The holidays are a time to indulge — and yes, cocktails count. Christmas cocktails are a fun way for bartenders and mixologists to underscore seasonal ingredients and for patrons to sip away in the glow of the bar area’s holiday décor.
From peppermint martinis to Ugly Sweater Punch, here’s where to find your yuletide libations this month.
7301 East Butherus Drive, Scottsdale
This Scottsdale venue and restaurant is offering two holiday concoctions during a limited run this season — the Cranberry Creek cocktail and Rosemary Gin Fizzle. The Cranberry Creek combines spiced rum, apple liqueur, and cranberries — evoking as much warmth and comfort as an expensive holiday candle. BLK’s Rosemary Gin Fizzle mixes gin, rosemary, and that much needed “fizzle” to create a simple yet classic cocktail. Both are easy to make in large batches, so come thirsty and bring friends.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
2 East Jefferson Street
Blue Hound plays host to a Miracle pop-up bar, i.e. the Palomar restaurant gets a winter-themed transformation and offers a holiday-themed cocktail menu. Specialty cocktails include a dozen fun concoctions like the Snowball Old Fashioned, Bad Santa, Jingle Balls Nog, and the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! Miracle at Blue Hound will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday through Saturday, till December 30.
Ugly holiday sweater parties are now the norm, so you might as well lean into it and have a few on reserve for the inevitable invite. This year, Culinary Dropout’s handful of locations is hosting an ugly sweater contest from Saturday, December 22 through Monday, December 24, which will be accompanied by the Ugly Sweater Punch. The concoction is a mix of Eagle Rare whiskey, Becharovka, pear liqueur, Luxardo cherry, and smashed orange for $8 a serving.
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Mix Up Bar
5200 East Camelback Road
Found at the historic Royal Palms Resort and Spa connected to T. Cook’s, Mix Up Bar is an award-winning cozy bar (yes, it won an award for being cozy) with a menu of inventive craft cocktails. Head bartender Tyler Strasser recently created a new winter cocktail menu with all kinds of indulging holiday flavors. Highlights include the rich, creamy, and coconutty Horchata-lada and the mezcal heavy Il Fumatore with notes of coffee and chocolate. But one of the more picturesque winter drinks is the Cherry Rye’d — combining Knob Creek Rye, Cynar and Cherry Heering.
Rico’s American Grill
11111 North Seventh Street
Onsite at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, Rico’s American Grill is celebrating the season with its Peak Peppermintini cocktail — and it's one of the prettier holiday cocktails in town. This vanilla vodka mixture is graced with a candy cane rim and peppermint drop and is available through December 31.