Ahh, the holiday season, a time for love and joy, delightful moments with the family, and, if you're like us, a little bit of holiday drinking.   Sure, you can opt for the classic cup of eggnog, but there are other great choices when it comes to enjoying delicious drinks this holiday season in Tampa.  Here are a few trending recipes you can make at home and a list of favorite Tampa bars serving up holiday cheer this year. 

Holiday Drinks | Recipes, Tampa Bars Serving Them, and More

Baileys Holiday Martini

The chocolate lover's delight!
2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

1/4 oz. Smirnoff 21 No. Vodka
1/4 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1-3 raspberries 

Mix Baileys Irish Cream, Smirnoff Vodka, and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur in an ice-filled shaker. Shake and pour into a chilled Martini glass.  Garnish with raspberry.  Recipe and photo courtesy of Rachel Ray

Hot Apple Cider with Rum 

Get fancy and spice up your cider!

1 apple
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup dark or spiced rum
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

Stud an apple with the cloves. In a pot, mix the studded apple and other ingredients excluding the rum.  Bring to a simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add rum, and discard the apple. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.  Recipe and photo courtesy of Emeril Lagasse / FoodNetwork.com.

Maker's Mark Snow Cap

Excellent choice for an after-dinner drink, this holiday drink recipe is made for two!

3 parts Maker's Mark Bourbon
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
6 tablespoons sweet heavy cream
2 parts orange liqueur
Dash nutmeg
Orange Peel for garnish

Stir all ingredients and pour over ice. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and garnish with orange peel. Looks great in a brandy snifter! Recipe and photo courtesy of Maker's Mark.

Touch Artisan Vodka Holiday Crush

​Perfect as a signature holiday drink or for toasting in the New Year you will love the bubbly crisp citrus mixed with cranberry and pomegranate. Can you say anti-oxidant aphrodisiac!

1 1/2 oz. Touch Valencia Orange Artisan Vodka
1/2 oz. pomegranate liqueur
2 oz. white cranberry juice
Premium champagne
Dried cranberries for garnish

Muddle dried cranberries in Touch Valencia Orange Artisan Vodka (Can substitute Ruby Red Grapefruit or Key Lime Touch Vodka) in a cocktail shaker, add pomegranate liqueur and cranberry juice. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled champagne glass. Top with your favorite bubbly and garnish. Courtesy of Touch Vodka | Tampa 

Fireside Martini 

THE Perfect drink to sip by the fire with someone special, this martini, originated by Grey Goose Vodka, is sweet, tart and trending on Pinterest.

 1 part vodka
1/4  part maraschino liqueur
1 part pomegranate liqueur
1/2 part triple sec
1/4 part sweet vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 lemon wedge, 1 lemon spiral and rimming sugar garnish

Rub the lemon wedge along the rim of a chilled cocktail glass and then rim the edge with sugar. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into the glass and garnish with the spiral. Photo and recipe courtesy of Drink of The Week - Follow them @dotw on Twitter &  Drink of The Week on Facebook

Winter Sea Breeze


Some years we live the Dog Days of Summer in Florida through the holidays, making this awesome refreshing holiday drink the right choice!

1 oz vodka (1/8 cup)
1 oz grapefruit juice (1/8 cup)
1/2 oz tonic syrup (2 tablespoons)
2 oz soda water (1/4 cup)
12 pomegranate seeds
3 mint leaves (for garnish)

Fill your glass about 3/4 full with ice. A lowball glass is the perfect size. Add the vodka, grapefruit juice, tonic syrup and stir. Pour in the soda water and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.  Courtesy of Catch My Party

Candy Cane Martini

1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish
2 ounces strawberry vodka
4 dashes white creme de menthe
2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
Ice cubes
Whole small candy cane for garnish

Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with the crushed candy cane. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into your chilled candy cane rimmed glass and garnish with a small candy cane. Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Simple Christmas Sangria

Green apples (Granny Smith), chopped
Red apple, chopped
Cups fresh cranberries
Cup cran-apple juice
Cup sugar
Cup club soda
Large bottle of Pinot Grigio
Fresh sage for garnish

Combine apples, cranberries and sugar in a tall pitcher. Pour the wine, juice and club soda over fruit and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Now for the hard part, you have to let sit in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving!  Pour into a glass and garnish with fresh sage, Recipe amounts found on The Blissful Balance | Tampa

Time For A Little Grinch Prevention!

Do you skip things you normally do to de-stress at this time of year? It's time for a little Grinch-prevention; this means giving yourself the 'gift' of time to yourself this year! Plan to stop for lunch or dinner while you are out, call a friend or loved one to meet you and savor a holiday cocktail. The decadent drinks above can be ordered at most bars or pick a few from this List Of Holiday Drinks Available in Tampa Bay 2015 and shake up that holiday routine! Time to treat yourself!

Tampa Bars Serving Up Signature Holiday Cocktails

Le Méridien Tampa
Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts are putting the sparkle in happy hour this fall and winter. Escape to excellence!

Creme Brûlée Martini

Stoli Vanilla
Shaken with a Raw Sugar rim

Edison: Food Drink Lab  

'Yoga Pants', a kicked up version of Eggnog is sure to relieve holiday stress! 

Yoga Pants

Russian Standard Vodka, 
Art In The Age Snap Gingersnap liqueur, 
TeBella Pumpkin Chai, 
Coconut cream 


GrillSmith Wiregrass and GrillSmith Carrollwood

Toast your 'Time Out' in the corner sipping this crisp, tart holiday cocktail!

Red Coat Martini

Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka
White cranberry juice
Black cherry juice
Cherries or cranberries for garnish


Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

The perfect combination using rum distilled locally in St. Petersburg, FL.

Righteous Rum & Spice Cider

St Pete Distillery Righteous Rum & Spice
Apple Cider
Spiced Simple Syrup (Spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and star anise)
Fresh Lemon Juice
Dashes Orange Bitters 

The Lodge

Dangerously delicious you can easily refresh with this tall drink of Berri Acai. Not too sweet it will please! 

The Strawberry Smash (photo courtesy of I Run For Wine)

Absolut Berri Acai' Vodka 
Fresh Muddled Strawberries
Club Soda
Splash of Cranberry Juice

Epicurean Hotel

Enjoy this unique cocktail designed by Director of Spirits, Dean Hurst while relishing the cool breeze of Florida winter on the rooftop bar!

Twas An Old Fashioned

Sugar Cube
Angostura Bitters
Henry McKenna Bonded Bourbon
Birkir Birch Snap

Fodder & Shine

Currently offering SIX Signature Seasonal drinks.  Not sure which of the six to choose, no worries, F & S bartenders are happy to help! 

Fountain of Youth

Choose from the 'I-75' made with Gin and Orange blossom syrup or The Fountain of Youth with Rum and Coconut Mint syrup and more.


Needing a recharge? Datz gives us 'The Naughty List'; this cold brew-coffee infused cocktail will perk you up!  

The Naughty List

Cold brew coffee 
Camus Cognac
Braca Menta
House made vanilla syrup
Heavy Cream
Crushed Candy Canes

Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe

 The cocktail menu at Ella's is so creative it is hard to choose, this fall and winter we especially love Booze N' Cider.

Booze N' Cider 

Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
Hiram Walker Sour Apple Schnapps
Topped with cider and served in a pint glass because this time of year more is better!


Gaspar's Grotto

Plan this one!  Gaspar's Booze Cruise Brunch Buffet includes a make your own Holiday Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar! 


The Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar

Hula Bay Club

Why? Because we can! Sit waterside and enjoy Hula Bay's Pink Bikini Martini this winter. Guaranteed relaxation!

Pink Bikini Martini

Fresh strawberry sweetened Ketel One Vodka infusion, this signature drink  is served with fresh strawberries and a sugar rim.

Bonefish Grill

Winter White Cosmopolitan


Bar Louie

Eat, drink and be happy at Bar Louie with this S'mores Martini, it will bring out the kid in you!

S'Mores Martini

Absolut Vanilla Vodka
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Toasted marshmallow syrup
Heavy cream
Chocolate syrup
Graham cracker rim

Blue Martini

For a limited time you can stop by The Blue Martini for a Chocolate Peppermint Bark Martini or two.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Martini

Vanilla Vodka from Three Olives
Trader Vic's Chocolate Liqueur

The Hyde Out

Rebuild with this holiday drink served in a copper mug as you hyde out for a little while to relax and regroup.

The Architect

Coffee and banana infused Bacardi Rum
Pineapple simple syrup


You are going to LOVE the '...and MORE' in Holiday Drinks | Recipes, Tampa Bars Serving Them, and More

No Need to Drive!

Are you in for the evening and want to make one of these delicious drinks NOW, but missing ingredients?  Drizly has got you covered.  In 19 cities across the US Drizly launched in Tampa a month ago delivering “The Joy of Drinking™” to legal-age drinkers in the Tampa Bay area.  Yes, Drizly delivers alcohol to your door, here's how it works:

1. Download Drizly to your iPhone or Android phone, or log on to Drizly.com.
2. Sign up and add your favorite beer, wine and liquor to your cart.
3. Check out, enter discount codes, pay and tip your driver, all right from Drizly!
4. In less than one hour, your alcohol will be delivered.

Wondering if you can use Drizly to send a bottle of something special to a friend? You can, just click the 'Gift' option on the home page! 

Tampa's Finest

The holidays are a time for celebration which often involves a drink or two, or three or four as party invitations arrive and calendars fill. Company parties and big celebrations are happening once again thanks to Lyft's legion of drivers and excellent customer service, Lyft allows us to enjoy holiday spirits without concern. Never Drink and Drive, leave Tampa's Finest P.D. be!

Or choose to stay overnight, several bars, like Edge and Bizou Brasserie, are inside first class hotels like the Epicurean Hotel and Le Meridien Hotels. Is it time to escape?

Is it a Date?

This list of 20 date-night restaurants will make the night special.  It covers everything from super laid back and casual to let's get dressed up in our best. Some of the restaurants you may know, some are well kept secrets locals don't like to share!  The one thing they have in common is excellent food! 

Happy Holidays Tampa!  We hope you enjoyed Holiday Drinks | Recipes, Tampa Bars Serving Them, and More and look forward to seeing your photos and comments from favorite places this holiday season.