You'll be all set to make the merriest martinis, sidecars, and more.

By Carl Hanson
Updated January 14, 2020

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Set of various winter cocktails: mulled wine, eggnog, limoncello, old-fashioned, coconut margarita.
Credit: AnastasiaNurullina / Getty Images

The holidays are for celebrating. Often at a moment's notice. Stock your liquor cabinet with these seven spirits and liqueurs - and keep the top-rated Christmas cocktail recipes at hand - and you'll have all the stuff for instant holiday parties, with Christmas cheer to spare.

Start to finish: 5 mins

1. Campari

The color of Santa's coat, Campari is all but made for Christmas celebrations. Campari is the perfect companion with gin and sweet vermouth in a Negroni. Campari is also a terrific choice sipped simply over ice or combined with a splash of soda water to stretch it out.

cocktail with apple and cranberries
Start to finish: 4 mins

2. Apple Brandy

If autumn is for apples, winter is for sipping their spirits. Apple brandy warms us like a fire from the inside. Try it in place of whiskey in a Hot Toddy or in an old-school Jack Rose Cocktail with lemon juice and grenadine.

Lion's Tail Cocktail

3. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

If festive were a flavor, the Allspice Dram would be it. Also known as "pimento dram," it tastes like holiday spices. Mix it up with bourbon and lime juice. It's like celebrating the holidays out on the islands - by way of Kentucky.

Start to finish: 5 mins

4. Frangelico

Frangelico melds the flavors of toasted hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla, herbs, and berries. Though its name refers to a liqueur-making hermit, the nutty liqueur is not an austere sip in the least. Our Rudolph-Tini mixes Frangelico with vodka, coconut-flavored rum, and half-and-half, and dressing up the glass with cinnamon sticks as antlers and a cherry for Rudolph's nose.

Pear Brandy Sidecar
Start to finish: 5 mins

5. Pear Brandy

If you love a classic Sidecar, you'll go bonkers for our Perfect Pear Brandy Sidecar version. It's like biting into the most succulent fresh pear, only there's booze!

Gin Martini
Start to finish: 1 min

6. Dry Vermouth

During the holidays, keep some gin and dry vermouth on hand for mixing up what is arguably the world's most sophisticated cocktail: the martini. Green olives stuffed with red pimentos will add an additional Christmas touch to Shaggy's Perfect Martini.

Start to finish: 5 mins

7. Sparkling Wine

True, sparkling wine isn't a spirit or a liqueur. But you've just gotta have it for the holidays. Bubbles make an instant party. Add a splash of cranberry juice, and it's like holding a glass of liquid Christmas. "This is a nice holiday cocktail," Allrecipes user Kathy says of her Poinsettias recipe. "We always serve this at our Christmas Eve."

Set of various winter cocktails: mulled wine, eggnog, limoncello, old-fashioned, coconut margarita. White linen tablecloth background
Credit: AnastasiaNurullina / Getty Images