17 Hot Christmas Drink Recipes to Warm Up the Holidays

Beat the chill and spread the cheer with these cozy hot holiday cocktails.

Updated December 12, 2023
Older female hands holding a glass mug with hot mulled wine

After heading out into the cold for holiday festivities, I love to come in from the chill and warm up with hot beverage. And while I love a classic cup of tea or a hot toddy, sometimes what I really want is something filled with holiday goodness — hot Christmas drinks to keep the season warm and bright. I love these recipes for hot holiday drinks that will warm your insides as you enjoy the cheer, chill, and joy of the holiday season.

12 Recipes for Alcoholic Hot Christmas Drinks 

Looking for a little kick to keep you warm long after your mug has gone cold? These hot drinks offer boozy bliss that'll warm you from your nose to your toes. 

1. Après-Ski Wine

After gliding gracefully down the slopes (or crashing clumsily, in my case), hot spiced wine is the perfect way to warm up. So, if you're headed to your ski cabin this holiday season, don't forget to grab the ingredients for this simple but warming Christmas drink. The recipe makes four servings.

spiced mulled wine


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 bottle of any type of red wine


  1. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick.
  2. Heat the mixture until boiling and then turn it down to simmer.
  3. Squeeze the orange over the pot to capture the juice.
  4. Put the orange's peel and the cloves in the liquid.
  5. Let the mixture simmer for half an hour. It should thicken.
  6. Add the entire bottle of wine and heat the mixture until it begins to steam.
  7. Ladle the drink into mugs and serve.
Helpful Hack

When making warm Christmas drinks, warm up the mug before adding the cocktail. 

2. Warm & Fuzzy

When it's cold, I love to put on my favorite warm & fuzzy holiday jammies to warm up my outsides. This drink does the same for my insides. 

Irish coffee


  • 8 ounces freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 ounce nut-flavored liqueur, such as Frangelico
  • Whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg for garnish


  1. Add the hot, freshly brewed coffee to a mug.
  2. Stir in the Baileys and Frangelico.
  3. Top with whipped topping and a dash of nutmeg.

3. Wassail

Get ready to go wassailing after having a cup or two of this traditional hot holiday drink — make extra so you can warm up afterward, too. This recipe feeds a crowd, so you won't be singing alone. It makes about 12 8-ounce servings. For the kiddos that join you for your caroling, make a non-alcoholic wassail.

Wassail cocktail


  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 750 mL bottle of sweet Madeira wine
  • 1½ cups Armagnac
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 star anise


  1. In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Stir to mix.
  2. Cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for four hours.
  3. Reduce the heat to keep warm. Keep covered and serve as needed.

4. Tom and Jerry

Christmas carols playing, a fire crackling, and the warmest, fuzziest blanket you can find. You've almost defeated the chill, but you need one more thing. A Tom and Jerry drink should do the trick. 

tom and jerry cocktail


  • 1 egg, any size (organic preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 8 ounces boiling water


  1. Separate the egg and beat the egg yolk and the white in separate bowls.
  2. Combine them together and pour the mixture into a mug.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Fill the mug with boiling water.
  5. Stir vigorously.

5. Hot Apple-Cinnamon Cider

Every Christmas Eve, I have two slow cookers keeping two separate batches of this drink warm — the boozy one below and a mocktail version for the kiddos and non-drinkers. The smell of apples and cinnamon is, for me, the smell of Christmas Eve. 

Mugs of hot apple cider



  1. In a large slow-cooker, combine all ingredients.
  2. Cover and bring to simmer on low.
  3. Simmer for four hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce the heat to keep warm and serve as needed. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

6. Hot Pumpkin Pie

He'd never admit it out loud, but my hubby is a pumpkin spice guy. So, during the holidays, I try to mix up a batch of his favorite flavors in a boozy drink. It makes 4 servings.

Hot pumpkin pie cocktail


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup RumChata
  • Whipped cream for garnish
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish


  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk, pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and RumChata on medium-low, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce and simmer for five minutes, whisking.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
Quick Tip

Freshly grated nutmeg is a revelation — it's so much more fragrant than the pre-ground stuff. Buy whole nutmeg in the spice aisle and grate a small amount over the drink using a rasp-style grater. 

7. Warm Cinnamon Roll Cocktail

When my kids were small, I used to bake a big batch of cinnamon rolls every Christmas. They were gooey and delicious, and the house smelled amazing. Sadly, I can't bake them anymore because I can't eat gluten, but this tasty drink has the same flavors and zero gluten. The kids are adults now, so they can enjoy it too. It's how I've replaced our previous family tradition. #winningchristmas

Warm Cinnamon Roll Cocktail


  • ½ cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1 shot RumChata
  • 1 shot caramel Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 shot Fireball whisky (or another cinnamon whiskey)
  • Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan on low heat, whisk the milk, RumChata, and Irish cream, whisking constantly until it simmers.
  2. Whisk in the Fireball. Serve warm garnished with a cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon.

8. Orange-Maple Warm Old-Fashioned

Sure, you can go with a typical old-fashioned cocktail, which is always a classic. But warming it up and adding all kinds of tasty flavors makes this an instant holiday hit. 

hot old-fashioned



  1. In a coffee mug, muddle the sugar cube with the cocktail bitters. Stir in the Grand Marnier and maple bourbon.
  2. Stir in the boiling water.
  3. Garnish with the orange slice and cinnamon stick.

9. Spiced Almond Pear Cider

Apple cider is always nice, but how about a holiday twist? Pear, almond, and spice are the perfect blend of Christmas flavors. Make a big batch of this tasty boozy cider in a slow cooker to serve a crowd. It makes 10 8-ounce servings.

Homemade organic pear cider


  • ½ gallon pear juice
  • 1 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 1 cup Cognac
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 1-inch knob gingerroot
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
  2. Simmer, covered, on low for four hours.

10. Mulled Ruby Port

Port wine simmered with spices makes a lovely addition to any warm Christmas cocktail menu. You can also use this recipe with a red wine to make mulled wine. Yields 4 8-ounce servings

Two glasses with hot mulled wine


  • 1 whole orange
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle ruby Port
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Stud the whole orange with the cloves by inserting cloves through the orange peel.
  2. Add to a slow cooker with the Port, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for four hours.

11. Hot Toasted Nuts

You're going to go nuts for this warm Christmas cocktail, we promise!

Hot Toasted Nuts Cocktail


  • 1 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 1 ounce Frangelico
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly, until it simmers.
  3. Serve in a mug.

12. Hot Peanut Butter Cup

When I was a kid, what I wanted most in my Christmas stocking was a peanut butter cup. This is my grown-up version.

hot chocolate



  1. In a mug, mix the hot chocolate and peanut butter whiskey.
  2. Garnish with the whipped cream.

More Alcoholic Hot Holiday Drinks

We have lots of hot boozy drinks that are perfect for the holidays. 

5 Nonalcoholic Warm Christmas Drinks

Not a drinker? We didn't forget that your toes need warming, too!

1. Hot Cranberry Apple Cider Mocktail

This drink has a delicious fruit taste with a bit of a bite. It's nonalcoholic, so the entire family can enjoy it. The recipe below makes six servings.

Christmas cranberry and apple cider garnish rosemary


  • 3 quarts apple cider
  • 1 quart cranberry juice
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and heat until boiling.
  3. After the mixture has been boiling for five minutes, reduce the heat to simmer.
  4. Let the drink simmer for half an hour.
  5. Serve the beverage by ladling the hot mixture into mugs.

2. White Hot Chocolate

My son's best friend growing up didn't like chocolate. And since you can't have the full kid experience without hot chocolate of some kind, this is what we came up with.  You really can't ask for more in a holiday drink. You'll get about four servings out of this recipe.

White hot chocolate


  • 3 cups light cream, divided
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, optional


  1. Put half the cream, the chocolate chips, and the nutmeg in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer and stir on low heat until the chips melt.
  3. Add the leftover cream.
  4. Simmer and stir again.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and add in the extracts.
  6. Pour the mixture into mugs, garnishing with cinnamon and whipped cream, if desired.

3. Peppermint Cocoa

While I loved peanut butter cups as a kid, as a grown up I'm super into peppermint patties. This drink is like a peppermint patty in a cup. The recipe has about four servings.

peppermint cocoa


  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 quart milk
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup crushed mint candy canes plus additional for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. Heat cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Gradually stir in chocolate chips and mint pieces.
  3. Simmer until peppermint dissolves, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Increase heat to a boil for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat and serve in mugs.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream and additional crushed candy canes.

4. S'mores Hot Chocolate

Turn a summer camping favorite into your newest non-alcoholic hot Christmas drink obsession. 

Smores Hot Chocolate with Toasted Mini Marshmallows


  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 graham cracker, crushed into crumbs
  • 8 ounces hot chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips.


  1. Place the chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs on two separate saucers in a thin layer.
  2. Dip the rim of an oven-proof coffee mug in the chocolate syrup and then into the graham crackers.
  3. Carefully pour the hot chocolate into the prepared mug.
  4. Mix the marshmallow with the leftover graham cracker crumbs and the chocolate chips.
  5. Sprinkle on top of the hot chocolate. Brown marshmallows under a broiler or with a kitchen torch.

5. Cranberry Spice Tea

This is a simple yet Christmassy drink you're sure to love. 

Christmas hot drink with citrus and cranberry in glass mug



  1. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberry juice, water, and orange peel. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Remove the orange peel and pour into a mug. Steep the tea bag for two minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bag. Serve garnished with the cinnamon stick and an orange wedge.

Tasty Hot Christmas Cocktails

While these warm drinks are perfect for the holiday season, no holiday party is complete without quintessential Christmas drinks like beer, wine, and eggnog. With an array of warm alcoholic and non-alcoholic holiday cocktails along with some other Christmas essentials, you'll be warm and cozy all holiday season.

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17 Hot Christmas Drink Recipes to Warm Up the Holidays