12 Christmas cocktails for a very merry movie marathon

If you’re looking for some Christmas cocktails to liven up your movie marathons this holiday season, then we’ve got some rather inspired options for you.

‘Tis the season for a warm fire, piles of blankets, and Christmas movies galore. Of course, those movies could be better served with a side of booze, especially if you’re looking for ways to take the edge off spending time surrounded by your family.

Then again, maybe you just want an excuse to kick back, relax, and watch your favorite movie with a warm drink by your side. Whatever the reason, we’ve got a great selection of Christmas cocktails, shots, and shooters for you to enjoy, no matter your boozy preference.

When I saw Kendra write an article offering a cocktail for every song on the Red (Taylor’s Version) album, I knew I had to come up with an excuse to do a little experimenting of my own.

Now, I don’t usually make the cocktails—I just drink them. But that’s where my best friend Kayla comes in. She’s been acting as our at-home bartender for close to a decade now, and I knew this was a challenge she was born ready to overcome.

As the resident Grinch of the group, I think she was surprised when I suggested we make cocktails inspired by our favorite Christmas movies, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create our own versions of some classic drinks.

This project ended up being extremely time-consuming, but a lot of fun. We worked together on the concepts, and she brought our visions to life. With step-by-step instructions and some non-alcoholic alternatives, I hope there’s a little something for everyone here, no matter your skill level or liquor preference.

As always, please drink responsibly and only consume these beverages if you’re over the legal drinking age in your area.

12 Christmas cocktails inspired by our favorite movies

General tips and tricks

  • To rim your glasses, you can run a citrus fruit along the outside or dip the glass in simple syrup, corn syrup, or even water.
  • After you rim your glasses, put them in the freezer to chill while you mix your ingredients so the effect lasts longer!
  • An average shot glass is 1.5-2oz, but feel free to use as much or as little as you prefer.
  • If you don’t have a shaker, you can just add the ingredients to a glass and stir.

‘Frosty the Snowman’ – RumChata and Coconut

Frosty the Snowman is a holiday classic (as are a lot of the movies on this list), and one that invokes thoughts of fresh snow and carrot noses. If you’re a coconut lover, then you’re bound to experience the magic as you take your first sip—and every sip after that!

The coconut rim will remind you of those big snowflakes we all wish for on Christmas morning, and the orange peel gives this drink just a splash of color. It’s honestly the perfect drink to kick off our list of Christmas cocktails.


  • Rim: Corn syrup and coconut
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz Malibu
  • 3 oz RumChata
  • 3 oz milk
  • Garnish: Orange peel


  1. Rim glass in corn syrup and coconut.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Shake with ice.
  3. Pour over ice and top with orange peel.

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ – Dirty Shirley Temple

Whether you like the original 1947 film, the 1994 remake, or any of the iterations in between, you have to admit a Shirley Temple is the perfect drink to represent Miracle on 34th Street. Not only is it a classic cocktail, but it also captures the youth and innocence of the main character.

With cherry, lime, and ginger ale, you’ll find yourself sipping on this refreshing mix of flavors and thinking back to simpler days. As an added bonus, you can make this drink non-alcoholic by simply removing the vodka. That way, the kids can join the party, too!


  • 2 oz cherry juice (or grenadine)
  • 3 oz cherry vodka
  • Ginger ale
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Garnish: Lime and cherry


  1. Fill glass with crushed ice.
  2. Add cherry juice, cherry vodka, a squeeze of lime and top with ginger ale.
  3. Garnish with lime and cherry.

‘The Grinch’ – Sour Martini

What’s red and green and sour all over? Whether you answered the Grinch or this martini, you’d be right! The colors of this Christmas cocktail are so vibrant and perfectly capture the spirit of this movie. The sweet and salty rim balance out the sour cocktail, making every sip an experience to remember. Kind of like the Grinch himself.

Plus, you can add a cherry to the bottom of the glass and pretend it’s the Grinch’s heart. And if you’re feeling extra charitable this season—you can add three!


  • Rim: Corn syrup, margarita salt, and red sugar
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 3 oz sour apple schnapps
  • Sprite


  1. Rim martini glass with corn syrup and coat with mix of red sugar and margarita salt
  2. Mix vodka, pineapple juice, and apple schnapps. Shake with ice.
  3. Put cherry at the bottom of the glass, pour drink, and top with a little Sprite.

‘Home Alone’ – Boozy Milkshake

Who wasn’t jealous of that big bowl of ice cream Kevin eats in Home Alone? If you’re looking for a Christmas movie cocktail, then look no further than our boozy milkshake. It perfectly captures the spirit of the film while giving it an adult twist.

You can even customize your milkshake with different flavors according to your preferences or leave out the alcohol for a family-friendly rewatch. Just make sure you add plenty of whipped cream, a ton of sprinkles, and a giant cherry to top it all off!


  • Chocolate syrup
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1.5 oz Irish cream
  • 1.5 oz vanilla vodka
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Cherry


  1. Drizzle inside of cup with chocolate syrup.
  2. Blend ingredients and pour into glass.
  3. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.

‘The Santa Clause’ – Judy’s (Spiked) Hot Chocolate

Judy spent 1200 years perfecting her hot chocolate and it is the stuff of legend. While we couldn’t quite get our hands on the original recipe, we still found a way to kick it up a notch.

It starts with your favorite hot chocolate, mixed to perfection. Then you add a shot or two of your favorite liquor, top with whipped cream, and garnish with a candy cane. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, feel free to add peppermint syrup to your hot chocolate instead.


  • Hot chocolate
  • 1.5 oz whipped cream vodka
  • 1.5 oz peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed peppermint
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Candy cane


  1. Make hot chocolate to your preference.
  2. Add vodka and schnapps.
  3. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings and crushed candy cane.
  4. Garnish with a mini candy cane on the side.

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ – Mudslide

You can’t do a list of Christmas cocktails without including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to recreate Santa’s adorable little helper in drink form!

First, you give him a mudslide body. Then some chocolate antlers and whipped-cream hair. Finally, you add a cherry nose. Then, before you know it, you’re off to winter wonderland!


  • Chocolate syrup
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Splash of milk
  • 1.5 oz kahlua
  • 1.5 oz vanilla vodka
  • 3 oz Irish cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Melted chocolate
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Cherry


  1. Melt chocolate and pour out on parchment paper into shape of antlers. Let cool.
  2. Drizzle glass with chocolate syrup.
  3. Mix ingredients in blender until smooth.
  4. Pour in glass and top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, chocolate antlers and cherry nose.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ – Sugar Cookie Shooters

These Nightmare Before Christmas shooters are so versatile—I’m obsessed! Whether you consider the film to be a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, this is the perfect drink for you. As an added bonus, it tastes just like a sugar cookie, and that’s a flavor I can appreciate all year ’round.

This one is also super easy—it’s just one recipe for the drink. Make your allegiance known by choosing your favorite rim. Wouldn’t it be fun to host a party and see which one your friends pick? And let’s not even mention the drinking game


  • Rim: Chocolate syrup and Halloween/Christmas sprinkles
  • 1.5 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 1.5 oz Irish cream
  • 3 oz RumChata
  • 1.5 oz milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract


  1. Rim glass with chocolate syrup and choose whether you want Halloween or Christmas sprinkles.
  2. Mix ingredients in shaker with ice.
  3. Strain into shot glasses.

‘Elf’ – Buddy’s Food Group Shooters

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” That was the inspiration behind these four shots. Was it a lot of work to come up with four different drinks for one movie? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

You can pick and choose which one sounds good to you, or you can make all four and have your friends decide their favorites. Each one has its own unique ingredients and flavor, which means there should be a little something for everyone. Buddy the Elf would be so proud!

Ingredients (Candy)

  • Rim: Corn syrup and Christmas nerds
  • 1 oz cran-raspberry juice
  • 0.5 oz cherry vodka
  • 0.5 oz green apple schnapps

Recipe (Candy)

  1. Rim shot glass with corn syrup and nerds.
  2. Mix vodka, apple schnapps, and cran-raspberry juice. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain into rimmed glass.

Ingredients (Candy Cane)

  • Rim: Chocolate syrup and crushed candy cane
  • 1 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1 oz RumChata

Recipe (Candy Cane)

  1. Rim shot glass with chocolate syrup and coat with crushed candy canes.
  2. Mix peppermint schnapps and RumChata. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain into rimmed shot glass.

Ingredients (Candy Corn)

  • Rim: Corn syrup and orange sugar
  • 1 oz cake vodka
  • 0.5 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz orange juice
  • Whipped cream

Recipe (Candy Corn)

  1. Rim shot glass with corn syrup and orange sugar.
  2. Mix vodka, pineapple and orange juice. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain into shot glass and top with whipped cream and a dash of orange sugar.

Ingredients (Syrup)

  • Rim: Maple syrup, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 0.5 oz whiskey (either honey or maple)
  • 0.5 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 oz cream soda
  • Squeeze of maple syrup

Recipe (Syrup)

  1. Rim shot glass with maple syrup and coat with brown sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture.
  2. Mix whiskey, butterscotch schnapps and a squeeze of maple syrup. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain into glass and top with cream soda.

‘The Year Without Santa Claus’ – Snow Miser vs. Heat Miser Martinis

When we were dreaming up the drinks on this list, Snow Miser and Heat Miser were the first characters to come to mind. I knew I wanted a cool blue concoction and a fiery red fusion to go head to head, and Kayla did not disappoint! She made these dueling Christmas cocktails as fun to drink as they are to look at.

Snow Miser would definitely appreciate his bright blue cocktail infused with coconut. That splash of Sprite also gives it a little fizz to cool down your tongue. Then there’s Heat Miser, who would absolutely love the spicy kick of fireball paired with spiked cider. Not to mention the red-hot look of the drink once you pour it into your favorite martini glass.

Ingredients (Snow Miser)

  • Rim: Corn syrup, blue sugar and coconut
  • 1 oz blue curaçao
  • 2 oz coconut rum
  • Sprite

Recipe (Snow Miser)

  1. Rim martini glass with corn syrup and coat with a mixture of coconut and blue sugar.
  2. Mix coconut rum and blue curaçao. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain over chilled martini glass and top with sprite.

Ingredients (Heat Miser)

  • Rim: Corn syrup and red sugar
  • 2 oz fireball
  • 1 oz cherry juice
  • Cherry
  • Spiked cider

Recipe (Heat Miser)

  1. Rim glass with corn syrup and coat in red sugar.
  2. Mix fireball and cherry juice. Shake with ice.
  3. Add cherry to bottom of glass, strain drink and top with a spiked cider of your choice.

‘Polar Express’ – Hot Toddy

If you want a warm drink alternative to hot chocolate, then you have to try your hand at a hot toddy. This is basically your favorite hot tea mixed with a little booze, which also means it’s easy to make non-alcoholic.

We used our favorite black tea (English breakfast) and added a couple ounces of honey whiskey, both of which will certainly heat you up on a cold winter’s day.


  • 3 oz honey whiskey
  • Black tea
  • Squeeze of honey and lemon
  • Garnish: Lemon slice


  1. Brew your favorite tea.
  2. Add whiskey, honey, and lemon.
  3. Garnish with lemon slice.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – Gin and Cranberry

A classic movie deserves a classic Christmas cocktail, and what’s more classic than gin and cranberry combined? Both are great flavors for the season, and a splash of the lemon-lime seltzer will give it that extra kick you’re looking for.

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of those movies that will never go out of style, and we hope this drink won’t either.


  • Rim: Corn syrup and sugar
  • 2 oz gin
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • Lemon-lime seltzer (or tonic water)
  • Garnish: Frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary


  1. Rim glass with corn syrup and white sugar.
  2. Mix gin and cranberry juice. Shake with ice.
  3. Pour mixture into glass and top with lemon lime seltzer.
  4. Garnish with frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

‘Christmas Vacation’ – Spiked Eggnog

Speaking of classic Christmas movies, it’s hard to go wrong with Christmas Vacation. Watching this is a tradition amongst our family and friends, and what better way to celebrate the season than to pair the movie with some spiked eggnog?

It’s totally fine if you or the kids want to keep this recipe classic (and non-alcoholic), but if you’re looking to spice it up a bit, be sure to add some spiced rum to the mix. Captain Morgan works great!


  • Rim: Maple syrup, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 2.5 oz spiced rum
  • 5 oz eggnog
  • Garnish: Cinnamon stick


  1. Rim glass with maple syrup and coat with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice mixture.
  2. Mix rum, eggnog, a squeeze of maple syrup and a dash of pumpkin spice. Shake with ice.
  3. Strain mixture into glass.
  4. Garnish with pumpkin spice and cinnamon stick.

Which are your favorite Christmas cocktails inspired by these classic movies?

Photo credit for Christmas cocktails: Kayla Quirk