Old Fashioned Holiday Cocktails and Libations

Have an old fashioned theme for your holiday parties serving old holiday drinks and cocktails, it will make your event fun for everybody. Since the 1990s there has been a resurgence of retro style and entertainment. Have fun with a theme party such as Roaring 1920s, 1950s Cocktail Party, 1950s Rock n Roll Party, Tiki Party, etc. Every decade has its own popular drinks. You can make some of these non-alcoholic.

In the 19th Century preferred party drinks were sherry, Madeira wine, port wine, and fortified wine with brandy. French wine was also popular. The popular alcoholic beverages of the time were gin, brandy, rum, beer, and ale. Punch was the favorite drink for large gatherings and holidays.

Sherry Punch

Punch recipes | BBC Good Food

Sherry is a fortified wine that originated in Spain during ancient Roman times. It became popular in Britain in the 16th Century. Sherry punch is popular in Britain and is mentioned by Charles Dickens.

1/4 cup port wine

1 1/2 cup sherry

1/4 cup orange liqueur

1 1/2 cups brandy

2 chilled bottles of sparkling wine

1 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

orange and lemon slices


Sherry Cobbler

Best Sherry Cobbler Recipe - How To Make Sherry Cobbler

A popular drink that was mentioned by Charles Dickens.

4 parts sherry

1 part brandy

sugar to taste

orange slice

Wassail Bowl

Wassail - Wikipedia

Wassail is a traditional mulled cider drink that goes back to 12th Century Old Norse and Old Anglo Saxon times.

Four 12 oz. bottles of hard cider

two 12 oz. bottles of pale ale

1 cup Madeira wine

2 cups apple cider

6 apples cored and baked in sugar water for 1 hour until tender

1 cup brown sugar

10 whole cloves

10 whole allspice berries

4 cinnamon sticks

2 wide strips orange zest

2 wide strips lemon zest

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg.

Simmer hard cider, ale, cider, and wine in a large pot. Add cloves, allspice, cinnamon, orange zest, lemon zest, ginger, and nutmeg. Reduce heat and steep for 1 hour, strain. Add baked apples.

Mulled Wine

Spicy Mulled Wine Recipe

Is very popular and traditional in England. It comes from ancient Roman times.

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 bottle of red wine

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 lemon

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

pinch ground nutmeg

Heat water and sugar in a saucepan until dissolved. Add lemon, cloves, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Strain, and pour back into the pan. Add wine and heat but do not boil.

Gin Sling

Gin Sling | Cocktailia

Gin was invented in Holland and reached England in the 17th Century and became very popular in the 18th Century.

A simple drink of Gin with lemon slices, sugar, and ice.

Mulled Cider

ACV Health Double Strength Apple Cider Vinegar (500 ml) | Lazada PH

A traditional drink in England, U.S., and Canada.

2 quarts apple cider

20 whole cloves

1/2 cup sugar

20 cinnamon sticks

14 whole allspice

1/4 tsp salt

Boil for 15 minutes and let stand for 12 hours. A crock pot can be used.

Alcohol optional.

Brandy Eggnog

How to Make Eggnog

Eggnog’s origins come from the 17th Century. The following recipe is the Edgar Allan Poe family recipe.

1 part brandy

1 part rum

7 eggs

5 cups milk

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup sugar

Top with ground nutmeg

Garnish with a cinnamon stick

Hot Toddy

Bourbon Hot Toddy - Recipe - FineCooking

The hot toddy originated in Ireland in the 18th Century.

Per person, in a cup

1 shot whisky

1/2 cup hot water

2 tsp honey or sugar

juice of a lemon wedge

1 cinnamon stick

pinch of nutmeg

Dandelion Wine

DIY Your Way to Root Beer Greatness | KQED

A special drink from free dandelions.

1 quart dandelion blossoms, washed

1 gallon boiling water

1 package wine yeast

8 cups sugar

1 orange peeled, sliced

1 lemon juice

Place blossoms in boiling water for 4 minutes, remove and discard. Cool water to 90 degrees F. Stir in yeast, sugar, orange, and lemon juice. Place in a plastic fermenter in a cool place for 3 weeks or when bubbles stop. Siphon and strain though a cheesecloth. Bottle in canning jars with lids. Age for 2 months.

Old Fashioned Root Beer

Homemade Root Beer Recipe | How to Make Root Beer

An old fashioned treat.

1 1/2 gallon of molasses

5 gallons boiling water

Mix, let stand for 3 hours, then add:

1/4 lb. sarsaparilla root

1/4 lb. sassafras bark, bruised

1/4 lb. birch bark (wintergreen flavor)

1/2 pint fresh yeast

Add water to bring mixture up to 16 gallons of total volume. Strain mixture though a cheesecloth. Ferment for 12 hours, then syphon into bottles, leaving an inch from the top. Let it rest at 65 to 75 degrees F for 36 hours. Then see if it is carbonated, if not let it rest for another 12 to 14 hours.

Optional ingredients:

ginger root, 1 tb per gallon

licorice root, 1 tb per gallon

star anise, 3 per gallon

cinnamon, 3 sticks per gallon

cloves, 3 per gallon

vanilla bean, 2 per gallon

fresh mint, 2 sprigs per gallon

Old Fashioned

30 Classic Cocktails Everyone Should Drink Once | Eat This Not That

An iconic cocktail that originated in the 1830s, Mark Twains’ favorite drink. Making a proper old fashioned is considered an art form.

2 parts bourbon or rye whiskey

1 sugar cube

few dashes Angostura bitters

few dashes of water

Muddle sugar, bitters, and water in an old fashioned glass. Fill with ice and whisky, stir.

Garnish with an orange slice and a cocktail cherry.


MANHATTAN | Whisky Sir Edward's

A well known fashionable drink which is rich with strong flavors. Manhattans originated in the 1870s in New York.

2 parts rye whisky or bourbon or Canadian whisky

1 part sweet red vermouth

1 dash Angostura bitters

Mix with ice, stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with a cocktail cherry.


Martini cocktail: shaken or stirred? - FreshMAG

The best known and widely popular cocktail that can be made with gin or vodka. Martinis originated in the 1860s. In the 1940s the vodka to vermouth ratio was 4 to 1, by the 1950s it was 6 to 1.

6 parts gin or vodka (or old traditional 4 parts)

1 part dry vermouth

Mix in a shaker with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with lemon peel oil and olives.


Tom Collins

5 classic Tom Collins cocktail recipes - Click Americana

The Tom Collins grew in popularity in the U.S., England, France, and Germany in the 1880s

3 parts gin

2 parts lemon juice

1 part sugar syrup

4 parts soda water

Mix in a Tom Collins glass with ice.

Garnish with a lemon slice and a cocktail cherry.

Whisky Sour

Whisky Sour inspired by I Am Legend - All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Originated in the 1870s and was popular in North and South America.

3 parts bourbon

2 parts fresh lemon juice

1 part sugar syrup

Shake with ice, strain into an old fashioned glass.

Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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