5 Holiday Cocktails to Make at Home When You’re Not on Vacation

5 Holiday Cocktails to Make at Home When You’re Not on Vacation

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Everyone loves a good drink on vacation – myself included! However, there are a few I’d choose more so than others. Don’t kill me, but I usually like the sweet stuff! While I won’t necessarily pick a destination based on it’s cocktails alone, knowing I’ll be able to sip some cocktails that don’t make my face go all wacky and contorted sure is a plus!


When I’m not traveling, I love to make drinks that I’ve discovered in different countries. Gives me good memories of my trips, and to be honest, who wouldn’t want to indulge in a few cocktails? Do we even need a reason most of the time?!

I’ve picked out a few of my favorite drinks for you (and I -let’s be honest here) to make! Some of the below cocktail recipes make just one drink, so if you want to make a whole bunch for a few friends (or just for yourself – no judgments here), make sure to increase the ingredients.

And just for ease of use, 1 shot = 1 ounce of liquid. 🙂

My Favorite Travel Cocktails

1) Spanish Sangria

This past summer, I visited a whole slew of Spanish cities in the southern part of the country, and boy, am I lucky I didn’t gain 10 pounds from drinking alone. I literally drank my weight in Sangria, aka a drink with so much sugar it’s insane. It doesn’t hurt that so many places give you free tapas when you order some sangria! Sangria and tapas for lunch? Sangria and tapas for dinner? Sangria and tapas as an afternoon snack? Yes, yes, and yes, please! Although I’m not the hugest fan of wine, adding the fruit to a sweet-ish red really amps up the flavors.

What You Need (6-8 servings):

  • 2 (750ml) bottles of red wine (Spanish tempranillo is a great choice!)
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans of lemon-lime soda
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ½ cup sugar (adjust depending on preferred level of sweetness)
  • 1 orange, sliced (⅛ inch thick)
  • 2 lemons, sliced (⅛ inch thick)
  • 2 trays of ice
  • Large punch bowl

How to Make Traditional Spanish Sangria

  1. Put sliced fruit and ½ cup sugar into punch bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes (this lets the fruit release it’s natural juices)
  2. Add wine and mix thoroughly
  3. Add the triple sec and brandy and stir
  4. Add the two cans of soda and stir.
  5. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if desired (make sure to completely dissolve)
  6. Add lots of ice to the punch bowl, serve immediately and enjoy!

2) Portuguese Morangoska

If you’re a sucker for strawberries and vodka like me, you’ll absolutely love a cold morangoska.  Popular in the hot summer months in Lisbon, these Portuguese cocktails will cool you down when you just can’t take the heat anymore.

What You Need for 1 cocktail:

  • 6 large strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 50ml Vodka
  • 1 straw

How to Make a Portuguese Morangoska

  1. Chop strawberries in small pieces and put into cup
  2. Mix sugar with strawberries and mash into a puree
  3. Blend ice cubes in blender
  4. Put strawberry-sugar puree, crushed ice, and vodka into a cocktail shaker and shake it up!
  5. Pour mixture into a nice glass and drink!

3) Amsterdam Cocktail

This cocktail, although a bit too dry for me, is very orangey, which is probably the reason I actually like it!  I even added my love for Holland and it’s Amsterdam Cocktails into Travel Republic’s Holiday Cocktail Post!

Amsterdam Cocktail - Amsterdam City Break - Netherlands

What you Need for 1 cocktail:

  • 2 shots Rutte Old Simon Genever
  • 1 shot Triple Sec
  • 1 shot Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 dashes of angostura orange bitters

How to Make an Amsterdam Cocktail:

  1. Shake all ingredients with ice
  2. Fine strain into chilled glass
  3. Garnish with orange zest twist
  4. Sip and enjoy!

4) Cuban Mojito

Ahhh, mojitos. The most perfect summer cocktail. I’m still dreaming of traveling to Cuba, so before this happens, mojitos at home will have to do! I’ve had mojitos in tons of other countries, but I know Havana is like the ultimate birthplace of the drink, so I feel a trip there is absolutely necessary!

What you Need for 1 cocktail:

  • 1 ½ ounces white rum
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup Soda water
  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Collins glass

How to Make an Authentic Cuban Mojito

  1. Put mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass and muddle away (do not strain)
  2. Add 2 more lime wedges and sugar, and muddle again (do not strain)
  3. Fill glass with ice almost to the top
  4. Pour rum over ice, then fill with soda water
  5. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint
  7. Serve with a straw and enjoy!

5) Icelandic Mule

After traveling throughout Iceland this summer, I’m secretly planning another trip back. With the recent influx of tourism in Iceland and all it’s huge hype, I honestly didn’t know what to expect – was I going to be disappointed? Spoiler alert – Iceland now holds a firm spot in my top 5 countries. The landscapes were more surreal than I could have ever imagined, and I saw more shades of green than I thought was humanly possible. Besides the ridiculously high cost of food (and drinks) in Iceland, I highly urge you to book the next flight. And if you can’t, consider making a Huckleberry Icelandic Mule instead.

What you Need for 1 cocktail:

  • 1 ½ ounces Reyka Vodka
  • ¾ ounces lime juice
  • 2 ounces ginger beer
  • 1 tablespoon huckleberries
  • 1 teaspoon Brennivin
  • Crushed ice
  • Copper Mug

How to Make a Huckleberry Icelandic Mule

  1. Serve all ingredients over crushed ice in copper mug ← yes, it’s really that easy!
  2. Garnish with wedge of lime.

What are your favorite holiday cocktails? I’m dying to know!  😛

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