From Fun & Festive To Wintery & Weird, These 10 Incredible Holiday Cocktails Are A Must-Try This Season

13 min read NOV 11, 2023
Two favorite drink offerings at any gathering, especially throughout the holiday season are coffee and alcohol.

  • Coffee and alcohol are each enjoyed socially.
  • Both beverages can serve as an after dinner aperitif.
  • Both booze and beans (coffee beans, that is) are unique in their specific flavor notes.


And, when you pair these two crowd pleasers you’ve got an unbeatable base for a wide variety of incredible cocktails.

One of the things I love most about coffee cocktails is how versatile they are in both their making and their enjoyment.

There are so many spices, creams, sweet ingredients, juices, and more that you can add to java inspired cocktails that combine to create some of the most fabulous flavors.

And, when enjoying these drinks, you can equally savor such sips fireside in your pajamas while watching your favorite holiday flicks or while all dressed up for an elaborate evening with friends and family.

So, no matter how you plan to enjoy coffee cocktails this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list containing everything from fun and festive offerings to a few odd (weird) selections, and of course some traditional classics.

We hope you enjoy perusing the list - trying all those you fancy and savoring each coffee-infused, boozy sip.

Oh, and be sure to check out the suggestions in the classics section to incorporate a coffee twist or two to elevate these cocktails from traditional to tremendous. (And, feel free to let us know your favorite from the list.)

Happy Holidays!

4 Festive And Fun Coffee Cocktails


We found these recipes to not only be incredibly tasty but festive as well. And, what’s more fun throughout the holiday season than enjoying a themed coffee cocktail?


1- Santa’s On The Naughty List

Santa’s had too many of these delicious coffee cocktails this season, and since he didn’t drink responsibly, Mrs. Claus has made good on her threat to put him on the naughty list.

Yep, this cocktail is just that good! So, stay on the nice list this year by indulging in moderation.

Made with sugar cookie vodka and our Frosted Sugar Cookie coffee, you’ll likely want to come back for more and more and more, but take it from Santa, the naughty list isn’t the best place to be this time of year.


Ingredients


  • 2 ounces cold brewed Lifeboost Frosted Sugar Cookie Coffee
  • 2 ounces sugar cookie vodka (or vanilla vodka)
  • 1 ½ ounces light creme de cocoa
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • Ice


Instructions


  • Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, without ice. Shake vigorously to combine.
  • Add ice to a glass, pour contents of cocktail shaker over ice. Enjoy!


*For some added flare, you can rim your glass with decorator’s sugar prior to serving.

Dark Roast to Bright your Morning

There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of bitter coffee

2- Drunken Snowmen

If you’re looking for a fun, less-conventional holiday cocktail, this boozy affogato is a delicious way to enjoy coffee, dessert, and some spirits all in one.

Of course, ice cream is already smooth, silky, and sweet, but the addition of coffee and chocolate, combined to create a delicious mocha, with a little Kahlua and Irish Cream truly takes this one over the top.


Ingredients (serves 2)


  • 4 large scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 cups hot mocha coffee (see recipe below)
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 4 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Chocolate shavings, for topping


Instructions


  • Gather two large mugs, and add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to each mug.
  • Pour 2 ounces of Bailey’s Irish Cream, 1 ounce Kahlua, and 1 cup of the prepared mocha over the ice cream in each mug.
  • Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired, and enjoy!

 

Hot Mocha Coffee


  • 2 cups freshly brewed Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Add hot coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk to a medium saucepan. Stir together and heat over low heat until all ingredients are fully incorporated and warmed through. *This won’t take long since the coffee is already hot, but stirring together on the stovetop over the heat will help the cocoa powder to fully incorporate.


3- Nog And Oates

Hall couldn’t be with us for our holiday soiree this season. Well, actually Oates couldn’t join us either. But, we’re still including this gem…or rather, this kiss, on our list of delicious holiday cocktails this year.

This incredible take on a winter classic (eggnog) doesn’t simply incorporate a bit of alcohol, but it includes incredibly fragrant, smooth, and tasty Lifeboost Eggnog Latte Coffee and oat milk as well, resulting in a creamy, silky treat that’s sure to wow your taste buds all season.

*Check out the homemade, healthy eggnog recipe after the cocktail instructions. It’s easy to make and frankly, I think it knocks the socks off store bought nog any day of the week!


Ingredients


  • 2 ounces eggnog (see homemade recipe below)
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 ounce Rumchata
  • 2 ounces cold brewed Lifeboost Eggnog Latte Coffee
  • 1 ounce oat milk
  • Cocoa powder, optional for garnish
  • Freshly ground nutmeg, optional for garnish

Instructions


  • Add eggnog, Bailey’s, Rumchata, cold brew, oat milk, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the outside of the cocktail shaker begins to frost. This will ensure you have a foamy layer to rest atop your cocktail.
  • Pour into a glass, then dust with cocoa powder or nutmeg for garnish, and enjoy!


Homemade Healthy Eggnog


  • 4 cups unsweetened oat milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a blender, add egg yolks, oat milk, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and blend for roughly one minute or until smooth. Pour mixture into a saucepan, add cloves, and heat over low-medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, paying careful attention so eggs cook slowly (otherwise you’ll have scrambled egg in your mixture). The mixture should be hot, but do not simmer or boil (watch continually). If the mixture starts to boil, whisk vigorously and remove from heat for a moment.


Once thickened, remove eggnog from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain using a fine mesh strainer to remove cloves. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Chill at least 8 hours before using.


4- Mistletoe Milkshake

Are milkshakes in winter a thing? If not, they should be…especially when those milkshakes contain both coffee and white chocolate liqueur!

Our low acid coffee is already smooth, but the addition of white chocolate liqueur just adds a creamy sweetness that is beyond explanation.

And, while it does take a little extra work, you can elevate the presentation of this cocktail, especially when serving to guests, with a layer of white chocolate and holiday sprinkles on the rim of your glass.


Ingredients


  • 3 ounces cold brewed Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
  • 3 ounces white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 ounce white creme de cocoa
  • 1 ounce half and half
  • ¼ cup vanilla ice cream
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips, optional for garnish
  • Red and green sprinkles, optional for garnish

Instructions


  • Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • If desired, melt white chocolate chips, then dip the rim of the glass in the white chocolate.
  • Allow the white chocolate to set slightly, then before it completely hardens, dip the rim of the glass in holiday sprinkles for added flare.
  • Pour the prepared adults-only milkshake into the glass, and enjoy!

3 Wonderfully Weird Winter Coffee Cocktails


Okay, obviously we do not think coffee cocktails are weird.

When we say weird here, we’re simply implying that either the ingredients or preparation methods in the following recipes might be a bit unconventional.

So, don’t let the title fool you. The following cocktails are truly fabulous, even if they’re a bit unique. You may even find a new holiday favorite, odd or otherwise.

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1- I’rish You A Merry Christmas

The preparation method for this cocktail may seem a bit odd (or weird if we’re keeping with the themed title) since your crock pot will be doing most of the prep work, but we figured most folks wouldn’t shy away from a bit of help when it comes to holiday party planning.

Preparing a cocktail in your slow cooker may not be conventional, but it certainly cuts down on the last minute to-do list when you’re entertaining guests. So, if you’re looking for a tasty coffee cocktail suited for a crowd, this sweet, boozy, minty coffee treat is the perfect solution.

*A great substitute for medium roast here would be Lifeboost Irish Cream Coffee, highlighting the buttery cream and whiskey notes of the cocktail.


Ingredients


  • 3 cups cold brewed Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 ½ cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups creme de menthe
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • Whipped cream, for topping

Instructions


  • Add cold brew, heavy cream, milk, white chocolate chips, creme de menthe, and irish whiskey to a large slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 2 - 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  • When serving, ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!

2- An Old Fashioned Chai-mas

Some folks are die hard old-fashioned fans…so much so that most wouldn’t dare alter this timelessly classic cocktail. But, it’s the holidays, so all rules are out, right?

Here you’ll actually be using coffee to make a simple syrup for this delicious cocktail instead of incorporating the world’s favorite beverage directly into the drink. But, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well the java flavors still shine through.

And, another weird twist incorporated here is that you’ll be savoring classic chai spices amidst the addition of coffee to the typical old fashioned ingredients like bourbon, bitters, and citrus.

I know, these upgrades do sound like they could be a bit much, but trust me, they just work. You may even find that your old fashioned Christmas is no longer complete without this wonderfully weird addition to your winter cocktail line-up.


Ingredients


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 2-3 tablespoons chai syrup (see recipe below)
  • Sparkling water, for topping
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • Star anise, for garnish
  • ice

Instructions


  • Add bourbon, lemon juice, orange bitters, chai syrup, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to combine.
  • Add ice to a glass, then strain mixture over ice.
  • Top with a desired amount of sparkling water (to taste, and only if desired).
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick and star anise, and enjoy!

Chai Cocktail Syrup


  • 8 ounces strongly brewed Lifeboost Vanilla Chai Latte Coffee
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Add hot coffee and maple syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring to just below a boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the mixture to reduce slightly. Remove from heat, allowing the mixture to cool slightly before stirring in the vanilla. Once cooled completely, store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


3- Holiday Brunch Punch

Some folks prefer a cup of coffee for brunch, while others enjoy a refreshing mimosa.

But, when you bring those two notions together, you’ve got a unique holiday cocktail that’s the perfect mixture of classic and odd, festive and weird. And, this is exactly why we’ve included this selection for you here today.

Some view the combination of citrus and coffee as odd, even weird, but these flavors (oddly enough) truly work well together.

The tart flavors in most citrus fruits, here oranges, actually work to accentuate the truly delicious notes in many dark roast coffees.

So, in this cocktail, we’re utilizing our fan-favorite Dark Roast. But I must say, being a solid fan of our Light Roast, this selection really works here too.

Light roasts have a brighter, more acidic, flavor, and when combined with orange juice, those bright and refreshing flavor notes in the coffee shine even more.

No matter which roast you choose, incorporate the “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” rule, and add this one to your next holiday brunch.


Ingredients


  • 2 ounces strongly brewed Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee, chilled
  • 6 ounces orange juice (I prefer freshly juiced in this recipe.)
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • ice


Instructions


  • Add ice to a glass. Pour in orange juice over ice.
  • Top orange juice with 1 ounce Kahlua and chilled coffee. Enjoy!

3 Holiday Coffee Cocktail Classics


Let’s close things out today with a few seasonal cocktail classics.

Obviously, each cocktail will contain coffee, but be sure to examine the recipes thoroughly as we’ll include some ways you can swap a coffee ingredient or two to transform these typical tastes.


1- Hot Buttered Holiday Rum

What’s the difference between hot buttered rum and hot buttered holiday rum…one incredibly delicious ingredient…coffee!

Many enjoy a hot buttered rum as a warm addition to winter evenings, so this twist of adding coffee truly takes this tradition to the next level.

Of course, if you are enjoying this in the evening and you’re sensitive to caffeine, you can easily opt for decaf here.

And, for some added spice, try using Lifeboost Holiday Spice And Everything Nice Coffee, or to enhance the caramel notes in this cocktail, you can also try our Caramel Macchiato Coffee in this drink.


Ingredients (serves 2)


  • 12 ounces freshly brewed Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ounces rum
  • 1 ounce caramel flavored vodka
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Instructions


  • Divide brown sugar, honey, butter, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg between two mugs.
  • Stir ingredients in each mug until they form a paste or batter.
  • Add rum and vodka to each mug (half the amount in each), then stir to combine.
  • Pour hot coffee into each mug (6 ounces each), then stir until the ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Garnish each cocktail with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

2- Peppermint Espresso Martini

This ingredient swap happens right out of the gate as we’re giving the classic and elegant espresso martini an upgrade for the holidays.

Espresso martinis are potent, sophisticated, and exceptionally delicious, and this holiday version improves on each of these points by adding a touch of peppermint to this classic.

Of course, if you’d like to tame down the mint notes in this drink, simply swap out the recommended Lifeboost Peppermint Mocha Coffee here for our Lifeboost Espresso Coffee. This will result in a bolder coffee flavor with a less noticeable presence of peppermint.

*Note: If you do use espresso in place of the peppermint mocha coffee, I’d recommend pulling a shot and allowing it to cool instead of cold brewing, as is suggested for the peppermint mocha.


Ingredients


  • 1 ounce cold brewed Lifeboost Peppermint Mocha Coffee
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • ½ ounce white creme de menthe
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 candy cane, crushed
  • ice

Instructions


  • Melt white chocolate chips, then coat the rim of a martini glass in the white chocolate.
  • Dip the white chocolate rim into the crushed candy canes.
  • Add ice, cold brew, vodka, Kahlua, and white creme de menthe to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker is thoroughly frosted. Shaking to this point will allow for a nice layer of froth on top of your cocktail.
  • Pour cocktail into the prepared martini glass, and enjoy!

3- Hot Holiday White Russian

The White Russian is a classic wintertime cocktail, as even the origin of this boozy offering tells the story of a cold, dreary winter night when a talented bartender created the drink to warm up weary travelers.

Now, this tasty treat is commonly served throughout the winter season to not only bring warmth but a familiar flavor as well to all those sampling this fabulous drink.

**For a festive and flavorful twist on this coffee cocktail classic, try using our Lifeboost Vanilla Chai Latte Coffee in place of the Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee or Lifeboost White Russian Coffee in this recipe. You won’t be disappointed!


Ingredients (serves 2 or more)


  • 8 ounces freshly brewed Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee or Lifeboost White Russian Coffee
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 1 ounces vodka

Instructions


  • Add heavy cream to a small bowl and whisk until soft peaks form, set aside.
  • Add coffee to a large mug. Stir in Kahlua and vodka.
  • Top coffee mixture with a few dollops of whipped heavy cream, and enjoy!

*If you’d like to add a touch of sweetness to this cocktail, simply add a teaspoon of sugar to the heavy cream prior to whisking.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.

References:
https://whoneedsacape.com/2016/10/irish-elf/
https://homecookingmemories.com/iced-mint-irish-coffee-cocktail-recipe/#tasty-recipes-21795-jump-target
https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/vanilla-chai-old-fashioned/
https://whoneedsacape.com/2014/11/bad-santa-cocktail/
https://iambaker.net/drunken-snowman-cocktail/#wprm-recipe-container-89347
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/23538/mocha-coffee/
https://www.invigocoffee.com/en-us/blogs/news/best-alcoholic-coffee-cocktails-for-the-holiday-season
https://www.asweetpeachef.com/eggnog-latte/
https://wearelittles.com/blogs/stories/2-christmas-coffee-cocktail-recipes
https://wearenotmartha.com/coffee-and-orange-juice/
https://11thstreetcoffee.com/blogs/news/what-foods-pair-best-with-light-roast-coffee
https://www.kahlua.com/en-us/drinks/peppermint-espresso-martini/
https://www.liquor.com/recipes/hot-caramel-buttered-rum/

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