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Holiday Cocktails Guide: Stir Up Some Cheer

Sailun Tires

The Holiday Season is probably the time of the year that you do the most entertaining, and let’s face it, it gets competitive. What better way to impress your guests then with quick and easy, yet delicious Holiday Cocktails?

Swagger Magazine's Holiday Cocktail Guide 2017

When you are hosting over the holidays, you want to be as festive as possible. From clothing, to decorations, to gifts, everything has to be perfect for you, and your friends and family. So why not kick it up a notch? Well, I just did. These four recipes are not only going to have your guests coming back for more, they’re easy to make on the spot, and most of the prep work is done in advance so that they may be served almost instantly. Plus, they look insanely good that your guests might think they came straight from the bar.

Holiday Cocktails Guide - Mulled Wine - Swagger Magazine

Mulled Wine

For those evenings by the fire, or burning fire video streaming on your big screen for that matter, mulled wine has the flavours that will warm your soul.


  • 2 tbsp of cloves
  • 12 star anise
  • Lemon and orange peel
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ tsp of freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ a vanilla bean or ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3L (4 bottles) of J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (or alternate red wine)
  • ½ cup of sugar


  1. Set stove to medium-low heat and add red wine.
  2. As the wine simmers, slowly add all other ingredients in any order, stirring to combine as you go.
  3. Leave it to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve the mulled wine warm in your favourite mug, garnish with a cinnamon stick — and a swirl of orange peel if you’re feeling fancy.


Holiday Cocktails Guide - Fireplace Fashioned - Swagger Magazine

Fireplace Fashioned

Perfect for your classically dapper guests, the Fireplace Fashioned is a new twist on the classic old fashioned.


  • 1 bottle of Hennessey VS cognac
  • 3 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 3 dashes of Angostura orange bitters, or similar
  • 1 tsp of Nespresso espresso, or similar
  • ½ oz of maple sugar syrup (½ maple sugar, with ½ boiling water water)
  • King Cube Size Ice Cubes (you can find the trays for these almost anywhere nowadays)

There are two parts to concocting the fireplace fashioned.

Instructions – Part One:

  1. Pour the Hennessey into a large bowl.
  2. Add cacao nibs. Stir or shake every hour for 3 hours.
  3. Filter cacao nibs from the Hennessey and funnel infusion back into the Hennessey bottle.

Part Two:

  1. In a mixing glass, combine 2 oz of the pre-made cacao infused Hennessey with the Angostura, Nespresso espresso and maple sugar syrup.
  2. Stir it all up and strain into a old-fashioned glass over a king size ice cube and garnish with a swirl of tangerine peel.


Holiday Cocktails Guide - Holiday Smash - Swagger Magazine

Holiday Smash

Serve this drink at your holiday cocktail party and you’ll look like a pro, not to mention it will be the celebration of the year!



  • Add 1 ounce of Bombay Sapphire Gin into a martini shaker with ice, mint leaves, lemon juice, cranberry juice and pomegranate seeds.
  • Gently muddle the ingredients.
  • Shake it all up and strain into a large champagne flute.
  • Top it off with Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, or similar, and some sparkling water.
  • For any guests not wanting the cocktail, just serve the remaining champagne straight in a flute.


Holiday Cocktails Guide - Peppermint Mocha - Swagger Magazine

Salted Peppermint Mocha

If you or your guests love treating yourselves to something sweet over the holidays, then this is the drink for you.


  • Hennessy VS cognac
  • Crème de menthe
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cup of Nespresso espresso, or similar


  • Combine 1 ounce of Hennessy with ½ ounce of crème de menthe and a pinch of salt.
  • Fill your favourite mug with a 3:1 ratio of hot chocolate to Nespresso espresso, or a similar alternative.
  • Add the Hennessy mixture.
  • Serve it in your favourite holiday mug topped with whipped cream (regular or chocolate) and grated milk chocolate.


No matter which type of holiday event you are hosting, or whether you or your hired bartender are serving them, these creative and festive cocktails are sure to make even the smallest of gatherings one of the best your guests have ever experienced.

Happy Holidays, and remember to always drink responsibly, and ensure your guests do too. Better yet, make sure they all get home safely in an Uber at the end of the night.

Photographer: Michael Stuckless / @stuckless
Producer & Creative Direction: Steven Branco / @chiefswaggerofficer
Food & Prop Stylist: Matthew Kimura (Kimura Foods)
Production Assistant: Merrill Flynn
Location: Brassaii, Toronto, ON



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