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Holiday Cocktails At Home

It’s the season for celebrations, and a little extra time at home with our loved ones. While the weather may be chilly outside, inside our homes are cozy and filled with the familiar smells and flavors of the holiday season. Flavors such as peppermint, cinnamon and gingerbread taste amazing in baked goods, they’re also incredible in cocktails! This holiday season, we’ve put together some new cocktails featuring traditional holiday flavors that you can enjoy right from the comfort of your home, so you can toast to the holidays and a great new year while staying toasty warm inside.

Mad River Grasshopper on a table with a sprig of mint


You’ll have a merry time combining the sweet chocolate flavor of Crème de Cacao with heavy cream and our Rum 44 infused with candy canes.

- 1 oz. green peppermint candy cane infused Rum 44
- 1 oz. Crème de Cacao
- 3/4 oz. heavy cream

In a shaker with ice, combine the peppermint infused Rum 44, Crème de cacao and heavy cream. Shake well, then double strain and garnish with fresh mint. 

To make the green peppermint candy cane infused Rum 44:
add 2 standard size green striped candy canes to a bottle with 16 ounces of Rum 44. Leave the candy canes in the container until they dissolve.

Brandy Alexander cocktail along with Mad Apple Brandy, Crème De Cocoa


Featuring Crème De Cocoa along with our Mad Apple Brandy and cream, this Brandy Alexander recipe is not only simple to make, it’s satisfying like any great holiday dessert.

- 1 oz. Mad Apple Brandy
- 1 oz. Crème De Cocoa 
- 1/2 oz. Cream

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, then shake with ice and double strain into a coupe or brandy glass. Optional: grate some fresh nutmeg on top!

A bottle of Bourbon and First Run Rum with a cup of eggnog on the tasting room bar


This is the ideal time of year for Eggnog. Make this recipe now so you can enjoy the deliciousness as soon as possible. Our recipe makes a batch that’s big enough to share with family and friends!

- 12 large eggs
- 1 pound white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 pint of half and half
- 1 pint of whole milk
- 1 pint of cream
- 1.5 cups of First Run Rum
- 1.5 cups of Straight Bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Separate egg yolks from whites. Combine the yolks with sugar and nutmeg in a mixer. Whisk together until the mixture falls off the beater in a silky ribbon. Combine dairy with spirits, and slowly add mixture to the sugar and egg ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in a sealable glass container. You can let the eggnog age in the refrigerator for 2 weeks to no more than 2 months. Serve chilled with fresh nutmeg and cinnamon grated on top.

An Earl Grey Tea Old Fashioned on the tasting room bar with a bottle of Burnt Rock Bourbon and 18.21 Bitters


It’s the cold season, so you probably have boxes of tea sitting in your cupboards. If you love tea, but you’re really in the mood for a cocktail, then try our Earl Grey Tea Old Fashioned made with Burnt Rock Bourbon!

- 2 oz. Burnt Rock Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. of honey simple syrup
- Two droppers of 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters
- 1 lemon and 1 orange twist

In a mixing glass with ice, stir the Burnt Rock Bourbon with honey syrup and Earl Grey Bitters. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Twist both an orange and a lemon peel over the glass, then rub each citrus around the rim of the glass before adding to the drink.

To make the honey simple syrup: Heat one part water with one part honey until the honey is fully integrated, then allow the syrup to cool. Store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. We recommend using local honey.

Need some Earl Grey Bitters? Find them at our Burlington Tasting Room!

Mad River Stinger on the tasting room bar with a bottle of Mad Apple Brandy


In our holiday version of the traditional Stinger cocktail, we combine our Mad Apple Brandy with Rum 44 that’s been infused with candy canes. 

- 2 oz. Mad Apple Brandy
- 1 oz. green peppermint candy cane infused Rum 44

In a mixing glass with ice, combine the Mad Apply Brandy with peppermint infused Rum 44. Stir well, then strain over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and orange zest.

To make the green peppermint candy cane infused Rum 44:
add 2 standard size green striped candy canes to a bottle with 16 ounces of Rum 44. Leave the candy canes in the container until they dissolve.


Gingerbread houses and ginger cookies are great, but a ginger cocktail takes way less effort and delivers all the ginger flavor you could want. Combining our Vanilla Rum along with Amaretto, Dry Vermouth, ginger syrup and bitters, this cookie-inspired sipper is definitely worth trying this holiday season.

- 2 oz. Vanilla Rum
- 1 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
- 1/4 oz. Disaronno Amaretto 
- 1/4 oz. Ginger syrup
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
- 2 dashes Bokers Cardamom and Citrus Peel Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a small stem glass. Then, top the rim with a gingerbread cookie garnish and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite cocktail during the holiday season? We’d love to hear from you! At Mad River Distillers, we’re always experimenting with bitters and syrups to make new and interesting cocktail creations. If you make any of our holiday cocktail recipes above, or if you make a riff of your own using one of our spirits, we’d love to see it! Feel free to share your favorite cocktail on social and tag us @madriverdistillers. As always, please enjoy responsibly. 

Wishing you a very joyous holiday season with family and friends, and a wonderful New Year. From all of us at Mad River Distillers—cheers!

Written and published by Brianne Lucas on December 18 2022.

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