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, a classic cup of eggnog or beer will do the job. But the holiday season in Tampa calls for eccentricity. 

Here are a few drink recipes you can make at home., followed by a list of popular Tampa bars serving up holiday cheer this year. 

Related Read: Thanksgiving Pies and Desserts at These Fort Myers Bakeries

Holiday Drink Recipes, Tampa Bars Serving Delicious Cocktails & More

Baileys Holiday Martini

Every chocolate lover's delight!

Ingredients -

  • 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!

Ingredients - 

  • 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!

Ingredients - 

  • 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. It’s the perfect anti-oxidant aphrodisiac!

Ingredients - 

  • 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, and 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 and tart.

Ingredients - 

  • 1 part vodka

  • 1/4  part maraschino liqueur

  • 1 part pomegranate liqueur

  • 1/2 part triple sec

  • 1/4 part sweet vermouth

  • 3 dashes of 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 and @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!

Ingredients - 

  • 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, and 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

On days we can’t decide, we take respite under the reign of Candy Cane Martini!

Ingredients - 

  • 1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish

  • 2 ounces of strawberry vodka

  • 4 dashes of white creme de menthe

  • 2 1/2 ounces of 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 it 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

Get into the sweet holiday spirit with this simple and memorable Simple Christmas Sangria cocktail - 

Ingredients - 

  • 2 green apples (Granny Smith), chopped

  • 1 red apple, chopped

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup can-apple juice

  • ¼ cup Sugar

  • 1 cup club soda

  • A 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 it 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 in Tampa to shake up that holiday routine! Time to treat yourself!

Tampa Bars Serving Up Signature Holiday Cocktails

Epicurean Hotel

Enjoy this unique cocktail while relishing the cool breeze of Florida winter on the rooftop bar!

Passion Margarita

A glamorous twist to your regular margarita. Includes sugar cubes, Angostura Bitters, Henry McKenna Bonded Bourbon, and 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 the infusion of rum and coffee.

Havana Morning

Ella’s infusions of Dark Rum “Cold Brew”, coffee liqueur & Irish Cream. Served with a kiss of Dorda Chocolate Cream 4.

Gaspar's Grotto

Gaspar's Grotto makes sure you have an extraordinary holiday experience with elegant drinks.

South Seas Rampage

Captain Morgan Parrat Bay Coconut, Melon schnapps, and blue curacao mixed with pineapple juice.

Hotel Bar

Experience the fine taste of classic hotel drinks in a modern cocktail bar setting.

Queen's Park Swizzle

Matusalem rum mixed with lime, mint, demerara, and Angostura bitters.

Bar Louie

Eat, drink and be happy at Bar Louie with the Signature Rat Pack.

Rat Pack

Swing by the night with the special Rat Pack cocktail, made with Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, and the good old olives.

Tampa's Finest Bars

The holidays are a time for a 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 the holiday spirit 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 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.