This December, you can get into the spirit of the season with festive cocktails from some of the The Hub’s most talented drink-makers. Using flavors like peppermint, cinnamon, cranberry and citrus, they’ve put together a slew of tasty concoctions that’ll fill you with holiday cheer. Read on for a boozy bucket list of beverages to try before the end of the year.
A&B Kitchen Bar – Seasonal Sangria
A summer favorite gets a cool weather makeover at A&B Kitchen Bar. The West End spot, just across from TD Garden, gives their Seasonal Sangria some seasonal flair with red wine and the addition of pears, cinnamon and oranges. Swing by before or after a game to get cozy with this wintry version of a warm weather classic.
Alamo Drafthouse – Papa Elf’s Peppermint Schnapps Shake
Movie buffs and cocktail fans will both find something to love at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in the Seaport where the Candy Cane Shake (made with vanilla ice cream blended with crushed candy canes, topped with whipped cream and more crushed candy canes) also comes in an adult version (with a healthy dose of peppermint schnapps).
Alcove – Eggnog
What’s the holiday season without a sip of classic, spiced nog? If you find yourself in the West End in the weeks leading up to Christmas stop in to Alcove for their take on Eggnog. In anticipation of a visit from St. Nick, hey’ve classed it all up with dark rum, cognac and bourbon, and topped it off with grated nutmeg. It’s a perfect sip in lieu of dessert before you head out into the cold December night.
Bambara – Rudolph’s Replacement
There’s no rule that says Santa’s sleigh has to be pulled by reindeer, which is why Rudolph is taking a breather this season and letting Rudolph’s Replacement take over at Bambara in Cambridge. You don’t need long arms to pull that magic sleigh, as evidenced by this adorable T-Rex treat, which is made with vodka, coffee liqueur, white creme de cacao, orange curaçao, chai, almond milk and aromatic bitters, you just need to be in the mood for some serious Christmas cheer, which you’ll get in spades with the hotel’s annual holiday Miracle Bar monthlong pop-up.
The Banks Fish House – TBFH Sangria
Get in a holiday state of mind at The Banks Fish House in the Back Bay with their TBFH Sangria. Proving that sangria isn’t just for summer, this warm sipper made with Spanish red wine, prickly pear, ginger, pomegranate, cognac and warming spices is the perfect treat for wrapping your hands around after hitting the busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style in Copley Square and Newbury Street.
Banners Kitchen & Tap – Gettin’ Blitzen’d
If you’re heading to TD Garden this holiday season or just kickin’ around the West End, plan a pitstop at Banners Kitchen & Tap to try Gettin’ Blitzen’d. Made with Jose Cuervo Tradicional, Triple Sec, lime juice, simple syrup and glittered white cranberry juice (and topped with fresh cranberries and a torched rosemary sprig), this whimsical drink gets poured from a clear Christmas ornament (which is about as festive as it gets).
Baramor – What the Elf?
If you’re perusing the shops in Newton Centre for some gifties this time of year, stop into Baramor to make your spirits bright. Their What the Elf? cocktail combines peppermint vodka, chocolate liqueur and a crushed peppermint rim for a candy cane experience with a little extra kick.
The Beehive – Snowbird
Not all of our flying friends head south for the winter, including the Snowbird at The Beehive. This purple cocktail with the beautiful plumage is made with gin, creme de violette and lemon foam, and whether you’re brunching in the South End hotspot or sticking around late night for some live music, it’ll keep you feeling light as a feather.
Branch Line – Spiked Hot Chocolate
The team at Watertown’s Branch Line has added four boozy beauties to the drink list in honor of the holidays. Pop in and belly up to the bar (or a table, if you prefer) to try them all. There’s the Baltimore Eggnog (cognac, egg, cream and spices), the Coquito (rum, coconut cream and nutmeg), the New England Grey (Earl Grey gin, vanilla and steamed milk), and, of course, the Spiked Hot Chocolate (frangelico, cinnamon vodka and fluff).
Burtons Bar & Grill – Solstice Sour
December brings with it the longest night of the year, and you can raise a glass to the occasion with a Solstice Sour at any Burtons Bar & Grill location (in Massachusetts: Burlington, Framingham, Lynnfield, Hingham, North Andover, Shrewsbury and Westford). The bourbon-based drink will keep you warm through the dark hours with Maker’s Mark, lemon and spiced apple cider.
Buttermilk & Bourbon – Jolly Juice
They’ll sing and deck the halls, but it won’t feel like Christmas at all without a stop at Buttermilk & Bourbon for a Jolly Juice or two. This merry cocktail is made with Grey Goose, wild moon cranberry, rosemary, ginger beer and lime, and whether you’re heading for a photo op in the Public Garden, or hitting the shops at Arsenal Yards, you appreciate that little lift of extra cheer in your glass.
Capo – Peppermint Mocha Espresso Martini
If you’re looking for a winter cocktail that’ll give you enough pep to get you through the long holiday season, head to Southie and stop into Capo for one of their signature Peppermint Mocha Espresso Martini. This refreshing twist on an espresso-tini is made with vodka, Capo cold brew, Galliano Espresso, cacao and housemade peppermint mocha cream, then topped with peppermint whipped cream and garnished with a tiny candy cane. It’s got just the right balance of coffee and candy to make the season bright one sip at a time.
Civility Social House – Coffee First, Schemes Later
Assembly Row is where we all go to shop ‘til we drop for the holidays, and you can keep your strength up with the Coffee First, Schemes Later at Civility Social House. Made with dark rum, amaretto, cold brew and coconut milk, it’s the perfect pick-me-up to reward yourself for getting through a school vacation visit to Legoland.
Cósmica – Mexican Espresso Martini
The North Pole sounds cold, doesn’t it? That’s why you wanna head to Cósmica in the South End for a couple of Mexican Espresso Martinis and think about spending the holidays on a beach in Cozumel. Their take on the classic is made with tequila, coffee and Kahlua and it’ll keep you warm from the inside even when New England has other weather plans.
da laPosta – Pointsettia NR2
Make your way to Newton to try this globe-trotting beverage from the bar team at da laPosta. Made with Charanda Uruapan (single blended rum from Mexico), Italicus (a bergamot rosolio made in Italy), cranberry rosemary syrup, fresh lime slice and sparkling rosé, the pretty-as-a-picture Pointsettia NR2 tastes even better than it looks.
Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge – Jingle Juice
You’ll be dashing through the snow o’er to the Seaport once you get a glimpse of the Jingle Juice holiday concoction at Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge. Made with Patron Silver, pomegranate, Grand Marnier, Yuzu and smoked rosemary simple, it’ll get you in a festive mood in no time. If you want to do some good while you imbibe, keep an eye out for the Spiced Pear Mule, made with Grey Goose Vodka, St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur & Ginger Beer – it’s available at all Big Night restaurant venues and $1 from every one sold will be donated to Globe Santa.
Harvest – Super-G
If you’re not quite ready to let go of the flavors of fall, get to Harvest in Harvard Square for the Super-G. Made with cinnamon infused vodka, star anise, nutmeg, lucano and Baileys, it’s a season-bridging tipple that’ll ease you gently into winter.
Hojoko – Salted Caramel Mocha
You can have a holly, jolly umami-filled holiday drink at Hojoko where they’ve added a Salted Caramel Mocha to their cocktail line-up. Made with brown buttered rum, frangelico, amaretto, Mr. Black coffee liqueur, hot cocoa, coffee, chocolate bitters, salt, whipped cream and caramel, this magical concoction balances salty and sweet with a bit of caffeine for a boozy & buzzy seasonal beverage.
The Hourly – December Milkshakes
The team at The Hourly, as is their custom, has released a trio of milkshakes (two boozy and one non) for the month. The December batch has a decidedly festive vibe (and super cute cups, too) so get over to Harvard Square to work your way through the collection which includes Mr. Icicle, a chocolate peppermint milkshake with Bacardi Rum, the Cup of Cheer, an eggnog milkshake with Heaven’s Door Bourbon or the alcohol-free Oh Snap!, which is vanilla soft serve with gingerbread syrup.
Karma Asian Fusion – Campfire
Get to Karma Asian Fusion to get cozy by the Campfire – the Campfire cocktail, that is. No need to pack a tent or your sleeping bag, just find your way to Burlington try this toasty little number which includes graham cracker-infused mezcal, homemade marshmallow syrup and chocolate bitters (it’s like the best part of camping minus the bears and the bugs).
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar Fenway – Merry Merry
If your holiday spirit leans more toward the agave variety you’re going to love Loco’s Merry Merry, which is made with cinnamon infused tequila, lime, strawberry puree and Lo Fi Amaro. The sparkly red drink also has edible glitter stirred in, and a green sprinkle rim, so it’s totally like a shiny holiday present in a glass. You can sip this special drink at both Loco Fenway and also at their South Boston location, depending on where the Christmas spirit strikes you.
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar South Boston – Butterbeer
Channel your inner witch or wizard (or house elf) for the holiday season with a Butterbeer at Loco in South Boston or The Fenway. The taco and oyster hangout pays tribute to the drink of the house elves of Harry Potter for this year’s winter cocktail, and whether you’re House Hufflepuff or identify as a Gryffindor you won’t be able to resist this sipper that’s made with Grey Goose vodka, butterscotch schnapps, cream soda and vanilla ice cream.
Monument Restaurant & Tavern – Make It Reign
If you’d like to sip for a good cause, check in with your Charlestown friends at Monument Restaurant & Tavern who will fix you right up with a Make It Reign. This zesty sipper is made with Patron tequila, orange liqueur, pomegranate, lime and cinnamon simple syrup for a spiced treat that’ll warm you from the inside. Even better, a dollar from every Make It Reign will go toward the Boys & Girls Club of Charlestown, so if you feel like a second round you’re totally supporting a good cause.
Oak Long Bar – Snow White Cosmo
If you want to build a snowman, but the weather’s just not cooperating, pop by OAK Long Bar + Kitchen in the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel for a Snow White Cosmo. The icy white martini is a combo of Grey Goose vodka, cointreau, lime and cranberry, and it’ll delight your inner Elsa or Olaf.
Posto – Gin-gle Bells & Tonic
Jingle all the way to Somerville for the Gin-gle Bells & Tonic at Posto. The Davis Square pizza palace gives the classic cocktail a Christmassy makeover, adding spiced cranberry & rosemary to a base of Spring 44 Gin and Fever Tree cucumber tonic water. Pair it with pizza or pasta from chef Juan Gabriel Perez‘ menu to make your spirits bright.
Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar – Grandma Got Runover By A Mule
The team Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar has a different fate (and a different drink!) in mind for grandmas this year: Grandma Got Runover By A Mule. You’ll want to make a beeline for Brighton to try this lively and refreshing combination of V-One Peppermint Vodka, Simple Syrup and ginger beer – but maybe leave your grandmother at home with her eggnog just to be safe.
Rebel’s Guild – Spiked Milk for Santa
While everybody else is leaving plain old 2% for Santa this year, Rebel’s Guild is on a whole next level with their Spiked Milk for Santa. The creamy, dreamy concoction made with Tito’s vodka, white chocolate liquor, creme de menthe and Frangelico will help anyone unwind after a long day working on Christmas magic at the North Pole (or the Back Bay).
Rowes Wharf Sea Grille – Praline Pie
If you didn’t have enough pie over Thanksgiving, get yourself down to Rowes Wharf Sea Grille this month to sip your dessert instead. The Praline Pie cocktail, made with Boston Harbor Hotel Reserve Makers Mark Bourbon, pecan liqueur and praline essence, will certainly hit the spot.
Russell House Tavern – Jalisco Snowman
Find your way to Russell House Tavern where they’re channeling all their holiday cheer into seasonal cocktails like the Jalisco Snowman. Never mind that snowmen are pretty much extinct in the western Mexican state, this combination of Patron Silver, Montenegro, Cream of Coconut and Lime, garnished with a sprig of rosemary and cranberries, will have you wishing everyone feliz navidad.
Salt + Stone – Polar Espresso
Get the full Hero Boy experience at Salt + Stone this season with their Polar Espresso. This swanky seasonal espresso martini is made with Hanson espresso vodka, Coole Swan Irish cream, peppermint schnapps, and Noble Nitro cold brew. It’s the next best thing to a train ride to the North Pole, and a lot closer too — it’s just a quick ride over to Assembly Row for a sip.
Shy Bird South Boston – Cioccolata Calda
Get your holiday cocktail-loving flock together at Shy Bird South Boston. Whether they’re calling birds, French hens or turtle doves, your fine feathered friends will go cuckoo for the Cioccolata Calda, which is made with mocha and faccia bruto centerbe, and topped torched maraschino fluff.
Sogno – Anginettini
When they’re not prepping for a visit from Santa, the busy, the bartending elves at Sogno are whipping up tasty cocktails like the Anginettini to see you through the holidays. Pop out to Woburn to try the charming combination of Grey Goose Vodka, anise liqueur (or amaretto, if you prefer), vanilla simple syrup and heavy whipping cream, which gets all shaken up, poured into a chilled martini glass and all decked out with colorful sprinkles.
Trifecta – 12 Days of Cocktails
Toast the season at Trifecta, the tony cocktail lounge at The Four Seasons, One Dalton Boston with their 12 Days of Cocktails menu. Available throughout the month, the whimsical collection features group-friendly cocktails like the Seven Swans a Swimming, a sweet and tart combination of cranberry cordial, ginger, baking spices and your choice of Velo Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon or Don Julio Blanco Tequila, as well as solo sips like the Two Turtle Doves, made with coconut rum, baking spices, and condensed milk that’ll be perfect after stop-in at the hotel’s seasonal chocolate bar.
Urban Hearth – Glühwein
Wish your favorite Cantabrinarian a Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas) by treating them to a Glühwein at Urban Hearth in Cambridge. Chef Erin Miller’s take on German mulled wine is steeped with citrus and mixed with spiced syrup and brandy, which will surely take the edge off of a chilly winter New England evening.
W Lounge at W Boston – Pomegranate Irish Mule
Pop in to W Lounge at W Boston (on your way to or from a show at the Wilbur or the Wang) for a Pomegranate Irish Mule. Made with Pom Juice, Jameson, fresh squeezed lime and Fever Tree ginger beer, it comes adorned with a sprig of rosemary and pomegranate seeds which will lift your spirits (and give you some extra antioxidants, to boot).
Waverly Kitchen & Bar – Holiday Drinks for the Whole Gang
The adorable dining room at Waverly Kitchen & Bar in Charlestown has the perfect cozy feel for a winter cocktail meetup with your besties, and feel free to invite the whole Peanuts gang because they’ve got a stellar lineup of drinks that’ll get you in a Christmas pageant mood. First, for the Peppermint Patty of the group, there’s the Candy Cane Martini, made with white chocolate, peppermint, vanilla vodka, and cream. If you’re more of a Linus, try a Spiked Eggnog with your choice of maple bourbon or spiced rum and topped with nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise. Classic Charlie Brown types will appreciate the Gingerbread Espresso Martini, a house-brewed espresso martini made with gingerbread syrup, and your group’s Lucy will naturally gravitate to the White Christmas Marg, which is crafted with tequila, Rumchata and lime — a big drink for an even bigger personality.
Woods Hill Table – Boots with the Fir
If Die Hard can be a Christmas movie, can we all also agree that Low by Flo Rida is a Christmas song? When else would you be wearing your boots with the fir? Slide those suckers on and get over to Woods Hill Table in Concord for their Boots with the Fir concoction made with SuperGay vodka, grapefruit, lime and Douglas fir.
Wusong Road – Eyes Made Out of Coal
When Santa puts coal in your stocking, the team at Wusong Road knows what to do: transform it into a glorious holiday cocktail in tribute to the season’s jolliest, happiest soul. An herbaceous and refreshing sip, Eyes Made Out of Coal combines bourbon, lemon juice, rosemary-infused maple syrup & blackberry syrup for a tart and tasty homage to Frosty the Snowman.