If you're looking for another excuse to indulge in a slew of cocktails this holiday season (other than the usual million excuses), here's one: Some of the best seasonal cocktails will disappear by the new year, so you really should make sure you sample them while you can. These seven awesome cocktails we found around the country pair some of our favorite spirits with an extra dose of holiday spirit.
Holiday Mule at The Mill Kitchen & Bar, Roswell, Georgia
This neighborhood restaurant specializing in upscale Southern comfort food is giving the traditional Moscow Mule a Christmasy twist. In addition to the usual vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, the Holiday Mule gets a splash of cranberry juice and a garnish of house-candied cranberries and sprigs of rosemary—which, after a few of these drinks, actually start looking like little Christmas tree branches.
Sugar & Spice at Mastro's Restaurants, multiple California locations
If you're feeling naughty, try indulging in this creamy concoction, shaken up at this high-end steakhouse and seafood chain's California outposts. The drink's got two different flavored vodkas—Three Olive cake-flavored vodka and Svedka vanilla—along with Akal Chai Rum (infused with tea leaves and flower petals) and a swirl of whipped cream. But wait, it gets sweeter! The drink is served up in a martini glass with a cinnamon-sugar rim.
Hot Buttered Rum at Bar Saint George, Marfa, Texas
The folks behind the bar at the historic Hotel Saint George in West Texas wanted to offer a true old-school winter classic, and they've definitely done it with this one. The "batter" is made with butter, light and dark brown sugars, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and freshly grated nutmeg, and then it gets mixed with hot water and a couple of ounces of dark rum (Bar Saint George uses Hamilton 86), and garnished with a cinnamon stick and an orange twist. Now that's a cocktail you definitely want to get your hands on if you're anywhere near Marfa, Texas. Or if you're feeling ambitious, try your hand at whipping one up at home.
On Christmas Island at Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29, New Orleans
Photo credit: Noah Fecks
It's a kitschy-Christmas lover's dream come true: A pop-up called Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack chock full of holiday decor, specialty cocktails, and Christmas tunes spinning all December long inside a New Orleans tiki bar (there's also a sister pop-up at New York's Boilermaker). The place offers several groovy and holiday-worthy drinks, but this is the only one you can drink out of a mug shaped like Santa's bottom half. The drink has three types of rum (hey, after a stressful family dinner you're gonna' need them all), along with ginger syrup, passionfruit, lemon juice, and a bit of Don's Spices #2 syrup, a blend of Jamaican pimento berry and Madagascar vanilla.
Scrooged at The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
It may be too cold for swimming in Vegas this time of year, but it's worth a visit to the pool at the Cosmopolitan, which transforms into an annual ice skating rink complete with Christmas lights, firepits for s'more- roasting, staged snow showers throughout the evening, and, of course, some heavenly holiday cocktails. The boozy coffee-based drink Scrooged gets a little spice from a pumpkin liqueur, some nuttiness from Nocello, and finally, a touch of sweetness thanks to a splash of Frosted Flake milk, before getting garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. We'll take this over slot machines any day.
Fig Toddy at Crave Fishbar
You can tell that the amber-colored cocktail that mixologist Mazin Ahwal concocted at this duo of Manhattan seafood restaurants is going to smell really good just by looking at it. Spiced rum and Meyer lemon juice get a holiday flavor boost with fig jam, ground cinnamon, cloves and a festive garnish of clove-spiked lemon and fig slices.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate at Vinoteca, Beverly Hills
Those not imbibing this holiday (at least not yet) won't feel the least bit deprived with this dessert-in-a-glass at the wine and espresso bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel. Instead of using chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, Vinoteca melts housemade bittersweet chocolate ganache and peppermint simple syrup into steamed milk to make this rich drink. And staffers can even create some cute polar bear art on top upon request.
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