The holidays are about spending time with family and (usually) about coming together over a nice meal. And, if you're 21+, these meals usually involve some sort of "adult beverage."

Holiday cocktails are festive and classic, full of different flavors and liquors. Understandably, some of these liquors are a bit stronger than others. Some will even downright put some hairs on you Santa beard!

Different alcohols will affect people in different ways, so here's a list of holiday themed drinks that'll put a bit more spirit in your Christmas festivities.

Disclaimer: Spoon University does not advocate binge drinking in any form. Enjoy your holiday, but please drink responsibly–and only if you're 21 or older.

Spiked Eggnog

First on the list is a traditional Christmastime favorite. Spiked eggnog is usually made with rum (check out this recipe, that also includes whiskey), specifically dark rum.

A dark rum like Captain Morgan is made up of approximately 35% alcohol, which is significantly higher than alcohol levels in standard fare like beer or wine.

Most people add about one shot of rum to each glass of spiked eggnog, so this should probably be a one-and-done type of drink. And one drink of this stuff should be enough...unless you want to recreate the West Point Egg Nog Riot of 1826.

Mulled Wine

Wine is pretty much the signifier that you have moved past the "kids table" and have finally taken a seat next to all your cool aunts and uncles at the adult table.

This holiday cocktail has all of the Christmastime spices you know and love like cinnamon and cloves, with a little red wine added in for good measure.

Typical red wines range anywhere from 9-14% alcohol content. Still more than the average college kid's can of Bud Light, but less than the spiked eggnog. So, don't go crazy, but feel free to help yourself to a ladle!

Irish Coffee

Coming from an Irish family, all of my aunts and uncles would unwind after Christmas dinner with an Irish coffee. The typical liquor of choice here is Bailey's, a common Irish cream here in the U.S.

Bailey's is a mixture of Irish whiskey and cream, but the additional flavorings cut down on the alcohol content. The alcohol content in a standard drink of Bailey's hovers around 17%, making your coffee just boozy enough.

But, if you don't want to mix Bailey's with coffee, there are plenty of other dessert holiday cocktails you can incorporate this liquor into!

Hot Toddy

If you're sick with a sore throat on Christmas, but still want a holiday cocktail, then this drink is for you! Typical ingredients include black tea, lemon, honey, and bourbon.

Bourbon usually has about 40% alcohol content, so you might not want to have too many hot toddies if you're under the weather. But, whether sick or not, there's no questioning that this drink is perfect for the holiday season–or just cold weather in general!


Technically, this is more of a traditional New Year's Eve drink, but we won't tell anyone if you break the bubbly out a week early. Whether it's Moet, Dom Pérignon, or a cheaper brand, champagne is versatile and perfect for lots of holiday cocktails.

Alcohol content in champagne is around 12%, less than both most red and white wines. It's definitely not the most hard hitting alcohol, and that's a good thing come holiday time. You survived 2016, feel free to have a glass!

So, while Christmas time is definitely not all about holiday cocktails, it can definitely help bring family members together. As long as you're responsible, your holidays will stay merry and bright!