Top 6 Cocktails Requested at Any Holiday Party

The Most Requested Cocktails at Any Holiday Party

By Peyton Whittington Published October 2023

Is there any harder hit to a holiday host’s pride than when a guest asks for a mixed drink whose ingredients are absent from your bar cart?

Well. Except for when a guest wears an even uglier sweater than yours.

We can’t help you win your ugly sweater contest, but we can prepare you for everything you’ll need on your bar cart for holiday entertaining. Keep reading for a complete guide on how to make the six most-requested cocktails at holiday parties, which ingredients to have on hand to mix them up and more helpful holiday hosting hacks.

Manhattan

A Manhattan is a classic, popularly ordered cocktail, but there’s a bit more to it than just a spirit and mixer. Make sure you’ve got these ingredients in your arsenal before the aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins twice-removed arrive.

Manhattan

The Recipe

Combine the bourbon, vermouth, bitters and a few ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir gently. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the bourbon mixture over the cherry. Rub the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils, but don't drop it in.

White Russian

It’s not just The Dude’s favorite tipple, it’s also the drink of choice for party guests who love a simple, creamy and caffeinated three-ingredient cocktail. The host abides.

White Russian

The Recipe

In a rocks glass over ice, add vodka and coffee liqueur. Top with heavy cream.

Whiskey Sour

The whiskey sour is the patron saint of those who don’t typically drink but enjoy a sweet cocktail or two when in good company. Keep this recipe on deck to walk your holiday party guests through a whiskey wonderland.

Whiskey Sour

The Recipe

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, egg white (if using) and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a cherry.

Negroni

No, not sbagliato (we know you were thinking it). This bitter beauty is making a major comeback, so get ready to mix up plenty of them this holiday season.

Negroni

The Recipe

Add gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a glass with ice. Stir gently and garnish with an orange peel.

Gin & Tonic

There are countless ways to dress up a classic G&T, from refreshing herb garnishes to a splash of elderflower liqueur. For holiday hosting purposes, keep the essentials on deck and a couple of different fresh garnish options to wow your guests on a budget.

Gin & Tonic

The Recipe

Add gin and tonic water to a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Espresso Martini

There’s no better holiday party pick-me-up than a smooth, sophisticated espresso martini. Brew a pot of coffee before your guests arrive (or make it the day before and refrigerate it) so you can whip up this trending cocktail on the fly.

Espresso Martini

The Recipe

Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Mocktails

This bonus category is for those hosts who are The Mom Friend: they’ve always got a pack of gum, a bottle of ibuprofen and an extra bottle of water in their bag for anyone who needs it. These holiday hosts are prepared for whatever their guests might need - including those who don’t drink.

ALL of us have friends and family who don’t drink alcohol for various reasons, and these folks deserve to sip on a festive drink, too. Browse ABC’s vast collection of delicious non-alcoholic mocktail recipes, from the easy to the elaborate.

Image of Cranberry Gimlet (Non-Alcoholic) Featured Mocktail: Cranberry Gimlet (Non-Alcoholic)

So, to recap, here is a handy list of everything you’ll need to serve your party guests their favorite cocktails this holiday season:

Staple spirits

Liqueurs and aperitifs

Mixers, garnishes and other ingredients

Optional mixing ingredients and garnishes

More of a visual learner? Watch along as we show you how to stock your bar with the essentials above in a way that’s easy to access (and easy on the eyes) here. Find more hosting tips by clicking the link below.

Secure your spot on the nice list by picking up everything you need to entertain this holiday season online at abcfws.com, at your local ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store or through the new ABC Fine Wine & Spirits app.

Interested in learning more? Visit our ABC Blog page.