitcher right before serving. Optionally garnish with cinnamon sticks!

*Pro tip* don't make this at the last minute. Let it sit for at least a day to really absorb the flavors of the ingredients.

 

The Grinch Cocktail

You'll need: 

2 ounces midori liqueur
1 ounce clear rum
4 ounces lemon lime soda
1 maraschino cherry

Directions:

Fill a lowball glass with ice. Add midori liqueur and rum. Top with lemon lime soda, stir to combine. Top with a maraschino cherry and enjoy.

 

White Christmas Margarita

You'll need:

1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup white cranberry juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup Cointreau (you could also use Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
2+ Tablespoons agave nectar (depending on sweetness desired)
2 Tablespoons coconut cream
1/4 cup coconut rum (optional)
Garnish: coconut flakes, coarse salt, lime slices

Directions: 

In a large shaker, combine all ingredients. Shake well.
Grind coconut flakes and salt so they are a little finer. Place on flat plate.
Run a lime wedge around edge of glasses and dip into coconut-salt mixture.
Place ice cubes (for decorative ice cubes see note below) in 2 glasses. Divide contents between glasses.
Garnish edge of glass with a slice of lime.

 

Eggnog Amaretto Cocktail

You'll need:

8 oz Eggnog
1 oz Amaretto
Ice

Directions: 

Combine Eggnog and Amaretto, pour over ice.
OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with Nutmeg if desired.

 

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