November 30, 2020

Easy Holiday Cocktails & DIY Gift Ideas – Pandemic-friendly

FILED IN: Cocktails, Recipes

This year may be without your usual holiday parties packed with friends and family –– holiday cocktails in hand –– but that doesn’t mean you can’t still sip together! One of my favorite holiday traditions is collaborating on a cocktail shoot with Emilee of Tasteful Tatters. This year we came up with a few DIY gift ideas to sip easy holiday cocktails together in a non-traditional way! Whether you plan a zoom call party with friends and fam far away, you live close to loved ones but can’t be together, you’re doing an intimate gathering with your household, or a combination of all of the above –– we have DIY gift ideas for you!

Photos taken by Christina Champlin

Easy Holiday Batch Cocktails

Here are a couple of easy holiday batch cocktails that would be perfect for the following DIY gift ideas! Make a batch the night before you’d like to deliver gifts. They both make about 8 servings, depending on the size of your vessel. If you’re doing the zoom call route, feel free to send this blog post or your cocktail recipe of choice to everyone in the group so they can make their cocktails ahead of time. I told you it will be like you’re sipping together!

Thirsty for more sangria

  • 1 bottle white wine (moscato for sweeter / pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc for less sweet)
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1.5 cups apple cider
  • 1 bottle ginger beer
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 bottle champagne

Pour everything into a pitcher except the champagne – cover and let sit overnight. Before you’d like to serve or deliver, pour the bottle of champagne into the mixture, then divvy up the cocktails. This cocktail is usually served with ice, but you can deliver them without & let the recipients pour it over ice when they are ready to enjoy!

Jingle Juice – Holiday Sangria

  • 3 chopped apples
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, optional
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup bourbon, we used Belle Meade
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine

Pour everything into a pitcher except the sparkling wine – cover and let sit overnight. Add bottle of sparkling wine, then divvy up cocktails. This cocktail is usually served with ice, but you can deliver them without & let the recipient know to add ice when they plan to enjoy!

Easy Holiday Cocktails DIY Gift Ideas

Here are 4 DIY gift ideas to bottle up your easy holiday cocktails –– each vessel can be reused if rinsed & cleaned thoroughly!

Elixir Bottles

These individual elixir bottles can be customized to your liking. Emily designed & printed out these chic labels! I found a couple label options that you can write on, if you don’t have a printer : Kraft labels with fun edges & White uniform rectangular labels

I also love the idea of tying a tag around the rim of the bottle. Here are a couple options I found : Kraft tags & White or Kraft tags with embossed heart

I think we can all relate to the struggle between loving the ease of ordering on Amazon but also wanting to support small businesses. I’ve found a bit of a compromise for a time when I don’t want to go out and shop but still want to support small –– there is a Handmade section on Amazon filled with items that ship as conveniently & quickly as any other Amazon shipment. Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to search just the Handmade section, but you can browse specific categories. Etsy is also a great option of course, just be sure to check how quickly it will ship to you. I have also found some cute labels and tags in the Target dollar section. If you’re out and about, you may as well check there or pop into your local Dollar store.

Drink Pouches a la Capri Sun

easy holiday cocktails & DIY gift

These drink pouches would definitely be a hit for the millennials in your life! They bring me back to the Capri Sun days. For this DIY gift, Emilee used her Cricut machine to customize the cheeky decals on each pouch before putting the holiday cocktails inside. If you have one you can do the same or find a maker on Etsy who will gladly customize them for you! Here’s a highly rated one I found, with quick shipping!

Don’t forget to get some paper straws : Various Gold & White designs & Solid Gold

Ornament Cocktail Boxes

This next one is so dang cute! It’s as customizable as you’d like it to be. All you need is a clear glass sturdy ornament (3-4″ wide) that you can remove the top metal part from. These seem to be difficult to find online, but I did find this option, which is actually a bit more practical since it has a flat bottom and a cork! Then grab some boxes, tissue paper & paper straws (see options in the last section). Obviously since the ornament is round, you will want to cushion it nicely in the box so it will stay upright when it is not being sipped! If you’re feeling fancy, like we were, add in some edible glitter to make these look even more festive & bring some much needed instant joy to their recipient!

Mason Jars

easy holiday cocktails & DIY gift

This version is so simple yet so chic! The only thing you absolutely need are mason jars, then customize to your hearts content from there. We added ribbon & candy cane ornaments. You can add tags similar to the ones I linked previously. I LOVE these customizable Mason Jar Labels I found while searching Amazon Handmade!

Here are a bunch of different mason jar options! We used a 16 oz jar, but you can go with a smaller or bigger size, depending on how many people are in the household you’re delivering to.

  • This is the exact style we used : a great deal on a pack of 12
  • These are practical because they have a handle and a hole for a straw in the lid
  • Here’s a link to all of the different ball jar options.

If you opt to buy a bunch of mason jars, there are so many uses for the extras –– make jam, arrange flowers, store practically anything! The ideas are practically endless.

Easy Holiday Cocktail

Last, but certainly not least, a cocktail you can enjoy all winter long – best crafted & enjoyed one at a time, not in bulk!

Blackstrap (Vodka) Old Fashioned

  • 1.5 – 2 oz vodka (depending how boozy you’d like it), obviously feel free to swap out the spirit of your choice!
  • .25 oz (with 1.5 oz vodka) – .5 oz (with 2 oz vodka) honey syrup
  • ½ dropper full of Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters (I have this variety pack –– makes a great gift for cocktail lovers!)
  • 2 – 4 drops almond extract
  • 1 luxardo cherry
  • Orange peel
  • Dried orange slice, for garnish (optional)

for honey syrup

I like to make a batch of honey syrup ahead of time with just 2 ingredients –– honey & hot water! I like to make mine in an almost empty jar of honey. Pour hot water into the leftover honey jar, put top on tightly and shake or swirl until thoroughly mixed. I don’t measure anything, but I’d say add about equal parts honey and water (like making simple syrup). Add more or less water depending how thick you want your syrup.

for cocktail

Put 1 large square ice cube or 3 regular cubes into a classic Old Fashioned glass (or whatever you have on hand). Pour each ingredient directly into the glass over the ice in the order of the ingredient list above. Use a veggie peeler or sharp knife to cut off a piece of orange peel. Twist the peel inside the glass, drag around the rim of the glass and place into the cocktail. Use a spoon to place a cherry into your cocktail and stir for 20 – 30 seconds. Garnish with dried orange slice.

Want more Easy Holiday Cocktails inspiration?

Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes for everyone at the party!

The Not So Typical Holiday Cocktail recipes you have to make this year

Holiday cocktail recipes to celebrate Repeal Day & the Winter Season

I hope these cocktail and gift ideas bring you some joy during this weird, difficult and trying year! I’ve found so much value in finding ways to enjoy moments daily when the days start to blend together and become unavoidably routine. I sure look forward to actually clinking glasses with Walter, extended family, and my friend circle again –– but until then I’ll be calling them up on a whim, planning those zoom calls and sharing virtual cocktails together. I’d love to hear if you make any of these! Comment below, find me on instagram or shoot me an email through my contact page anytime!

Sending you joy,



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Born and raised in Los Angeles, I love to have a home base in such a food-focused city. Whether I am traveling out of the country, around the US, or exploring the culturally diverse expanse of LA I feel at home while meeting new people, eating new foods, and expanding my outlook!