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Three Wintry Holiday Cocktails That Aren't Eggnog

Daniel Hautzinger
An oxonian cocktail for the holidays. Photo:

Do you find the holidays stressful? Or simply love a warming, wintry drink? While everyone drinks eggnog, spiked or not, at the holidays, there are a lot of other festive beverages to try. Here are three – a coffee-flavored one, a tropical drink, and a minty Christmas shot – courtesy of PBS Food. Curious about other holiday drinks from around the world? Check out this post on Check, Please's World of Food.

Pistols at Dawn

This recipe for a frothy coffee cocktail comes from Robert Haynes of Chicago's very own The Violet Hour. "To me, this is Christmas morning," Haynes says. "Instead of pancakes and egg nog and black coffee, you have this rich flavorful cocktail." 


2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce cream
½ ounce brown sugar coffee syrup (Whisk together brown sugar and hot coffee in a 2:1 ratio to make the syrup)
¼ ounce maple syrup
1 whole egg


A holiday coffee cocktail, Pistols at Dawn. Photo: Clayton BlahaPhoto: Clayton Blaha1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker.

2. Shake without ice for 10 to 20 seconds.

3. Add ice and shake.

4. Strain into a mug.

5. Top with grated nutmeg.


"I set out to fashion a holiday season Tiki drink that could serve as a tropical alternative to the usual Hot Buttered Rum," says the Whitecap's creator, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. Coconut cream, cinnamon, cloves, and rum do the trick for a paradoxical drink that's both wintry and tropical.


A wintry tropical cocktail, the whitecap. Photo: Cass McClurePhoto: Cass McClure¾ ounce coconut cream
1 ounce amber 151-proof rum
½ ounce dark Jamaican rum
¼ ounce light Puerto Rican rum
8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk, boiling hot
3 cloves
Ground cinnamon
Cinnamon stick (optional garnish)


1. Place coconut cream, all three rums, and cloves in a mug (pre-heat the mug if you'd like).

2. Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan, then pour into mug and stir.

3. Top with a pinch of ground cinammon and (optional) garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Snowball Shot

A minty, nutty Christmas drink, the snowball shot. Photo: Cheri LoughlinPhoto: Cheri Loughlin"The Snowball Shot embraces the sensation of the holiday season with warming spirits, cool peppermint, and bright white, reflecting the frivolity of free spirited snowball fights," says the drink's creator Cheri Loughlin. Try it as a shot or over ice for sipping.


½ ounce silver rum
½ ounce peppermint schnapps
½ ounce hazelnut liqueur
½ ounce half & half


1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. 

2. Shake to blend and chill.

3. Strain into a shooter glass, or a rocks glass over fresh ice for longer sipping.