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By Heidi Hesselberg

Five cocktails inspired by your favorite Christmas movie

The only thing better than watching your favorite Christmas movies as a kid is watching them again as an adult who can drink. But don’t limit yourself to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and a plain bottle of wine; kick your Christmas up a notch! These five cocktails are inspired by your favorite Christmas flicks, from “A Christmas Story” to “Frosty the Snowman.” Break out the syrup and spice – and check your grocery list twice.

5) Smoking Bishop: Inspired by A Christmas Carol

Recipe from: Esquire

Ditch the “Bring Your Own Beverage Christmas” and aim for something that will really bring your family together this season: a giant, flaming punch-bowl full of cognac and rum. Not only is this lovely holiday tradition featured in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” but the recipe below was written by Dickens himself.

You’ll need:

  • 3- or 4-quart fireproof bowl
  • 3 lemons
  • ¾ cup raw sugar
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup VSOP-grade cognac
  • 1¼ cups mellow, amber rum
  • 1¼ cups strong, Jamaican rum
  • 1 quart water
  • Fresh nutmeg


  1. Peel your lemons with a vegetable peeler, doing your best to keep them each in one piece.
  2. Add peels and sugar to the fireproof bowl. Dickens says, “muddle the peels and sugar together and let sit.”
  3. In a separate container, mix the two rums together.
  4. Boil the quart of water on the stove.
  5. Make sure your fireproof bowl is on a heat-resistant surface. Add the cognac and rum mixture to the sugar and lemon-peel mixture.
  6. Scoop some of the alcohol out with a large spoon and light the spoonful on fire. Add the lit alcohol back into the bowl so the rest of the mixture ignites.
  7. Stir the mixture and let burn for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Cover the bowl with a tray to extinguish the flames.
  9. Add the lemon juice and boiling water to the bowl.
  10. For a garnish, add fresh nutmeg to the top of the punch.

Got a fireplace? If you’re brave enough – and responsible – enough, you might try recreating the scene from the Patrick Stewart version of “A Christmas Carol” by boiling the mixture with a red-hot poker.

4) Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate: Inspired by “The Polar Express”

Recipe from: I’m Bored Let’s Go

Even if you’ve never seen “The Polar Express,” you’ve probably heard one if its iconic songs: “Hot Chocolate.” It’s a simple tune about a simple drink, but after the kids in the movie have finished their refreshments, one of the characters explains that the Aztecs used to drink their chocolate with actual hot peppers. This recipe uses cayenne and cinnamon for its spicy-warm punch.

You’ll need:

  • 1 shot of clear tequila
  • 1 ½ cups of prepared hot chocolate
  • Large pinch of cinnamon
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate syrup for topping


  1. Add cinnamon and cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate.
  2. In a large mug, add tequila. Pour prepared hot chocolate mixture over tequila shot.
  3. Top off mug with whipped cream and chocolate toppings. Add another small pinch of cayenne to garnish.

3) Ovaltini: Inspired by “A Christmas Story”

Recipe from: Drinks Mixer

There is nothing more uncomfortable or more relatable than just about every scene in the hit Christmas movie “A Christmas Story.” There’s been a time in everyone’s life when we’ve eaten 18 boxes of cereal to get a prize. Then either it never came, or it was a cheap piece of junk. Some of us may even remember the malty, vitamin taste of Ovaltine. Cheers, and drink to forget that time you didn’t say fudge, because this next recipe is for those of you who want some chocolate-flavored nostalgia with your booze.

You’ll need:

  • 2 oz. Stoli Vanil vodka
  • ½ oz. white crème de cacao
  • 1 pinch of Ovaltine mix
  • 1 Hershey’s Kiss


  1. Rim a cocktail glass with Ovaltine powder.
  2. Add the vodka and the crème de cacao to a cocktail shaker with some ice cubes.
  3. Shake and strain into prepared cocktail glass.
  4. Top with Hershey’s Kiss.

2) Melted Snowman Cocktail: Inspired by “Frosty the Snowman”

Recipe From: Better Homes and Gardens

Nothing says, “holiday season” like drinking the melted corpse of your favorite Christmas buddy. If you’ve ever watched the end of “Frosty the Snowman” and thought, “I wonder what that tastes like,” this is the perfect cocktail for you. You horrid person.

You’ll need:

  • Ice cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of vodka
  • 3 tablespoons of Kahlua
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Mini chocolate pieces
  • Orange sprinkles


  1. Add ice cubes to a 10-12 oz. glass.
  2. Add vodka, Kahlua and half-and-half. Stir.
  3. Top with whipped cream, two chocolate pieces and one orange sprinkle.

1) Sugar Plum Punch: Inspired by “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Recipe from: Awake at the Whisk

No, this last entry isn’t from a Christmas movie. But it is a very well-known Christmas poem, so it counts. Fact: Most people associate Christmas with sugar-plums because of the line, “visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” Also a fact: Most people don’t know what sugar-plums are. This cocktail should clear things up.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp. of vodka
  • 2 tbsp. plum wine
  • 2 tbsp. rosemary-plum simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 4 tbsp. white-cranberry juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. St. Germain
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • A small amount of Champagne

Rosemary Plum Syrup Recipe

Add ½ lb. black grapes, 1 cup of sun-dried plums, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 6 cups of water, and 3 cups of sugar to a saucepan and slowly bring to a bowl. Remove from heat and cool. Strain mixture.

Frozen sugar-coated black grapes recipe (for garnish):

Spear two or three seedless black grapes on a toothpick and roll in sugar. Freeze.

Cocktail instructions:

  1. Add all cocktail ingredients (except for champagne/sparkling wine) to a martini shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Strain into a fluted champagne glass.
  4. Top with champagne/sparkling wine.
  5. Garnish with sugar-coated grapes.

Leave the hors d’oeuvres and have drinks before Christmas dinner. Skip the half-baked attempts at marshmallow fruit-salad this season and go straight for the literal half-baked bowl of fruity cognac instead. Merry Christmas!

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