5 High-Taste & Low-Alcohol Holiday Cocktails

 In Pairings & Parties, Videos

Whether hosting festivities at home for your friends and family or enjoying a warm wintertime drink at the end of your day, it’s easy to end up a bit tipsier during the holidays. These lighter, less boozy cocktails concentrate on flavor over proof, so you can still enjoy a delightful cocktail (or two) without overindulging.

Elysium Hot Chocolate

ABV: 4.5%

Elysium adds a delicious layer of dark cherry flavors to this homemade classic.

3 cups Elysium California Black Muscat

1 cup Bing or Rainier cherries, halved and pitted

1/4 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup cream

1 ½ cups of milk

Pinch of salt

3 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped

Whipped cream

Place all ingredients except cherries in a saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10-20 minutes. Add cherries and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick (makes 3 ½ cups). Separate the Elysium Cherries from the Elysium sauce. Place to the side.  In a separate bowl, add milk, cream, and salt to a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Heat up the milk. Occasionally, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to prevent the milk from scorching. Bring it to a simmer so that bubbles appear along the side of the pan. Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat.  In a bowl, add both chopped chocolates. Whisk together until the chocolate has melted.  Whisk in the Elysium sauce until the drink is creamy and smooth. Serve warm with whipped cream and Elysium cherries.

Tip: Chocolate can be made a head of time and refrigerated, to be reheated by stove or microwave when ready.

Oh So Delicate


Oh So Delicate

ABV: 3.6%

Incredible aromas of roses, oranges, rosemary and grapefruit combine in this deliciously lady-like cocktail. The honey-rosemary syrup is a perfect sweetener, adding not just sweetness, but the complexity of honey combined with savory rosemary. Subtle Whisper Dry Vermouth and intense Essensia are complementary and add additional complexity as a base to this lovely cocktail.

2 oz. Essensia Orange Muscat

2 oz. Vya Whisper Dry

0.5 oz. rosemary-honey syrup*

0.5 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

3 drops rose water

Combine ingredients with ice. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a rose petal or rosemary sprig.

*Rosemary honey syrup recipe:

1/2 cup honey

½ cup water

5 rosemary sprigs

Combine over heat. Stir until dissolved into a syrup. Turn off heat. Add rosemary sprigs. Let stand for 25 minutes. Strain.

Vya Sweet Nog



ABV: 3.2%

Full of the baking spices- Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Clove, Vya Sweet Vermouth will turn your traditional nog into a nostalgic wintertime treat.

1/2 Vya Sweet

1/2 Egg Nog

Combine Vya Sweet and Egg Nog in a glass, pitcher, or bowl. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!


Port Cobbler

Port Cobbler

ABV: 5.14%

Ripe and nutty elements of Starboard Batch 88 combined with the honeyed pear and orange flavors in Essensia, balance beautifully with the sweetness of seasonal persimmons in this light and flavorful cobbler.

2.5 oz. Starboard Batch 88

1/3 oz. Essensia

2 oz. Soda Water

¼ oz. Persimmon Syrup*

Build in glass over crushed ice. Add Starboard Batch 88, Essensia, and persimmon syrup. Stir. Top with soda water.

*Persimmon syrup recipe:

1/2 cup sugar

½ cup water

1 persimmon, cut into 1 cm cubes

Combine over heat. Stir sugar until dissolved. Allow to stew for about 10 minutes. Strain.


Dark Truffle



ABV: 7.2%

This cocktail tastes just like it’s named! Elysium’s favors of dried cherries and honey make an enjoyable marriage with the chocolaty coffee-ness of Guinness.

2 oz. Elysium Black Muscat
Top with Milk Stout or Guinness

Shake Elysium with ice. Pour Milk Stout/Guinness in a pint glass. Strain Elysium on top.

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