Recipes, tips and tricks for cocktail party success.
No holiday party is complete without fizzy, flavorful cocktails that capture the essence of the season in a glass. Try our irresistible featured recipes, including White Sangria Punch (perfect for big punch bowls), Blueberry Champagne Spritzer and classic Mulled Wine.
We also have all the accoutrements you need to build a better bar, including sophisticated mixers, garnishes and bar snacks your guests will love. So grab a glass and make a toast—it’s time to celebrate!
Build a Better Bar
Hosting holiday parties is easier when you have the right bartending tools. The Fresh Market offers high-quality sodas (delicious solo or as elegant mixers), bitters, hibiscus flowers, citrus garnishes and more, so you can serve up seasonal drinks in style.
1. Element Shrub & Club These award-winning, effervescent mixers are crafted with organic apple cider vinegar. Enjoy solo or paired with your favorite spirit.
2. Fentimans Botanical Beverages Each of Fentimans natural, botanical tonics is brewed using the century-old tradition of fermenting herbs and milled roots. They’re delicious on their own or added to festive fizzy cocktails.
3. Hella Bitters Hella Aromatic Bitters are rich and deep, perfect for bourbon, rum and brandy. We also love their Orange Bitters, made with real orange skins and spice.
4. Luxardo Cherries Founded in 1821, this beloved company made a lasting impression with a cherry liqueur called Maraschino. Their deep-red cherries do wonders for a Manhattan, whiskey sour or ice cream sundae.
5. Tillen Farms Olives Dirty martini, anyone? Grown in the Halkidiki region of Greece, these hand-stuffed olives are lightly brined in vermouth and make an excellent bar snack or garnish.
Better Bar Snacks
Your guests will want something to munch on while they sip and socialize. Stock up on our sweet and savory snacks, including seasonal, candy-coated almonds, mouthwatering cheese straws and Holiday Sampler Trays with nuts and snack mixes, or try some imported olives and antipasto staples from our gourmet Antipasto Bar. We’re also excited about our new Brew Bites Nut Mixes and after dinner cordials—read on for details!
1Brew Bites Nut Mixes
These mixes are specially crafted to pair with your favorite beer. Try Curry Miso with hoppy IPAs (our favorites: Founders All Day IPA and Dogfish Head Variety IPA), Sweet Habanero with Pale ales (our favorites: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Oskar Blues Dale Pale Ale) or Cider Dijon with stouts (our favorite: Guinness).
2The Fresh Market Cheese Straws
Need an effortless, elegant snack for your guests? Our cheese straws are a savory, Southern-inspired delicacy. Try classic Cheddar or White Cheddar Parmesan as a solo snack or paired with a seasonal cocktail.
3Koppers After-Dinner Cordials
Treat your guests to unique sweets, like these flavorful after-dinner cordials. These melt-in-your-mouth, filled chocolate confections are available in creative flavors like Barrel-Aged Bourbon and Sparkling Prosecco.
- Choose one signature cocktail and make a large batch ahead of time, before your guests arrive. Once you’re ready to serve drinks, simply pour the mixture over ice.
- Keep cocktails cold but not diluted by adding frozen berries or grapes instead of ice.
- When buying alcohol, always round up to account for last-minute guests or spilled beverages.
- Wondering how much wine to buy? We recommend estimating 1 glass per person, per hour. So, if you invite 10 guests and your party is 3 hours long, you’ll need approximately 30 glasses total, or 6 bottles. (The standard red wine pour is 5 oz., which results in about 5 glasses per bottle.) If your guests are pouring for themselves, it might be a good idea to buy an extra bottle or two.
- In short: Multiply the number of guests by the number of hours your party will last. That gives you the (approximate) number of drinks, beers or glasses of wine to plan for.
Holiday Wine 101
When choosing wine for your guests, variety is key. We recommend serving at least one sparkling, one white and one red wine, so there’s something for every palate. One of our favorite holiday sparklers is Gruet Winery Brut—it’s refreshing, effervescent and super versatile. We also love clean, fresh and lively Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, which is full-bodied, rich and sure to satisfy the red wine enthusiasts at your gathering. Visit our Holiday Wine page for more ideas.
Mix It Up
Whether you’re preparing punch for a crowd or hosting an intimate gathering, these drinks are elegant, flavorful palate-pleasers. Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorite Christmas cocktails.
1White Sangria Punch
Nobody wants to be playing bartender all evening, so why not make a big batch cocktail instead? This vibrant white sangria is made with Fentimans Ginger Beer & Muddled Lime, rosemary-orange simple syrup and frozen grapes in lieu of ice. Pro Tip: Make the recipe ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.
2Cranberry Citrus Fizz
Seasonal cranberries make another appearance in this tart, sweet fizzy favorite. Our Sicilian Lemon Italian Soda serves as a delicious mixer, with lemonade, cranberry and blood orange juice and orange liqueur at the forefront. Add in gin or lemon-flavored vodka to taste, along with fun and festive lemonade ice cubes. You can also serve this recipe without alcohol for an equally delicious mocktail.
This warm, fragrant holiday classic is perfect for holiday get-togethers and evenings by the fire. Combine your favorite bottle of red wine with The Fresh Market Mulling Spice, fresh orange and apple slices and aromatic cinnamon sticks to create a truly memorable beverage. Bonus: Your whole house will smell like Christmas cheer.
4Cranberry Blueberry Smash for a Crowd
Cranberries are a bright, festive and delicious addition to seasonal cocktails. This recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. We recommend using your favorite bourbon in this cocktail. (If you don’t have bourbon on hand or prefer something different, vodka works well, too.) Feel free to adjust the amount of alcohol depending on your taste or audience. Pro Tip: Make the recipe ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.