7 Seasonal Cocktails Making Spirits Bright This Holiday Season

As of this writing, Thanksgiving 2014 is only two weeks away, and no doubt the meal planning is fast and furious. But while you’re narrowing down the perfect roster of recipes to grace your table this year, don’t forget about your drink menu. Here are seven cocktails making skillful use of flavors of the season like pumpkin, cranberry, and more. Familiar contributors like VOGA Italia and Sparkling ICE, are back with easy recipes certain not to disappoint. Some first-time sharers are bringing good libations as well, like Viva Diva Wines by Christina Milian, and Cameron Dodge-White, Bar Manager at West Hollywood Lounge The Nice Guy. Whatever your tastes, this list has got you covered when it comes to creating something tasteful to toss back before, during, or after you carve up the bird.

Autumn Kiss
(Contributed by VOGA Italia)



  • 6 oz. VOGA Dolce Rosso
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Cinnamon Cloves
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Honey


  1. Heat all ingredients in a saucepan until ingredients have dissolved.
  2. Serve in coffee mug, or heat-safe glass. Garnish with Cinnamon stick and orange peel.

Pom-Blueberry Frosted Sangria
(Contributed by Sparkling ICE)


Ingredients (makes 10 servings):

  • 1 cup Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup frozen apples
  • 1 cup frozen oranges


  1. In a large glass pitcher stir together the Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry, orange juice and lime juice.
  2. Add wine and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add frozen apples and oranges.
  4. Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours before serving.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Orange Spiced Pumpkin Martini
(Contributed by VOGA Italia)



  • 2 oz. VOGA Prosecco
  • 2 oz. Pumpkin flavored vodka
  • 1/2 oz. triple sec
  • 1 dash orange zest
  • 1 dash of cinnamon


  1. Pour vodka, triple sec and orange zest into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice.
  2. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Top with VOGA Prosecco.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist, a dash of cinnamon and serve.

Winter White Sangria
(Contributed by Christina Milian’s Viva Diva Wines)



  • 2 Parts Viva Diva Peach Moscato
  • 1 Part Malibu Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 Part Triple Sec
  • 1 Splash Peach Orchard Punch


  1. Stir rum and Triple Sec in with fresh-cut orange, peach, and apple slices.
  2. Stir in Tropicana’s Peach Orchard Punch.
  3. Finish with Viva Diva Peach Moscato. Add ice and serve.

Spiced Apple Honey Cider
(Contributed by Sparkling ICE)



  • 3 oz. Sparkling ICE Crisp Apple
  • 1 ½ oz. Whiskey or Brandy
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Cinnamon stick and allspice cloves for garnish


  1. Coat the bottom of a glass coffee cup with honey. Add whiskey or brandy.
  2. Heat Sparkling ICE Crisp Apple in a small sauce pot.
  3. Pour hot Sparkling ICE Crisp Apple into glass and stir to combine ingredients.
  4. Garnish with cinnamon stick and allspice clove.

Cranberry Wine Delight
(Contributed by VOGA Italia)



  • Frozen Cranberries
  • 1½ oz. VOGA Dolce Rosso
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz. Vodka


  1. Crush cranberries into bottom of a glass.
  2. Shake VOGA Dolce Rosso, Cranberry Juice and Vodka with ice.
  3. Pour over crushed cranberries and add more cranberries for garnish.

The Cider Mill
(Created from scratch by The Nice Guy‘s bar manager Cameron Dodge-White)



  • 2 oz. Elijah Craig 12yr
  • 3/4 Spiced Apple and Pear Shrub
  • 1/2 Averna Amaro
  1. Combine Ingredients with ice in mixing glass and stir until very cold.
  2. Add ice to top off mixing glass and stop dilution, then strain into a coupe. Baked Apple Chip to garnish.
Shrub Recipe:
  1. Slice 6 Red Apples and 4 Pears into flat chips (not wedges). Lay on baking sheet covered in silpat or wax paper, brush lightly with melted butter.
  2. Microplane cinnamon on the apples, nutmeg on the pear.
  3. Bake at 350° degrees for 10 minutes or until golden, it is important that you do not over cook them, as you need some moisture to remain in the fruit to be extracted into the liquid later on.
  4. Combine equal parts sugar (granulated white) and water in sauce pan, 32 oz. each for this recipe. Bring to simmer and add all of the baked pear and 4 of the baked apples (you’ll use the other two as garnish later).
  5. Slice a fresh, raw apple into wedges and toss in as well.
  6. Add one sprig of fresh rosemary. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid starts to become opaque, stirring periodically.
  7. Remove rosemary sprig. Add 7 oz. apple cider vinegar.
  8. Let simmer for another 7-10 minutes, stirring periodically.
  9. Pull sauce pan off of heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Strain out solids and divide the syrup into glass bottles (375 ml work great, and fit speed pours if you’re planning a fall cocktail party).
  10. Use your left over apple chips you made to garnish your cocktails.
*Cool thing about Shrub Syrups, you don’t have to refrigerate when not in use, they were specifically created for preserving fruits, before the advent of refrigeration.

 Learn more  about these contributors:

VOGA Italia  |  Sparkling ICE  |  Christina Milian’s Viva Diva Wines  |  The Nice Guy

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