Holiday Cocktail Recipes to the Rescue

Infuriating in-laws? Kitchen woes? Long lines at the mall? Yep, there's a drink for that. Here are our favorite holiday cocktail pairings to soften any situation the season throws your way.

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You Want to Hold on to Fall a Little Longer

The stores are stocked with Christmas trees and the radio's blaring holiday tunes, but you're not ready to give up on fall just yet. Make it last with this rum-spiked hot apple cider topped with cinnamon-sprinkled whipped cream.

You're Stuck at the Kids' Table Again

If you have to spend another year eating at a rickety card table in the company of your four-year-old cousin, you might as well enjoy an adult drink that will be the envy of your pint-sized companion. The Hot Peppermint Rod's bright peppermint stick and whipped cream topper evokes your childhood days, but a healthy helping of vodka makes it distinctly adult.

You Mailed All Your Holiday Cards

You're probably parched from all that envelope-licking, right? Sit back with this refreshing mix of brandy, apple cider, maple syrup and lemon juice.

Your Brother Brings Five Extra Guests to Dinner

Oh, you didn't get the text he sent about extending an invitation to his new neighbors? It's OK. Just smile and pour a little bit more cranberry juice into the Hot Toddy; it's easy to stretch this mix of cranberry vodka, lemon juice, honey, bitters and cinnamon.

You Survived the Crowds at the Mall

Congratulations! You made it through the hordes of shoppers without having a meltdown. Reward yourself with a decadent dessert cocktail made from butterscotch schnapps, hot chocolate and amaretto.

You Have All-Day Guests

Whether you're having an open house or hosting all-day company, this centuries-old delight is a festive (and easy!) alternative to wine by the glass. Infuse Cabernet Sauvignon with sugar, cloves and cinnamon sticks, then top it off with port and brandy.

You Burned the Cookies

Burnt cookies happen to the best of us. After you get the next batch in the oven (hey, it can be refrigerated dough), mix up this coconut-chocolate drink. Enjoy it with one of the freshly baked treats.

You Just Built a Snowman

Knock the chill off outdoor holiday activities with this tasty homemade hot cocoa. For the adults, add an unexpected kick with Kahlua, light rum or silver tequila.

You're Already Tired of Christmas Songs

Questioning whether it really is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"? Put on some soothing Vince Guaraldi, then mix up a non-musical favorite from the 1960s: the Old Fashioned. Your faith in holiday tunes will soon be renewed.

You Ate Too Many Sweets

Cookies from coworkers, gold foil-wrapped Hanukkah gelt — it's easy to reach dessert overload during the holidays. Classic Vodka Gimlets, made with chilled vodka and fresh lime juice, are the perfect antidote.

You've Spent Seven Hours Hanging Christmas Lights

Light-up Santa and his tiny reindeer are safely on the roof, but you're worried your hands may still be frozen on Christmas Eve. The remedy? Steamy apple cider spiked with belly-warming bourbon will have you in a caroling mood in no time.

You Want to Help Friends Through the Season

Pass on some holiday cheer (and help friends preserve their sanity!) by sharing small bottles of liquor infused with seasonal ingredients like vanilla and anise.
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Your Aunt Won't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Shouldn't you be using cinnamon in that pie? Where's the green bean casserole? Skip the pre-dinner interrogation this year by asking your relative to be in charge of the morning Bloody Mary station. She'll be so busy setting out the Tabasco sauce, celery spears and olives that she might forget to critique your every move.

You Want to Serve Cocktails Instead of Dessert

If baking isn't your style, impress guests with this creamy, pudding-like cocktail flavored with coffee and hazelnut liqueur. They'll forget all about pie and cheesecake.

You're Sitting Fireside With the Family

No holiday is complete without this traditional Ecuadorian family recipe for eggnog. Rumpope, pronounced "rom-poe-pay," uses eggs, condensed milk, peaches, vanilla extract and cinnamon to create a sweet, silky beverage.

You've Got a Moment With Your Sweetheart

Steal some time to kick back with your partner alongside a steamy, decadent drink. You'll both be swooning over this raspberry-infused hot chocolate cocktail.

Your Mother-In-Law Hates the Mashed Potatoes

They're lumpy. They're too creamy. They're all wrong. Take a deep breath, hand her the gravy, then hand her this festive holiday cocktail that draws inspiration from decadent caramel-apple pie.

You Want a Classic Holiday Drink

Gather your friends around the table for this truly traditional winter favorite. Heat brown sugar, milk and dark rum, then float butter on top for a decadent cocktail. Garnish with a pinch of ground nutmeg.

You Can't Decide: Pumpkin or Apple Pie?

It's the age-old question: Which pie should you serve this season? Make decision time a little easier with this fruity, dessert-inspired beverage: the Appleberry Pie. Who knows, you may just opt to make them both.

Someone Ate the Last Slice of Pie

When someone else calls dibs on your after-dessert treat, mix up this drinkable pumpkin pie replica. Combine vanilla vodka, pumpkin spice liqueur, Kahlua, butterscotch schnapps and half-and-half, then garnish with the perfect "crust" made of crushed graham crackers.

You Want to Make Non-Drinking Friends Feel Special

The non-drinkers in your life shouldn't be stuck with warm tap water or punch meant for the kids. Instead, try this modern and non-alcoholic take on the classic Cosmo. Dried hibiscus flower petals give the drink its holiday-perfect hue.

Your Great Uncle Won't Stop Talking About the Election

If you want to get through dessert without taking the political bait, you'll need to find some common ground. Something we can all agree on: The dirty martini is a year-round crowd pleaser that's just as popular today as it was during the swinging '60s. The only issue on which to vote: shaken or stirred.

His Team's Playing in a Bowl Game

Whether the game goes off with flying colors or ends in disaster, everyone will love this refreshing twist on the classic margarita. This twist? Beer. Serve in a frosty glass with a salted rim.

You're Up at Midnight to Shop the Sales

Camping out in front of the computer to score discounted Beats by Dre headphones feels so much cooler when you're sipping a sparkling water cocktail. Here's to you, bargain shopper!

You're Snowed In

Whether there's a foot or an inch of snow, it's enough reason to enjoy this frozen cocktail evocative of the outdoors. Put on your warmest mittens and blend up this mix of Irish cream, rum, half-and-half and banana.

You're Making Christmas Ornaments With the Squad

Toast to your crafty nature with a bit of bubbly punch. This sparkling cocktail for a crowd gets its festive hue from cranberry juice and a tart note from lemonade and fresh lime juice.

You Made It Through the Season

Congratulations! You've survived the shopping excursions, gift-wrapping marathons and holiday dinners. Toast to a brand new year with this champagne cocktail topped off with cognac, Grand Marnier and Campari.