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Toast to the Season with Christmas Cocktails

Make your holidays merry and bright with these festive beverages.

The packages are wrapped, stockings hung, turkey trimmed. But what's a holiday without cocktails?

Wow your guests with some of these unique, zesty beverages this year.

Spicy Gingerman - Shake one ounce vanilla vodka, one ounce hazelnut liqueur, half an ounce butterscotch schnapps and two ounces ginger ale. Pour over ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Sleigh Ride - I'll admit, I picked this drink just because the name sounded so cozy and festive. But the recipe reaffirmed my choice, because this cocktail is cozy and festive! But this one requires a little planning ahead because five ounces apple cider, one cinnamon stick, one apple slice and two teaspoons honey need to be mixed in advanced and allowed to sit overnight. Then add cider mix and 1.5 ounces of vodka to a crock pot (or a regular pot) and heat on medium-low.

Cranberry Mojitos - A Christmas Day spin on a traditionally summery cocktail? Yes, please! This recipe creator made her own simple cranberry syrup, but no one would fault you for using cranberry juice. It's the holidays. You're busy. If you decide to follow the recipe, you'll need to simmer eight ounces fresh cranberries, one cup granulated sugar and one cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Lower to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat before berries start bursting. Strain out the berries. Put 10 mint leaves and one teaspoon in each of two glasses. Muddle the mint. Add ice, two ounces cranberry syrup and two ounces white rum into each glass. Top off with club soda, and garnish with some fresh cranberries.

Pumpkintini - Pumpkin pie, on the rocks with a twist! Fill a shaker with ice, and add one and a half ounces rum, three tablespoons pumpkin pie filling, half an ounce maple liqueur and one tablespoon half and half. Crush graham cracker crumbs, wet the rim of a chilled martini glass and coat the rim in cracker crumbs. Strain shaker into the martini glass.

Butterbeer - Finally, one for the kiddos (and the kids at heart): Butterbeer, from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Melt brown sugar, add butter, salt, cider vinegar and heavy cream. Cool. Pour cream soda into a glass, stir in brown sugar syrup. Mix additional cream with a bit of your melted brown sugar syrup, and add a dollop to the top of your butterbeer. FYI, I've tried making this butterbeer recipe, and I found it pretty far off the mark. In my humble opinion, the rum flavoring made the whole thing taste like soap.

Cheers!

What's your go-to holiday cocktail? Tell us in the comments below!

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