To quote the Grinch, I think we all, “Hate, hate, double hate…loathe entirely” COVID-19 and not being able to host and attend holiday gatherings and see family and friends.

But I firmly believe we still deserve great cocktails even though our holiday gatherings have been curtailed.

This trio of Christmas Cocktails brought to you by Rudolph, the Grinch, and the Cheermeister, will have you dancing with the reindeer, tipsy by the tree, and feeling a flush in your cheeks.

So, cheers to making the best of a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) stay-at-home pandemic-spoiled holiday season!

I’m going to need to work on a better toast…

(My daughter and I ranked these holiday cocktails before and after tasting. Some of the rankings shifted after we tried the drinks. Keep reading to see how the rankings changed.)

Simple to Make−Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

Get the recipe from: TidyMom

My daughter often helps me test our cocktail recipes (yes, she’s over 21) and I think she summed it up best when she tasted TidyMom’s Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer.

I quote: “This is one of those drinks that could get you in trouble very quickly!”

It’s smooth.

It’s crisp.

It’s dangerous. But in a good way.

Five things to know about the Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer recipe:

  • As written, this recipe will make quite a big batch of cocktails. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a bonus if you’re hosting a party or just stuck at home during a pandemic.
  • I didn’t make a full batch. I should have. I made this recipe at 1/3 scale. I can’t guarantee that my math was always accurate, but the drink was delicious.
  • I substituted Cherry-Limeade Seltzer for the maraschino cherry juice. When I got back from the grocery store, that was the one item I failed to get. It wasn’t in the section where I thought it would be and I forgot to look elsewhere. I had Cherry-Limeade Seltzer, so I used that instead.
  • This comes together very quickly and is a beautiful cocktail. Highly recommend.
  • This is a versatile cocktail. In fact, I may rename this Cupid’s Tipsy Spritzer and serve it when I host book club in February.

After taste-testing this cocktail, we now know why Rudolph’s nose glows…

Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

Easy to Elevate−Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail

Get the recipe from: Half-Baked Harvest

We all need a Holiday Cheermeister this year and Tieghan at Half-Baked Harvest created a cocktail that earns the Cheermeister crown.

This unique combination of warm bourbon and prosecco comes together quickly and offers an elevated alternative to vodka-based holiday punches.

If you’re a fan of bourbon, this will be right up your alley.

And, if you haven’t checked out Half-Baked Harvest, get on over to Tieghan’s website.

Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail

Four things to know about the Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail recipe:

  • This is a large batch recipe (8 servings) which can easily be doubled. The bigger your punch bowl…
  • Pomegranate arils are the sweet covering of the pomegranate seed. You can either purchase a pomegranate and remove the seeds yourself (check out this Bon Appetite tutorial) or you can check the refrigerated case of the produce section at your grocery store for a “to-go” cup of arils.
  • We scaled down this recipe to make two drinks. It scaled well and we had the exact amount to fill two cocktail glasses.
  • This punch comes together quickly but leave yourself enough time for it to chill before adding the prosecco. We used La Marca prosecco.

Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of bourbon, but I understand and appreciate the flavor of this cocktail. I know plenty of friends who will be happy to taste-test this cocktail.

Made to Impress−Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail

Get the recipe from: Half-Baked Harvest

What’s not to like about a Grinch-themed cocktail?

Well, Ginger Beer falls onto my Naughty List. I hate, hate, double hate….loathe entirely Ginger Beer. Not a fan.

And jalapeños? Also, not a top ingredient for me.

It may be because my husband is obsessed with them and uses them in everything possible. He’ll say, “I barely put any jalapeños in it” which translates to “I used three full, large jalapeños AND all the seeds.”

So, why spotlight a drink with two ingredients from the Naughty List?

Because you don’t know what something tastes like unless you taste it.

And guess what?

After giving the Half-Baked Harvest’s Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail a chance and testing this drink, I’m moving it off the Naughty List and to the top of the Nice List!

This cocktail is exactly why we try new things!

Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail

Four things to know about the Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail recipe:

  • You can turn up or turn down the heat of this cocktail with the jalapeño slices. I used two thin slices for my cocktail.
  • Grapefruits vary in size so if your grapefruit is on the larger side, simply use equal parts grapefruit and lime juice.
  • I warmed the honey slightly to help integrate it into the cocktail. The first time I made the Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail, I used room temperature honey and put it in the cocktail mixer with the ice. Don’t do this. The honey will hit the ice and seize up and won’t completely mix with the vodka, grapefruit juice and lime juice. Instead, put the ingredients in the cocktail mixture, give it a swirl to incorporate the honey and THEN add the ice and shake.
  • I also tested using grapefruit-flavored Sparking Ice in place of the grapefruit juice and, while it will work in a pinch, I’d still highly recommend using fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

Be careful with this cocktail or you could end up Drink, Drank, Drunk!

Ranking the Christmas Holiday Cocktails

As I mentioned earlier, we ranked these cocktails before and after we tasted them. The before rankings reflect what we thought we would like best based on the ingredients.

My pre-sampling ranking: 1. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer; 2. Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail; 3. Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail (sorry, it’s the bourbon).

My daughter’s pre-sampling ranking: 1. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer; 2. Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail; 3. Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail (she’s not a bourbon fan either).

What did we think after sampling all three?

For me, the unique flavors of the Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail earned it the top spot.

My post-sampling ranking: 1. Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail (heading up the Nice List); 2. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer; 3. Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail (although I appreciate the combination of bourbon and prosecco).

My daughter stuck with her pre-sampling rankings.

My daughter’s post-sampling ranking: 1. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer; 2. Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail; 3. Holiday Cheermeister Cocktail.

How will you rank the Christmas Character Cocktails?