The 5 Most Popular Holiday Cocktails in the US
Yummly home cooks sure know how to throw a good holiday party. Here are the drink recipes that add extra holiday cheer across the country.
Holiday parties call for a certain level of frivolity. Sure, there are the good old cold-weather standbys like spiked hot chocolate or apple cider, hot toddy or hot buttered rum, and mulled wine. Don’t get me wrong — they’re just the thing for a cozy night in. But when it comes to celebrating the winter holidays, how about adding a little ho-ho-ho via special ingredients and fun styling?
Depending on where you live in the US, that might mean very different things. At Yummly® we wondered what the most popular cocktails were across the country, so we had our Business Analytics Manager Ravija Sharma dig into the search trends on Yummly. We’re excited to share here the 5 Most Popular Holiday Cocktails in the US, organized by regional winners. As a bonus we also included the runners-up, so you can try some additional regional favorites to make the season extra bright.
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Top 5 holiday cocktails in the US
Read on for the favorite holiday drink recipes in each region of the country. If you don’t find a recipe that jingles your bells, I’ll eat my Santa hat.
The Western United States includes both the deserts of California and Nevada and the snowcapped mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. But no matter the climate, Westerners love a good festive cocktail.
Winner: Christmas Cookie
The West's top choice, the Christmas Cookie, combines three liqueurs that appear throughout the holiday season: Baileys, Kahlúa, and peppermint schnapps. Just think about how perfectly Irish cream goes with coffee, and add a hint of mint. Oh, and don't forget a rim of red and green sprinkles for rimming the glass. As Christmas cocktails go, this one is so simple, it’s perfect.
Runner-up: Holiday Spiked Eggnog
A dairy-free eggnog recipe is just the thing for a big holiday party, where people with all kinds of dietary needs gather. Maybe that’s why Western Yummly home cooks put this one in second place among the thousands of seasonal cocktail recipes. The classic Christmas drink gets a boost from both amaretto, the almond-flavored Italian liqueur, and white rum, and the dash of cozy cinnamon or nutmeg on top adds a lovely bit of holiday spice.
The traditional White Christmas may be rare in the Southwest. That doesn’t keep Yummly home cooks in the region from celebrating the holidays in style.
A Christmas party provides the perfect excuse to break out the punch bowl. In the Southwest, they like to fill it with this fizzy, fruity concoction. It calls for cranberry juice and orange juice, ginger ale, and either vodka or rum (dark rum is especially tasty here). Looking for a mocktail option? Just leave out the alcohol — the juices and soda are lively enough on their own. And if you like things on the tarter side, you can swap in grapefruit juice for some of the orange juice. For an extra-festive touch, garnish the glasses with skewered fresh cranberries.
Runner-up: Easy Peppermint Martini
This elegant cocktail looks as beguiling as it tastes, thanks to the crushed candy cane on the rim of the glass and the mint sprig garnish. It brings a wintry gust to the often summery Southwest. The drink itself takes seconds to make — it’s nothing more than vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, and simple syrup, with a splash of grenadine (or pomegranate juice) for that pretty red color.
In the often-frigid Midwest, a roaring fire and a fun adult beverage help keep winter celebrations and celebrants warm.
Winner: Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, so the Midwest’s top holiday cocktail comes in handy. Celebrate with a holiday brunch, and don’t just serve mimosas — go all-out with spicy bloody Marys. Make the mix ahead of time from tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lime juice, pickle juice, hot sauce, and spices. Gather garnishes like pickle spears, celery sticks, and olives, and whip up a fresh pitcher as needed.
Runner-up: Recipe for Grasshopper Drink
Thick and creamy, sweet, minty, and chocolatey, the grasshopper is a terrific holiday drink — and a longstanding favorite in the Midwest. The recipe calls for creme de menthe and creme de cacao, plus light cream and maybe some chocolate syrup. Combine it in a shaker with a handful of ice cubes, strain, and sip. You’ll understand why this classic cocktail has made a comeback.
From rural Maine to the crowded streets of New York City, the Northeast offers a wide range of experiences — and that includes an awesome cocktail or two.
I live in the Northeast, and I’m not surprised at all that the coquito, a sort of Puerto Rican eggnog made with sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut liqueur, rum, and spices, comes in at number one here. In my neighborhood Facebook group, people offer up half-gallon mason jars full of the stuff! For the most sophisticated flavor, use aged añejo rum, and for a sophisticated look, garnish the glasses with cinnamon sticks.
Runner-up: Cranberry Prosecco Punch
What do you get when you pour prosecco (the Italian sparkling wine), vodka, cranberry juice, and lemon-lime soda into a punch bowl with an entire bag of frozen cranberries? You get the Northeast’s second-most popular holiday cocktail, Cranberry Prosecco Punch. The frozen cranberries may seem like just a garnish, but they actually serve a clever purpose: They keep the punch chilled.
Known as the birthplace of bluegrass, jazz, and country music, the Southeastern United States definitely knows how to throw a party.
Apparently the entire eastern United States loves this creamy cocktail. Maybe folks in the Southeast throw bigger parties than we northerners, since this big-batch version tops the list there. With 56 ounces of sweetened condensed milk, 24 ounces of cream of coconut liqueur, and an entire bottle of rum, the recipe will serve at least 16. It gives new meaning to the phrase “white Christmas.”
Runner-up: Jingle Juice Holiday Punch
Another big-batch recipe comes in second in the Southeast. Do they know how to throw a party down there, or what? This time it’s a Champagne cocktail, a perfectly bubbly way to ring in the New Year. With just three ingredients — whipped cream-flavored vodka, pink Champagne, and Cherry 7-Up — Jingle Juice Holiday Punch will be a hit whether your guests are feeling naughty or nice.
More snazzy sips for the holiday season
You’re going to need a bigger bar cart! Keep exploring to discover additional holiday cocktail recipes.