Ho, ho, holy cow, is this a delicious holiday drink? While not technically a classic martini (contains only gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and an olive or lemon peel garnish), it's a delicious cocktail with a lovely red color and traditional holiday flavors. This may just become the favorite holiday spirit of sophisticated Santas everywhere. Just keep it away from the Elf on the Shelf — who knows what kind of trouble that guy can get into after a few drinks.
How to Make a Christmas Martini
If vodka is not your spirit of choice, use gin for this recipe. If you're going for a white Christmas theme, use white cranberry juice instead of red.
- To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lime wedge.
- With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, cranberry juice, elderflower liqueur, rosemary simple syrup, and cherry bitters.
- Shake to chill.
- Strain into the prepared glass.
- Garnish with cranberries and a rosemary sprig.
Variations and Substitutions
You can easily change up the Christmas martini to your own taste.
- Use cherry vodka for a juicier flavor.
- Swap cranberry and cherry flavors, using tart cherry juice and cranberry bitters.
- Add a splash of lemon juice for a brighter flavor.
- Instead of rosemary simple syrup, use cinnamon or thyme.
- Replace elderflower liqueur with orange liqueur.
Garnishes are just as important as the liquid ingredients in your cocktail. Here are some of our festive suggestions:
- Use red, white, or rainbow sprinkles instead of sugar.
- Skip the rim entirely if you don't want a sweet garnish.
- A single lemon twist gives a pop of gold, even on its own.
- Include a lime wheel or a dehydrated wheel for a new look.
- Opt for an orange wheel or wedge for a sweeter citrus spin.
Cheers to the Season
Shaking up a Christmas martini is a memorable way to toast your way through the holidays. Whether you're enjoying one at a party, leaving it out for Santa, or having a quiet night with some fuzzy warm blankets and a good movie, this martini will become a new staple.