Holly Jolly Christmas Cocktail

Kick off the holiday season in style with this Holly Jolly Christmas cocktail recipe. Made with orange vodka, elderberry liqueur, blood orange juice, and ginger beer, this delicious cocktail is as refreshing as it is festive.

A board with a glass filled with the red drink with arils, rosemary, and thyme in it

I love holiday cocktails not only because they are usually beautiful, but also because they are delicious and will please the most picky guest.

This holiday cocktail fits all the above claims. The gorgeous holly jolly Christmas citrus cocktail is tasty because the ingredients meld so well together, and adding a splash of fizzy ginger beer takes it to a different level.

I can’t wait for you to try it.

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Helpful tips

  • Nothing says “holiday drink” like using a nice sprig of rosemary as garnish.
  • I also like to garnish this cocktail with pomegranate arils, so I bought the packaged seeds at Trader Joe’s for convenience. You can also get a fresh pomegranate and remove the seeds yourself.
  • Fresh thyme is also one of my go-to cocktail garnishes. I’m a fan of lots of sprigs, but you don’t have to use as many as I did.
  • Even though the holly jolly cocktail doesn’t have cranberry juice in it, spearing some cranberries on a martini pick and balancing them on the rim of the glass is also a nice choice of garnish.
  • I love to use big ice cubes in this cocktail as they take longer to melt. Here is the tray I use.
  • I use St. Germain in this cocktail, but you can use any elderflower liquor.
  • If you can’t find blood orange juice, you can squeeze your own. I get this freshly squeezed juice at Whole Foods.
  • As alternatives to blood orange juice, you could also substitute store bought orange juice, clementine juice, or any freshly squeezed citrus juice.
  • I use homemade orange infused vodka since it is so easy to make. If you don’t have time to make your own, it’s perfectly fine to use store bought. I’m not a fan of artificially flavored alcohol because I don’t know the ingredients.
  • You will be adding all the ingredients EXCEPT the ginger beer to the cocktail shaker. The beer will be added after you divide the liquid between the glasses.

How to make the holly jolly Christmas cocktail

Pre-step

Get a cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Get a measuring glass, 2 double old fashioned glasses, and for garnish – pomegranate arils, fresh rosemary sprigs, and fresh thyme sprigs.

After measuring out the ingredients, add them to the cocktail shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – fresh blood orange juice, orange vodka, elderberry liqueur, and bubbly ginger beer.

Blood orange juice, orange vodka, elderberry liqueur and ginger beer

Step two

Measure 4 ounces of orange vodka. (A)

Step three

Measure 2 ounces of elderberry liqueur. (B)

Orange vodka and elderberry liqueur measured out

Step four

Measure 4 ounces of blood orange juice. (C)

Look at that color.

Step five

Using a kitchen spoon, add 1 – 2 teaspoons of pomegranate arils to each cocktail glass. (D)

Blood orange juice measured out and two glasses with arils in them and the cocktail shaker in the back

Step six

Cap the shaker and vigorously shake for at least 15 seconds. Add fresh ice cubes to the glasses and divide, strain, and pour the liquid between both glasses.

Make sure there is a 1/2 inch to 1 inch space between the liquid and the top of the glass.

The holiday cocktail poured into the two glasses with ginger beer in the back

Pour and top off both glasses with the ginger beer. Add a sprig of thyme and rosemary to the glasses. (As you can see, I might have gone overboard – hehe!)

A board with a glass filled with the red drink with arils, rosemary, and thyme in it

Doesn’t that look delicious?

Vertical view of a double old fashioned glass filled with the red drink with thyme and rosemary in it

Let’s look closer at this awesome holiday drink!

Close up of the red cocktail in a glass with fresh thyme and rosemary

Yum!

I hope you enjoyed this holly jolly Christmas cocktail. It’s so good!

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish.

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

square photo of a glass with the red cocktail with thyme, rosemary, and pomegranate seeds

Holly Jolly Christmas Cocktail

Kick off the holiday season in style with this Holly Jolly Christmas cocktail recipe. Made with orange vodka, elderberry liqueur, blood orange juice, and ginger beer, this delicious cocktail is as refreshing as it is festive.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Keyword: holiday cocktail, holly jolly christmas cocktail, holly jolly cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 203kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces orange vodka
  • 2 ounces elderberry liqueur
  • 4 ounces blood orange juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer (divided – this is approximate, you will add it to the glasses after you've poured the liquid in the glasses)

Garnish (optional)

  • 2 sprigs rosemary (fresh)
  • 2 sprigs thyme (fresh)
  • 3 teaspoons pomegranate arils (2 – 4 teaspoons)

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Get a measuring glass and the garnish.
  • Add vodka, elderberry liqueur, and blood orange juice.
    4 ounces orange vodka, 2 ounces elderberry liqueur, 4 ounces blood orange juice
  • Add arils to the glasses and top them with fresh ice to the glasses.
    3 teaspoons pomegranate arils
  • Cap shaker and vigorously shake for 15 seconds. Divide, strain, and pour the liquid between the two glasses.
  • Add enough ginger beer to the glasses to top them off.
    4 ounces ginger beer
  • Add one sprig of rosemary and thyme to each glass
    2 sprigs rosemary, 2 sprigs thyme
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • Nothing says “holiday drink” like using a nice sprig of rosemary as garnish.
  • I also like to garnish this cocktail with pomegranate arils, so I bought the packaged seeds at Trader Joe’s for convenience. You can also get a fresh pomegranate and remove the seeds yourself.
  • Fresh thyme is also one of my go-to cocktail garnishes. I’m a fan of lots of sprigs, but you don’t have to use as many as I did.
  • Even though the holly jolly cocktail doesn’t have cranberry juice in it, spearing some cranberries on a martini pick and balancing them on the rim of the glass is also a nice choice of garnish.
  • I love to use big ice cubes in this cocktail as they take longer to melt. Here is the tray I use.
  • I use St. Germain in this cocktail, but you can use any elderflower liquor.
  • If you can’t find blood orange juice, you can squeeze your own. I get this freshly squeezed juice at Whole Foods.
  • As alternatives to blood orange juice, you could also substitute store bought orange juice, clementine juice, or any freshly squeezed citrus juice.
  • I use homemade orange infused vodka since it is so easy to make. If you don’t have time to make your own, it’s perfectly fine to use store bought. I’m not a fan of artificially flavored alcohol because I don’t know the ingredients.
  • You will be adding all the ingredients EXCEPT the ginger beer to the cocktail shaker. The beer will be added after you divide the liquid between the glasses.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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20 Comments

  1. We tried this last night as a test run for our holiday party and we loved it and it will be on our cocktail menu.

  2. It’s time to start thinking about “the season”. So many wonderful foods and drinks to enjoy. This will be a hit at my Christmas party.

  3. Your cocktails always look gorgeous and taste so delicious. I’m with you on adding the sprigs as garnishes, it makes this one look even more Christmassy. The orange and elderberry flavors complemented each other so well and the ginger beer gave the perfect kick. This will be one I’ll keep in mind for the holidays.

  4. This drink will definitely have me feeling the Christmas spirit. I love the combination of flavours but I think I need to wait until blood orange season to try it. Fortunately, that’s really soon.

    1. Thanks, Bernice. I do love juicing m y own blood oranges but it’s even better when I can by it freshly squeezed! Thanks for your comment.

  5. I love the orange notes in this cocktail! So delicious and perfect for the holiday. Such a great combination of flavors for a cocktail.

    1. Thanks so much, Kathryn! We love this cocktail and this year we’re having our holiday party after a few years off. 🙂

  6. Pretty sure this cocktail will have me feeling all kinds of holly jolly this holiday season – I absolutely love the flavor combination. Sending to my personal bartender husband right now!

    1. Haha! Thanks, Lauren! I’m going to bring this drink to my cousin’s the weekend and I can’t wait for them to taste it. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Gave this refreshing cocktail a try last night and it was perfect and loaded with flavor. Will definitely be adding it to the holiday gatherings this season.

  8. I made this drink last night and came out super tasty! Going to make it this weekend for our family dinner party 😉

  9. Goodness this sounds so inviting and delicious! I love the flavors of this cocktail yet its so refreshing too! Perfect for the holiday season.