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 a 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 a 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 to shake up that holiday routine! Time to treat yourself!

Tampa Bars Serving Up Signature Holiday Cocktails

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

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.

Rosemary Simple

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.

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


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.