From the Norse toast of "good health" comes this festive drink, served warm and laced with sweet spices like cinnamon and cloves. Though it is often made with ale or wine, these nonalcoholic versions make wassail appropriate for any time.

Wassail Bowl Punch

Wassail Bowl Punch

All ages will enjoy this Wassail Bowl Punch. The blend of spice, fruit and citrus flavors is scrumptious. You can assemble it before heading out for a winter activity and sip away the chill when you return. It's ready whenever you are.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Cider Wassail

Since this Cider Wassail recipe is warm, wonderful and non-alcoholic, we've even served it at church. It's also perfect for a holiday open house.
—Maryellen Hays, Wolcottville, Indiana


Perk up a dinner party with an upscale martini by replacing the gin and dry vermouth in a traditional martini with a cream liqueur. These martinis put a holiday twist on an old favorite.

Coffee & Cream Martini

Coffee & Cream Martini

With Kahlua, Irish cream liquor and chocolate sandwich cookies, this Coffee & Cream Martini is almost like a dessert. It's an after-dinner drink that's easy to mix.
—Clara Coulston Minney, Washington Court House, Ohio

Pumpkin Pie Martinis

My girlfriends begin requesting this Pumpkin Pie Martinis cocktail in fall and continue to ask for it through the holidays. Every sip is like a taste of pumpkin pie!
—Cathleen Bushman, Geneva, Illinois

Orange & Coffee Martini

With its pretty jeweled color and complementary orange-coffee flavor, this impressive Orange & Coffee Martini lends an elegant, upscale feel to any party.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Chocolate Cherry Martini

Don't be fooled by the rich, shake-like look of this layered Chocolate Cherry Martini. It has a chocolate-cherry flavor that can pack a punch.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen


This creamy, classic drink has many variations but always contains milk or cream thickened with eggs. A sprinkling of nutmeg is a classic garnish. Rum, brandy or whiskey can be added to eggnog for a special touch. (Wondering what to do with any leftover eggnog? Make dessert!)

Chilled Mocha Eggnog

Eggnog gets a delightful twist with a hint of mocha flavor in this Chilled Mocha Eggnog recipe. Instant coffee and a sweetened cream topping make this beverage one of the season's super sippers.
—Debbi Smith, Crossett, Arkansas

Banana Nog

Banana Nog

During my family's annual cookie exchange, we ran out of our beloved eggnog…much to everyone's horror! So into the kitchen I went to create this cool, creamy concoction—Banana Nog was a hit!
—Jennae LeFebvre, Aurora, Illinois


Used to describe a variety of hot alcoholic drinks, toddies may be as simple as hot water with a bit of sugar, melted butter, and lemon or spices, fortified with a dark liquor such as brandy, rum or whiskey. Our classic Hot Buttered Rum Mix is perfect to keep on hand in the freezer; stir in dark or light rum to taste if desired.

Tea Toddy

Tea Toddy

Soothing and comforting, this Tea Toddy drink is a great way to wrap up an evening of entertaining. Although it contains alcohol, the taste is smooth.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Hot Buttered Rum Mix

Hot Buttered Rum Mix

I offered this comforting, Hot Buttered Rum Mix to guests at one of my Bunco gatherings. Everyone wanted the recipe. I like to keep a batch in the freezer for easy entertaining.
—Carol Beyerl, East Wenatchee, Washington

Mulled Wine & Cider

Nothing fragrances the home like a batch of mulled wine warmed with orange, cinnamon and cloves. Omit the brandy from the recipe if you prefer. (Or prepare one of our non-alcoholic mulled recipes below.) For a more fruity flavor, substitute one bottle of ruby port for one bottle merlot.

Mulled Merlot

This Mulled Merlot recipe is sure to warm up your holiday guests!
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Mulled Wine

This Mulled Wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don't omit this essential step.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Mulled Red Cider

Red wine gives a rosy glow to this warm Mulled Red Cider. The spices are a wonderful complement to both the wine and cider.
—Steve Foy, Kirkwood, Missouri

Mulled Grape Cider

I came up with this non-alcoholic Mulled Grape Cider recipe one year when I attempted to make grape jelly and ended up with 30 jars of delicious grape syrup instead. I then simmered the syrup with spices to make this beverage.
—Sharon Harmon, Orange, Massachusetts

Mulled Dr Pepper

When neighbors or friends visit us on a chilly evening, I'll serve this warm non-alcoholic Mulled Dr Pepper with ham sandwiches and deviled eggs.
—Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri

Holiday Drink Entertaining Tips

  • Not enough glassware to accommodate the size of crowd you'll be entertaining? Stores usually have plenty of disposable choices at this time of year: You may be surprised with the chic choices you can find!
  • If you have the storage space and a bit more money, you can find inexpensive, crowd-sized glassware on sale this time of year. Save the boxes to easily store your glasses for the next time you need them.
  • If you're serving alcoholic drinks, always be sure to provide a non-alcoholic alternate, such as a warm wassail.
  • Sparkling water is a refreshing, calorie-free choice that's easy to keep on hand. Make it special by serving it in a champagne glass with a half-wheel of lemon or lime.

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