The holiday season is upon us and everyone is getting into the spirit. Stores are bringing out holiday decor, which means it’s time for bar and restaurant owners to think about their special offers, too. Whether you are sticking to classic foods and popular cocktails, or going the unique route, it’s time to revamp the seasonal menu.
There is a variety of specialty coffee drinks you can offer, as well as matcha teas. However, you can also change your wine lists and offer different varieties of wine you have never served before. Don’t forget to plan out different drink and food pairings that will make your customers want to come back.
But with all that being said, let’s talk about the star of today’s article - the great holiday drinks you can serve to your customers! There are a bunch of delicious holiday cocktails and other drinks that will make people feel warm and cozy, and get them in the mood for celebration.
Classic Holiday Drinks You Need on Your Menu
Creating an incredible beverage menu is hard but will help you gain more customers and keep them coming back. A great drinks selection will improve the overall customer experience. It can even help earn a Michelin Star.
Here, we have curated a list of all the classic holiday drinks you can add to your offers to bring the joyful spirit of the holiday season to your restaurant.
Key Takeaway: There is a huge variety of classic holiday drinks to choose from. All of them will fit nicely into most beverage menus but if you are a business owner, you have some researching and planning to do. Try a few of the options and create your own signature drinks, too! A holiday menu will bring in more customers.
When you think about holiday drinks, eggnog probably comes to mind right away. This true classic is made with eggs, milk, and sugar, and it’s often spiked with rum, brandy, or bourbon. To make it more traditional, garnish this drink with nutmeg.
You can serve eggnog in any type of glassware you prefer. We always recommend experimenting. So don’t be afraid to go with a glass that suits the concept of your restaurant best and is a bit more unique.
2. Mulled Wine
Another drink we can’t skip when talking about holiday drinks is mulled wine. This drink screams cold weather and holiday spirit! The base for this drink is red wine, which is infused with cloves, cinnamon, and orange zest. This drink is served warm and it’s a comforting, aromatic choice for the winter months!
3. Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
To elevate the classic hot chocolate drink, add some peppermint schnapps to it. Top it off with whipped cream and some crushed candy canes. Hot chocolate is a great base to experiment with and create your own signature drink. Add cookies and other candies as garnish or add some other flavors to the drink.
4. Spiked Cider
Warm spiked cider is also a great option to have in your holiday drinks menu. The drink can be spiked with bourbon or rum. You can also use cinnamon schnapps. To add more flavor to the drink, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Another great option to serve is spiked cider cocktails. There are both warm and cold options and you can experiment with different recipes. Garnishes can also be used to add a holiday touch.
5. Cranberry Mule
Moscow Mule is a favorite of many because of its refreshing taste. Cranberry Mule is a twist to the beloved classic and the ginger beer is replaced by cranberry juice. To finish up this delicious holiday drink, you need fresh cranberries and a slice of lime.
6. Holiday Punch
Create a batch of holiday punch by mixing fruit juice, sparkling water, and spirits of your choice. Different types of alcohol can be used for this kind of drink, as well as a variety of juices. This is what is great about punch - you are free to create a combination you love or even one that matches the colors and concept of your restaurant.
7. Peppermint White Russian
Holiday drinks don’t have to be 100% unique. In fact, people love a nice holiday twist to a cocktail they already know and love. This is the case with the Peppermint White Russian. Spice up the classic White Russian cocktail with peppermint schnapps. It’s a delicious sweet and minty treat.
8. Gingerbread Martini
Infuse the flavors of the holiday season into a Martini! Add gingerbread syrup, vodka, and a splash of cream. Rim the glass with crushed gingersnap cookies for an extra festive touch. You can also read our article on how to rim a glass for more ideas!
9. Cinnamon Hot Toddy
The Cinnamon Hot Toddy is a comforting mix of hot water, lemon juice, honey, and a cinnamon stick. You can add bourbon or whiskey to it. It’s a great drink to have on a chill December night!
10. Winter Sangria
Sangria is another beloved drink, but it’s not typically associated with the holiday season. To make it a part of your holiday drinks, you can make it in a slightly different way. Mix red wine with brandy. Add apples, as well as pears, and finish it with a mix of holiday spices.
11. Holiday Sparkler
Feel free to customize any of these drinks so they can fit better in your restaurant’s menu. To minimize loss, you can focus on drinks that will help you finish opened bottles of alcohol before they expire.
Don’t forget to keep track of what your customers love the most, so you can focus on that specific drink or keep in mind to bring it back the following holiday season.
Frequently Asked Questions about Holiday Drinks at Restaurants
If you want to know more about the classic holiday drinks you can serve at your restaurant, read the answers to these common questions.
What Types of Spices Are Commonly Used in Holiday Drinks?
Common spices used in holiday drinks include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and star anise. These spices contribute to the warm and festive flavors of the drinks.
It’s interesting to know that these are also common gin spices you can use. This means that gin is not reserved only for the warmer months!
Are There Any Sugar-Free Options for Holiday Drinks?
Some bars and restaurants offer sugar or low-sugar drink options, so they can serve a wider audience. If you are a customer, make sure to ask the server about it. In case you are running a restaurant, make sure your bartenders can make a variety of options.
Are There Any Gluten-Free Options for Holiday Cocktails?
Many holiday cocktails are naturally gluten-free. If you are a customer, check with the staff about specific ingredients and potential cross-contamination concerns. But if you are running the business, plan the menu to have gluten and sugar-free, as well as vegan options.