Jolly Christmas Martini Recipe That's Santa's Favorite Sip

With a festive pop of color and yummy holiday flavors, this Christmas martini can turn up the volume on your next silent night.

Updated January 29, 2024
Jolly Christmas Martini

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. 


  • Lime wedge and sugar for rim
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 dashes cherry bitters
  • Ice
  • Cranberries and rosemary sprig for garnish


  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lime wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, cranberry juice, elderflower liqueur, rosemary simple syrup, and cherry bitters.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into the prepared glass.
  6. 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.

Related: Christmas Drinks With Rum to Make You Feel Holly Jolly 


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.

Jolly Christmas Martini Recipe That's Santa's Favorite Sip