Holiday Cocktails Even “Mad Men” Would Love

My hubby and I were out to dinner with friends about 40+ years ago (I was 12 when we married – JK) and we had a very entertaining waitress. I don’t think she meant to be entertaining, it just turned out that way.

The waitress greeted us and asked if we would like something to drink. Dick (hubby) said yes, we would like cocktails. The waitress said “okay” and left the table. We had not given her our “order” for the type of cocktails we wanted. We were surprised that she left the table and hadn’t taken our specific orders. We took bets on what she would bring back to the table.

The waitress returned to our table with waters for everyone. She assured us that our cocktails were being made and she would return with them shortly. Still amazed that she hadn’t taken our preferences, even when we tried to give her some direction, but no, she left the table again.

At this point in the evening it became a game for us – would we ever get our cocktails and if so, what would they be?  To be continued….. at the end of this blog.

One of my favorite cocktails is Lemon Drop martinis or my version of that is Limoncello martinis. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will know that I started publishing it with my Limoncello martini and Limoncello after dinner drink recipes. If you missed it, click here to access

An important ingredient in many cocktails is Simple Syrup. It’s “simple” to make and can be done prior to your event and stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to one month. 

Simple Syrup 

To make simple syrup combine equal parts granulated sugar and water (a cup of each is a good amount) in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. 

You are now ready to start serving up cocktails!

I’m featuring drinks with cranberry for the holiday season. Here are some suggestions I found from Cookin Canuck.  Rest assured I have included Dick’s Blood Mary recipe at the end of this list (for the next day… just in case there is a needed cure to drinking too many of these cocktails.) 

Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail

screenshot-2016-12-09-07-24-01This drink takes a little prep work but is truly an easy drink to make. Instead of simple syrup that is used in many drinks, this one uses cranberry syrup. You can make the syrup and store in the fridge. (See recipe card  for how to make it.)

When serving these cocktails, just drizzle some of the cranberry syrup in the bottom of a champagne flute, and then pour the prosecco over the top. That’s it! Perfect for any holiday party.


Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail Recipe
Yields 6
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  1. • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  2. • ¾ cup honey
  3. • ¾ cup water
  4. • 1 bottle Prosecco
  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together the cranberries, honey and water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and cook until the cranberries are popped, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour the cranberries into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Using a rubber spatula, push the cranberries through the sieve so that the syrup collects in the bowl. Discard the cranberry skins.
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the syrup into each of 6 champagne flutes. Top each with Prosecco. Serve.
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Christina's Food And Travel

Cranberry Kamikaze Shot or Cocktail Recipe

screenshot-2016-12-09-07-23-34The name of this cocktail interested me. Kamikaze? Does that mean one shot of this and you fall on your face? Well, I’m willing to try one of these to find out.  

It’s somewhat of a classic combination of lime, vodka and triple sec. Instead of sweetening the cocktail with a traditional simple syrup, there is a splash of cranberry juice.


Cranberry Kamikaze Shot or Cocktail
Yields 4
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  1. Ice
  2. 1 ½ oz fresh lime juice
  3. 1 ½ oz cranberry vodka
  4. 1 oz triple sec
  5. 1 oz cranberry juice
  1. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice, pour over the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Shake well for 10-15 seconds to chill.
  3. Strain into martini or shot glass.
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Christina's Food And Travel


Little Red Drink

red-drinkI’ve been making this drink for years and it still is a favorite of mine and guests, especially during the holidays. I created it back in the day for two reasons; one, we had friends that didn’t drink alcohol, and two, some friends wanted a lighter alcoholic drink. This recipe adapts well to an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version.

Little Red Thing

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  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup seven-up or ginger ale
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vodka
  • Ice
  • Optional: garnish with cherry, or thin slice of lemon or lime


  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. Strain over ice and serve.
  3. Eliminate vodka for alcohol-free drink.


What I love about this drink is that everyone can be drinking the same cocktail, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic.


Calories: 512 cal
Carbohydrates: 84 g
Fat: 1 g
Sodium: 38 g
Protein: 2 g
Fiber: 1 g

Dick’s Bloody Mary Mix

screenshot-2016-12-11-19-25-05And for the next morning (after the cocktail party), Dick’s delicious Blood Mary drink. This recipe originated from a small bar on J Street in Merced California. Dick has refined it a bit over the years and it is still a holiday favorite with or without alcohol. 


Dick's Bloody Mary Mix
Yields 10
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  1. 1 lemon, juiced
  2. 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon Tobasco sauce
  4. 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  5. 1 teaspoon dill weed
  6. 1 teaspoon pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon salt
  8. 46 ounce tomato juice
  1. Mix all ingredients together and chill for 24 hours.
  1. If you must drink it immediately (that's happened on a few occasions to me too!) that's okay. However, flavors deepen if chilled for 24 hours.
Christina's Food And Travel

In case you are wondering what happened with our cocktails that evening long ago – the waitress did return to our table some time later to admit she hadn’t taken our cocktail order. We were by this time thirsty, and somewhat irritated, but laughed it off, and ordered our cocktails. I don’t remember who won the bet. 😉

4 thoughts on “Holiday Cocktails Even “Mad Men” Would Love”

  1. Pingback: Get In The (Cal)Zone – Ricotta & Spinach Appetizers | Christina's Food And Travel

  2. Pingback: Leftover Bloody Marys? Make Drunken Chicken And Tipsy Orzo | Christina's Food And Travel

  3. Hi Christina, HAPPY HOLIDAYS I love your messages and with fond memories the joy we had making pasta with you. I brought Judy Steele and small group of ladies to your Club House in 2019. We had a ball, you made sauce, a delicious salad, the wonderful Limoncello Cake and Martinis. "Here's looking at you, kid" Humphery Bogart ~~ 1942 Casablanca Ciao bella, Linda Anderson

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