16 Christmas Party Beverages, Cocktails, and Jello Shots

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On the weekend before Christmas, you may be off work and ready to celebrate with friends before the whole family gets together. A Christmas party only takes people and maybe some food and refreshments (although a good game or two is nice as well), but along with your Christmas treats and snacks and drinks, you should have at least one visually-stimulating recipe that will truly impress your guests with your ingenuity and style. With that in mind, here are some eye-popping holiday beverages you can whip up, including cocktails, punches, non-alcoholic drinks, and jello shots. However, many of these have intense Christmas flavors, so you should offer some plainer alternatives as well.  Recipes included.

There are many ways to incorporate the taste of peppermint candy canes into drinks.

1. THE CANDY CANE

The cocktail called the Candy Cane consists of white chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps. Make the visual effect grand with a rim of crushed candy canes!

Ingredients
-Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
-Peppermint Schnapps
-Crushed Candy Canes
Directions:
1} Wet the rim of a shot glass and dip into the crushed candy canes.
2} Mix equal parts Godiva white chocolate liqueur and Peppermint schnapps together, Shake and Pour into the rimmed shot glass and viola! Festive and delicious shots for your next Christmas Party!

2. CANDY CANE SPRITZERS

Why should adults have all the cocktail fun? Candy Cane Spritzers are fancy holiday drinks with no alcohol that kids will love. And it’s not too sweet. The flavor and color comes from pomegranate juice; the canes are just for garnish.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz 100% pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups sugar, or 1 cup Domino Blend, or 3-4 tablespoons Stevia, half the calories of sugar, zero calories
  • 2 8 oz cans sparkling water, Lime LaCroix , Orange and Cran-Raspberry are great too
  • 8 candy canes, sugar free is optional
  • ice

grenadine

  1. In a saucepan, bring pomegranate juice to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half about 15 – 20 minutes. Add sugar/natural sweetener and stir until completely dissolved.
  2. Pour into sealable container and refrigerate until completely chilled (will last several weeks in the fridge).

sparkling mocktail

  1. Combine ½ cup flavored water with 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons grenadine, to taste.
  2. Fill with ice and stir gently then add the candy cane and serve!

3. CANDY CANE PUNCH

Candy Cane Punch is an easy, non-alcoholic party punch that gets its Christmas flavor from the use of peppermint ice cream. But miniature candy canes for garnish add an extra touch.

Ingredients

  • 2 jars (12 ounces each) strawberry jelly
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, divided
  • 2 quarts peppermint stick ice cream
  • Miniature candy canes, optional

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt jelly with 2 cups soda. Chill the jelly mixture and remaining soda. Just before serving, place 6 cups ice cream in a punch bowl. Gently stir in jelly mixture. Add remaining soda. Add remaining ice cream by scoopfuls. Garnish with candy canes if desired. Yield: 3-1/2 quarts.

4. CANDY CANE MILKSHAKE

This looks amazing -and fattening. But no! This Candy Cane Milkshake has only 205 calories, because it contains no ice cream or candy. It does, however, taste like a candy cane, thanks to peppermint extract and low-calorie sweetener. A perfect non-alcoholic treat that won’t blow your diet.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cupLow fat cottage cheese
  • 1Scoop plain or vanilla protein powder
  • 2-5Drops peppermint extract (or to taste)
  • 2-3 pktsStevia or sweetener of choice (or to taste)
  • 1tbsSugar free instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
  • 5-10Ice cubes (more or less depending on how thick you like it)
  • 4-6 ozCold water (more or less depending on desired thickness)
  • 5-10A few drops of red food coloring for candy cane swirl!

Directions

lace all of the ingredients (except for the food coloring) in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Swirl in one drop of red food coloring just before serving, and top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane if desired!

5. CANDY CANE SWIRL

I promise that there are drinks that aren’t candy cane flavored coming up! The Candy Cane Swirl gets its kick from vodka, peppermint schnapps, and white creme de cacao. But there are mixers as well.

Ingredients

-1 oz. Skyy Infusions Raspberry Vodka (more Skyy Infusions Raspberry Vodka drinks)
-3 oz. Cranberry Juice (more Cranberry Juice drinks)
-1/2 oz. Grenadine (more Grenadine drinks)
-1/2 oz. Peppermint Schnapps (more Peppermint Schnapps drinks)
-Lemon Lime Soda (more Lemon Lime Soda drinks)

Directions

Rim martini glass with crushed candy cane. Combine SKYY Vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, Cranberry Juice and Grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Top with Lemon Lime Soda and garnish with a small peppermint candy cane.

6. SANTA SHOT

The Santa Shot has both the look and the taste of Christmas, which is good, because you’ll want to limit the number that you serve. There are no mixers, just layers of grenadine, green creme de menthe, and red peppermint schnapps.

Ingredients

  • 1 part grenadine syrup
  • 1 part green creme de menthe
  • 1 part peppermint schnapps

Directions

Pour grenadine to about 1/3 of your shot glass. Carefully layer equal parts of the creme de menthe, then the peppermint schnapps. Don’t worry if the schnapps and creme de menthe blend together, as mine did. You can garnish it with crushed candy canes, if you want.

7. CRANBERRY MARGARITA

If limes and strawberries make great margaritas, you know the traditional holiday flavor of tart cranberries would, too. This Cranberry Margarita also has a touch of orange from orange liqueur, which should taste like my mother’s traditional homemade cranberry-and-fresh-orange sauce.

Ingredients
-1 ¼ cups cranberry juice
-½ cup sugar
-1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed-optional
-¾ cup fresh lime juice
-¾ cup tequila
-½ cup orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau perhaps)
-3 to 4 cups crushed ice (place in blender with the lime juice before adding the other ingredients to crush)

Directions

Pour ¼ cup cranberry juice into a shallow bowl and pour 3 tbsp sugar onto a plate. Dip glass rims (6-8 oz. glasses) into juice and then sugar. Set aside.

If you wish to garnish with cranberries, reserve 12. In a blender, place the ice and lime juice (you might have to do this in a few batches) and crush the ice. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until slushy. Taste and add more alcohol or juice if needed. Divide among the glasses and garnish with the 12 cranberries by skewering them on toothpicks and placing on the side of the glass.

8. JINGLE JANGLE HOLIDAY PUNCH

Jingle Jangle Holiday Punch contains your favorite fresh berries, both crushed in the mixture and again whole as an eye-pleasing garnish in the individual servings. Oh, it also has vodka, wine and Grand Marnier in it.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups berry vodka
  • 3/4 cups Grand Marnier
  • 6 pints of fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed—about 8 lemons)
  • 1.5 cups simple syrup
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine (Something Extra Dry)

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the berries and sparkling wine) in a large glass or plastic container (or pitcher). Stir well.
  1. Wash the berries.
  1. When ready to serve, first fill the punch bowl with ice. Pour a small amount of the mixture in a cocktail shaker.
  1. Add about five to seven berries.
  2. Top with ice and shake HARD. (Make sure you shake hard enough so that the berries break apart in the cocktail shaker.)
  1. Strain into the punch bowl.
  2. Keep repeating steps until the mixture is all shaken and in the punch bowl.
  1. Top the punch with about 3/4 of the bottle of sparkling wine and stir well.
  1. Top the punch with additional berries and serve.

9. MISTLETOE MOJITO

The Mistletoe Mojito is a mojito spiced up with the flavor of pomegranate. If you don’t already associate pomegranate with Christmas, maybe you should start! Mint, lime, and pomegranate have the perfect colors.

Ingredients

-2 oz. Don Q Mojito

-½ oz. Pomegranate Juice

-½ oz. Pomegranate Liqueur

-½ oz. Lime Juice

-½ oz. Simple Syrup

-Mint sprig and pomegranate garnish

Directions

Mix all.

10. BOOZEHOPPER

The Boozehopper is basically a grasshopper with chocolate. Doesn’t that sound delicious, especially for Thin Mint fans! The garnish is a rim of crushed chocolate-mint cookies, with another cookie floating on top of the drink.

Ingredients

3/4 oz green creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
3/4 oz light cream

Directions

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

11. GINGERBREAD Pick me up

The Gingerbread Apple Cocktail gets its taste from ginger liqueur and apple cider, and vodka adds the kick. The rim is crushed gingersnaps held on with honey!

Ingredients

-1 concentrated espresso
-2 cl Mixybar Gingerbread Syrup
-3 cl liquid whipping cream
-4 cl dark rum

Directions

Shake the ingredients with ice until frothy and then strain into a martini glass.

12. THE GRINCH

The Grinch cocktail has more of the Christmas look than the flavor. Just make sure your melon liqueur is the right color! The cherry garnish represents the Grinch’s shrunken heart.

There are those who might argue that Jello shots aren’t beverages. Instead of arguing, let’s just enjoy some ways to make your Jello shots more Christmas-y. The folks at your party don’t care.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz of Melon Liqueur
  • 1.5 oz of fresh lemon juice
  • tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Maraschino cherry

Directions
Add the melon liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain and serve. Add a maraschino cherry as a garnish representing the Grinch’s shrunken heart.

13. BLUE CHRISTMAS JELLO SHOTS

The liquor is subtle in these Blue Christmas Jello Shots, containing champagne and blue Curacao instead of vodka. Marshmallows and blue candy canes complete the look.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup Blue Curacao Liqueur
  • ¼ cup Sparkling Champagne
  • 1 cup Mini Marshmallows Cut Up into Fouths plastic portion Cups
  • Mini blueberry Candy Canes are optional

Directions

Dissolve the 3 ounce jello packet into the boiling water. Let it sit until it is room temperature. Mix in 3/4 cup blue curacao and 1/4 cup sparkling champagne. Pour 1/2 of liquid into portion cups – only fill each portion cup to 1/2 full. Add one layer of mini marshmallow quarters to each cup. Place Saran Wrap around each cup and wrap with a rubber band securely. Lay each cup horizontally in the refrigerator until the jello is set, about 2 hours. Then, remove the Saran Wrap and fill the other 1/2 of each cup with the rest of the jello/liquor liquid mix. Put each cup back into the refrigerator until completely set (You do not need to add the Saran Wrap to these). Optional: Right before serving, add a blueberry candy cane into the side of each shot.

14. CARAMEL APPLE JELLO SHOTS

Caramel Apple Jello Shots are apple slices containing a homemade gelatin mixture with coconut milk, caramel hot chocolate mix, and butterscotch schnapps. The combined effect is that of a caramel apple -with alcohol.

Ingredients

(makes about 40 slices/shots)
10 small granny smith apples
1 envelope knox gelatin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 envelope Land o Lakes caramel hot chocolate (Regular would do just fine if you can’t find caramel)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
lemon juice

Directions

  1. Half and hollow out  apples cutting them from the stem down. I used a melon baller to hollow the apples and it worked well. After hollowing them squeeze some lemon juice on top to reduce browning.
  2. Mix your 1/2 cup water with your envelope of hot chocolate in a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk it to make sure all the chocolate is combined. Add the 1/2 cup of coconut milk, whisk again.
  3. Sprinkle your gelatin on top and let it sit a few minutes. Turn on low/medium heat and mix the gelatin until all is combined.
  4. Add 1/4 cup sugar and simmer slightly until sugar is combined. Add your food coloring until you get the caramel color desired. I used two drops. Let mixture cool to warm. Pour in your 1/2 cup of butterscotch schnapps.
  5. With your apples arranged so they fit tightly and secure on a cookie sheet, pour your caramel jello mixture into your apples. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Cut halves in quarters and those quarters in half again. Serve immediately. (The lemon juice can only prevent the browning for so long). Trim off the sides of the apples that have browned too much

15. JINGLE BELL ROCK JELLO SHOTS

But if you want to make Jello shots in Christmas colors, here’s your recipe. Jingle Bell Rock Jello Shots are layered with cranberry juice and vodka for red, apple flavor for the green, and condensed milk and peppermint schnapps for the white.

Ingredients

Red Layer

  • ⅔ cup Cranberry Juice
  • 1 Packet Knox Gelatin
  • ⅓ cup Vodka

Green Layer

  • ⅔ cup Water
  • 1 Packet Knox Gelatin
  • ⅓ cup Sour Apple Pucker
  • Green Food Coloring

White Layer

  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup Boiling Water, divided
  • 2 pkgs Knox Gelatin
  • ½ cup Cold Water
  • ¾ cup Peppermint Schnapps

Directions

To prepare the Red Layer: Pour cranberry juice into saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over top, let sit 3 minutes. Heat mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove mix from heat, cool to room temperature. Stir in vodka. Pour into shot glasses and refrigerate while preparing other layers.

To prepare the Green Layer: Pour water into saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over top, let sit 3 minutes. Heat mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove mix from heat, cool to room temperature. Stir in Apple Pucker and a few drops of food coloring if needed to achieve desired green color. Once the red layer is completely set, pour the green layer on top and refrigerate until this layer is set.

To prepare White Layer: Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup boiling water. In a small bowl sprinkle 2 packages Knox gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand a few minutes, then add the remaining 1/2 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve gelatin. Add gelatin mixture to milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Mix in the peppermint schnapps. Pour over the set red and green layers and refrigerate until the white layer is set.

Garnish with crushed red and green jolly ranchers.

16. CANDY CANE JELLO SHOTS

Oh yes, here’s one more candy cane recipe! Candy Cane Jello Shots are a culinary/mixology work of art. It takes time, as the red and white gelatin layers must be carefully poured and chilled one at a time, then sliced and cut into shapes. The flavor comes from peppermint schnapps.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of 100 Proof Peppermint Schnapps
  • 2 Cups of Boiling Water
  • 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 Envelopes of Knox®Unflavored Gelatin
  • 3 oz. Cherry FlavoredJell-O® Gelatin
  • 5 Cup (1.2 Liter) Container
  • 1 Candy Cane Cookie Cutter

Note: If you don’t want strong jello shots, use a lower proof peppermint schnapps.

Directions

Make White Peppermint Schnapps Gelatin

Pour 1 cup of peppermint schnapps into a bowl or container. Sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over the liqueur. Let it stand for about two minutes. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatin completely dissolves. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and stir well.

Make Cherry Peppermint Gelatin

Pour 1 cup of peppermint schnapps into another bowl or container. Sprinkle 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin over the liqueur. Let it stand for about one minute. Add cherry flavored Jell-O and pour 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin completely dissolves.

Note:You may use strawberry or raspberry flavored Jell-O instead of cherry.

Create White and Red Layers

Wash and dry the mold. Spray the inside of the mold with a small amount of vegetable oil. Wipe any excess oil. Pour 3/4 cup of white gelatin into the mold. Place it in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the gelatin is firm.

Once the white gelatin is firm, pour 3/4 cup of the red gelatin on top. Let it set in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep the remaining gelatin outside the refrigerator.

Refrigerate the Layered Peppermint Gelatin

Keep adding 3/4 cup of white and red gelatin to create the layers. When you get to the last layer, pour all the remaining white gelatin and place the container in the refrigerator. Let it set until firm.

Note: If your house is cold, the gelatin outside the refrigerator might begin to set. If that is the case, microwave the gelatin for about 30 seconds to keep it liquid.

Remove the Layered Peppermint Gelatin

Once the gelatin is firm, place a cutting board over the open side of the mold, then flip the mold and cutting board together. Lift the mold off, leaving the gelatin on the cutting board.

If the gelatin gets stock to the mold and won’t come out, use a warm knife along the edges to loosen the gelatin.

Slice the Layered Peppermint Gelatin

Using a warm sharp knife, slice a 3/4 inch (about 2 cm) thick piece of gelatin and gently lay it down on the cutting board.

When slicing the gelatin, use one hand to make the cut and the other to hold the slice.

Note: If you make thin slices, the layers might fall apart.

Cut Out Candy Cane Jello Shots

Using a candy cane cookie cutter, cut out candy cane jello shots out of the slices of peppermint gelatin. Make sure that the cuts are done in an angle to mimic the layers of a candy cane.

Place Candy Cane Jello Shots on a Plate

After cutting out a candy cane jello shot, transfer the jello shot in the cookie cutter onto a plate.

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