7 DIY Holiday Drinks
The temps may be lower and the days shorter, but the good times are popping off. Families, friends, that cousin you don't remember—everyone is coming together to celebrate. We can all count on roaring fires, ugly sweaters, string lights, and festivities. 'Tis the season for get-togethers punctuated by lots of drinks—coffee and tea drinks, to be exact, but we wouldn't mind an additional shot or two.
Speaking of espresso, some of these recipes call for it. If you own an espresso machine, nice. If you don't, no worries. Here's a few other ways to make espresso-style coffee:
The holidays are the perfect excuse to go all-out on sweet bevs for the ones you love. Lucky for you, these drinks only look difficult. Your guests will all assume you've been brewing overtime to make this array of chocolatey, creamy, minty concoctions happen. For real, they only take about five minutes apiece. Let's get into it.
Nothing says the holidays like gingerbread, and nothing tastes more like the holidays than this cappuccino. Chai spice, honey, and maple meet pillowy microfoam atop killer espresso with the thickest, richest crema you've ever had.
- Pop an espresso capsule in your Nespresso machine and brew a lungo (the larger of the two size options).
- While that's going, fill your Aeroccino to the first line and press the button to warm and froth the milk. Or you can froth it by hand.
- To a mug, add gingerbread syrup and maple syrup.
- Pour your espresso in, layer on that sweet, fluffy milk foam, and garnish with ground cinnamon.
Everybody wants to bring the vibe of a campfire indoors, so we crafted a toasty, sweet bev you can make without an open flame whenever you want. No need to collect dryer lint to help start this fire concoction. This frappe is essentially the best things about autumn in a cup.
- To a blender, add ice, cold brew, milk, and vanilla bean syrup. Blend until smooth.
- Rim a pint glass with chocolate syrup and crushed graham crackers.
- Pour mixture into the pint glass, top with marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
CANDY CANE WHITE RUSSIAN
The White Russian came to be in the '60s, seemingly by accident, and it's been a favorite of Dudes and dessert cocktail fans since. On its own, the White Russian feels like a festive drink, but we wanted to knock some extra holiday cheer into it, and we gotta say, a little peppermint makes a world of difference.
- To a mug, add coffee, peppermint syrup, and Kahlua.
- In a spouted pitcher, froth your milk until soft and pillowy.
- Layer milk on your coffee mixture, pierce with a candy cane, and finish with whipped cream (optional) and crushed candy cane.
BUTTERSCOTCH HOT COCOA COFFEE
50% coffee. 50% hot cocoa. 100% tasty. When our hot cocoa pods first dropped, we jokingly brewed one into a cup of coffee and it was amazing. That's R&D, baby. Rich, creamy milk chocolate and full-bodied coffee blend—with a pop of butterscotch—to make a decadent bev you won't be able to drink just one of.
- Pop a Donut Shop pod in your machine and brew a 6 oz. cup.
- Shake the Hot Cocoa pod first and do the same thing. Easy peasy.
- Fill a separate mug a little under halfway with coffee. Add in the same amount of hot cocoa.
- Add butterscotch syrup and stir.
- Top with whipped cream and butterscotch chips and serve.
CARAMEL WINTER APPLE CIDER
Deceptively simple yet deliciously complex. Winter Apple Cider Rooibos brings warmth and spice to decadent caramel, making for an impeccably balanced brew that will set your soul ablaze. Requiring almost no work, this is a cup you won't mind making again and again.
- Start with a few good swirls of caramel syrup to the bottom of your glass.
- Brew Winter Apple Cider directly onto the caramel. Steep for 5 - 7 minutes.
- Remove your brewing apparatus (we used a brew basket), add caramel syrup and apple cider.
- Finish with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a cinnamon sprinkle.
CHAI NOG MARTINI
Just its name screams the holidays. You get warming chai spice, creamy egg nog, and booze. This is the kind of cocktail you nurse while someone plays “Piano Man” in the living room, tinsel, garland, and “it's nine o'clock on a Saturday” all around. The Chai Nog Martini is the drink of wintertime good times.
- In a mug, combine all ingredients and garnish with ground cinnamon.
- Get back to your holiday festivities.
PEPPERMINT MATCHA LATTE
Next to catching a snowflake on your tongue, this is the closest you're gonna get to tasting winter. Minty peppermint melds melodiously with earthy, lightly sweet matcha and pillowy foam to make the be-all, end-all holiday bev. You even get a candy cane as a li'l snack afterwards.
- Swirl your mug with white chocolate sauce and toss in a candy cane. This part is crucial to the success of the drink.
- Add your matcha, peppermint syrup, and milk.
- Stir with the candy cane. This turns the holiday cheer up to 11.
- Top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.