We all adore the holidays. Nothing beats spending time with family and having them quiz you about everything that you don't want to talk about. Fret not, because this handy guide teaches you how to spike popular holiday drinks. That way, you'll be able to deal with those all-too-dreaded awkward conversations with distant relatives. Trust me, this guide covers all the basics. 


milk, coffee, cream, cappuccino, sweet, yogurt, milkshake, espresso
Kristine Mahan

Bourbon is the most popular liquor to pair with eggnog. Brown liquors usually prove best when paired with creamy drinks since they tend to be rich and nutty. Other popular contenders are dark rum, brandy and cognac. 

Hot Chocolate and Coffee

milk, coffee, chocolate, cream
Parisa Soraya

Bailey's (regular and vegan) is hands down the best liquor to spike hot chocolate and coffee with. The Irish know a thing or two about staying warm for the winter, so trust them on this. You can also make your own Bailey's with whiskey as a base. 

Mulled Wine

coffee, tea, espresso, cappuccino
Shelby McLennan

Although mulled wine comes in both red and white, the red the arguably the more traditional form. Merlots and dark reds are the best wine bases to use, and the concoction welcomes a dash or two of port to sweeten things out. You can find the recipe for the red mulled wine here, and if you're more of a white wine fan, here's a recipe for white mulled wine. 

Apple Cider

apple, juice, cider, sweet, tea
Anna Arteaga

In comes rum, the best liquor to spike a warm class of apple cider with. Not as deep and distinctive as other brown liquors, rum still holds a smooth mellow flavor with a hint of sweetness. Brandy comes in a close second. 


Charlotte (Charli) Hu

You'll want your wine dry and your brandy strong. Traditional red sangria must always be made with a Spanish dry red wine, a splash of brandy and a bevy of fresh fruits. You can find the refreshing recipe here

Cranberry Ginger Cocktail

tea, cocktail, cinnamon, cranberry, ice, rum
Marie Chantal Marauta

I bet everyone knows how to spike this already, as I see a lot of cranberry vodkas in the ghosts of college past. That's right, vodka pairs best with most cranberry drinks, and this recipe is no exception. 

Chai Tea

coffee, tea
Preet Bhaidaswala

Ah, nothing beats a chai latte. The sweet-and-spicy combination makes for a perfect holiday drink. The dark, chocolate bourbon pairs best with a chai latte. Who knew you could elevate this drink by adding some booze to it


lemon, mint, lemonade, juice, lime, citrus
Isabella Cuellar

If the family gatherings begin in the morning, you need to upgrade your average orange juice to a mimosa. Prepare for these mornings by having a bottle of champagne and orange liqueur at your disposal. Get the recipe here


sweet, berry, strawberry, juice, lemon, mint
Jacqueline Paez

There is a fine line between a respectable holiday punch and jungle juice. Let's hope you don't cross it. Usually vodka and a sparkling champagne are the perfect addition. This recipe takes all the good stuff and combines it for a boozy treat. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Julia Schock

Pumpkin spice lattes are a fall staple, it's no secret. When the holidays roll around, embrace your inner fall-loving, Ugg-wearing self with this twist on the beloved drink. 

Peppermint Mocha

cake, cream, chocolate
Gabby Phi

One of the more popular holiday drinks, peppermint mochas are a must-have during the holiday season (Starbucks, I'm talking to you). When you're in the mood to add a little booze to this creamy, beloved beverage, just add some peppermint schnapps. It's that easy.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice. While these popular holiday drinks might put you on the naughty list, no holiday season is complete without them. Now liquor up and get cooking, you have awkward family gatherings to survive. You're welcome.