Survive the Season with These Holiday Cocktails and Drinks


Let’s face it: the holidays are a stressful time of year. We parents are going non-stop, whether it’s ferrying the family to performances or picking up gifts or addressing holiday cards or decorating or wrapping or cooking or baking or…you get the picture.

At the end of a long day, when the kids are all snug in their beds, it’s nice to unwind. Enjoy an uninterrupted conversation with your spouse, have a few friends over to catch up or even just to change into your PJs and relax on the couch with a book. May we suggest these cocktails and drinks to help you survive the season?

Tito's Kickin' Mule

Tito’s Kickin’ Mule


  • 1 1/2 oz. Tito’s Handmake Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime
  • 3 oz. ginger beer (Note: to keep it local, you can use Main Root’s Ginger Brew, available at Whole Foods, World Market, Central Market, HEB Plus, Fresh Plus and Wheatsville, among others)


Combine all ingredients into chilled mug filled with ice and serve.

Garnish: Lime wedge.

Copper mugs available for purchase on the Tito’s website, along with a Dogs and Drinks Calendar for 2015 and a gift bag, if you decide to surprise your spouse with a bottle when you buy one for yourself.


Scary Santa

A few years ago, we shared a recipe from Janet Frongillo’s book, Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity. Not only does the book give you loads of new drinks to try, but it’s hilarious, which comes as no surprise to anyone who follows Janet’s blog, Muffintop Mommy. Janet graciously agreed to share the recipe for Scary Santa with our readers. She explains in her book that this drink is for the times you get to the front of the line to see Santa and you realize you’ve made a mistake.


  • 2 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. amaretto
  • 2 oz. half-and-half
  • Ice
  • Dash of unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)


Shake the vodka, amaretto, and half-and-half with ice and strain into a martini glass. Top with a dash of cocoa powder, if desired.




  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 4 oz. sparkling wine (Cava or Prosecco)
  • splash of Cointreau (if you like orange) or Chambord (if you prefer black raspberry)


Pour the cranberry juice into a champagne flute, if you have one. Add the sparkling wine and the Cointreau or Chambord (which lends a particularly festive color to the drink). To garnish, throw in a few cranberries or a raspberry and a curl of lemon peel. For children and those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, swap in club soda or sparkling apple juice.

Thanks to Susan Svedeman, longtime bartender at the Cactus Cafe, for sharing this recipe.

Photo courtesy of TexaSweet.
Photo courtesy of TexaSweet.

Tito’s Greyhound


  • 1.5 oz of Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • Fresh grapefruit juice (Note: again, you have the chance to keep it local by using Texas citrus)


Pour Tito’s Handmade Vodka over ice, fill the rest of your glass with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Enjoy!


Bottoms Up

We all know that moms are resourceful, so this is just a drink I’ve made from what I have around the house, although it was inspired by the mimosas from the brunch at Tacos and Tequila. Everyone needs a bottle of champagne in the fridge, right?

  • Champagne or prosecco
  • Fruit juice (orange, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and cranberry all work)


Fill champagne glass halfway with bubbly and fill the remainder of the glass with the fruit juice of your choice. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your kids you actually were the only to finish the juice boxes.

Shiner Cheer holidays
Image credit: Shiner Beer Facebook Page

Shiner Cheer

We couldn’t leave any of your beer drinkers out! Plus, there is something to be said for just opening the bottle and not having to worry about mixing anything. Shiner has come out with a seasonal beer, Shiner Cheer, which was on tap at Hopdoddy, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

We also noticed that there are a few holiday-themed events coming up, in case you need a night out:

Tasting Hours – December 4-7, times vary

For $10, you’ll get a brewery pint glass from Austin Beerworks and 3 fills. No RSVP is required, and kids are welcome (pets must stay outside).

Holiday Tasting – Saturday, December 6 at 3pm

The Gingerman downtown has one of its most popular tasting events of the year during the holidays. This year features an eclectic array of seasonal offerings, paired with seasonal fruits and delicious cheeses from the renowned Cheese Mongers at Antonellis Cheese Shop. Call (512) 473-8801 to reserve your spot as seating is limited.

Holiday Meet-and-Mingle with Tito’s – Wednesday, December 10, 5-8pm

Meet, mingle and make merry in the Lounge at the Four Seasons hosts its December “Drink Local” event featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka founder, Tito Beveridge. The casual holiday get-together will offer Tito’s drink specials for $7, along with $8 appetizers created especially for the event. In the spirit of the season, guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy as a donation for Toys for Tots.

Explore Texas Wines with Daytrippers – Friday, December 12, 1-5pm

Join the Bullock Museum for a true Hill Country wine experience with certified sommelier Margaret Shugart and explore Texas wines. Travel with us to Hye Meadow Winery in Hye, Texas for a tasting, hors d’oeuvres, and a discussion of the development and growth of the Texas wine industry. Admission includes travel, tastings and food. Members $50 and non-members $65.

Oodles of Bubbles Fest – Saturday, December 13, 12-2pm

Taste the best sparkling wine available in the state at Vino Vino. Over 50 wines will be available to sample. Pay $25 at the gate. Wear appropriate shoes for the gravel parking lot. Fresh Gulf oysters on the half shell will also be served.

What is your favorite holiday beverage?

Tito’s Kickin’ Mule and Tito’s Greyhound recipes courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Have family in town for the holidays? Check out our list of ideas of things to do with out of town guests.

Experience Austin with Guests
Plan more fun holiday events in the coming weeks with our comprehensive guides:

Santa Sightings in the Greater Austin area

Santa sightings cryingHoliday Parades


Snow Days & Ice Skating Rinks in Austin

Snow Ice

Gingerbread House Workshops in Austin & BeyondSnow Ice

And a huge list of Holiday Happenings in Austin!


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 8-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".