See Ingredients: Pick Your Flavor

25 Gluten-Free Winter Cocktails for a Spirited Holiday Evening (& Non-Alcoholic Options!)

You’ve got the apps, sides, entrees, and desserts down to a tee for your Christmas occasion, but what’re you missing?

Holiday drinks!

It’s time to pop the bubbly and pour some cocktails– 

Christmas is about to get elegantly festive.

Keep in mind, winter cocktails aren’t just about the alcohol.

It’s also about bringing out the perfect drink pairings for your already-delicious food.

Here’s the best list of gluten-free drinks, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, to take your Christmas gathering up a notch!  

Table of Contents:

Gluten-Free Drinks Breakdown: Sip This Not That

Holiday Drinks 101: Ingredients & Flavors You Need

25 Gluten-Free Winter Cocktails to Jingle Up Christmas Spirit

  • 5 Hot n’ Buzzy Holiday Beverages (Alcoholic)
  • 9 Cold Christmas Cocktails (Alcoholic)
  • 5 Warm n’ Cozy Winter Drinks (Non-Alcoholic)
  • 6 Chilly Holiday Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)

Gluten-Free Drinks Breakdown: Sip This Not That

Hold your reindeers, my friend!  

First, let’s chat about what you can actually drink on a gluten-free diet.

There’s one drink, in particular, you must avoid at all costs. 

Vodka

At the end of the day, any liquor distilled from gluten-free grains is the way to go.

For instance, vodka made from potatoes, corn, grapes, or figs is gluten-free!

Just be wary of brands that use grains or additive flavors

Better safe than sorry! 

Gluten-free vodka brands:

Tequila

Here’s the deal.

Traditional tequila made from the blue agave plant is naturally gluten-free. 

However, less expensive brands often contain gluten, so go for pure brands if possible. 

Gluten-free tequila brands:

Rum

Great news! 

Plain rum is usually distilled from sugarcane, which means it’s also naturally gluten-free.

Word of warning:

Flavored or spiced rums can have traces of gluten, so always read the label!

Gluten-free rum brands:

Wine

Wine is...complicated. 

Wine coolers are off-limits because they usually have barley malt– not to mention flavored or desserts wines, too. 

Regular wine, brandy, and fortified wine is naturally gluten-free (Yay!!) 

But here’s the catch... 

Some manufacturers use oak barrels for storage or wheat paste to seal the barrels.

This means there’s a risk of the paste contaminating the wine.

But according to the FDA, plain wines with 7% or more alcohol value are gluten-free.

To be safe, go with wines that are certified gluten-free, like these!

Hard Cider

Hard cider is almost always gluten-free.

It’s generally brewed from apples or pears- fun fact! 

Keep your eyes out for sneaky barley ingredients though! 

Gluten-free hard cider brands:

Whiskey/Bourbon

Whiskey and bourbon are actually made from grains, however, the distillation process is thought to kill off all of the gluten traces.

But, beware!

Some brands add barley back in to enrich the color and flavor.

So pick your brands carefully.   

If you’re new to celiac disease, I recommend trying a teeny bit first before consuming a whole drink of it. 

See this gluten-free whiskey list and gluten-free bourbon guide

Gin

Similar to flavored vodka, some gin brands pose a risk of cross-contamination, since it’s made from grains. 

But it’s totally possible to find gin made from gluten-free sources like potatoes. 

Gluten-free gin brands:

Beer

Beer is the only beverage that’s for sure a no-go, as it’s derived from wheat ingredients. 

But no worries!

This is where hard cider comes in to save the day. 

Or the 25 gluten-free cocktail recipes below for that matter. 

Holiday Drinks 101: Ingredients & Flavors You Need 

Ready to stock up your home bar?

Here are some of the basic ingredients to be ready to buy:

  • Essential liquors like vodka, gin, and rum
  • Basic liqueurs like amaretto, Kahlua coffee liqueur, and Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Mixers like ice, cranberry juice, simple syrup, etc.
  • Sodas such as ginger ale, club soda, and lemon-lime soda
  • Optional garnishes like candy canes, cherries, and cinnamon

But let’s talk holiday flavors, eh?

Some classic tastes in season this year are:

  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate/White Chocolate
  • Gingerbread
  • Caramel
  • Cranberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Cinnamon apple
  • Chai tea
  • Spiced orange
  • Espresso
  • Eggnog

25 Gluten-Free Winter Cocktails to Jingle Up Christmas Spirit

Now, to what you’ve been waiting for…

A giant list of Christmas alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails to rock around the Christmas tree.

Bottoms up! 

5 Hot n’ Buzzy Holiday Beverages (Alcoholic)

Is there anything better than a warm cup of spiked goodness on a cold day?

I think not! 

To start off this list, let’s dive into 5 hot holiday drinks that’ll leave you satisfyingly buzzed. 

1. Mulled Wine

I remember the first time I tried mulled wine and wondered:

Where the heck has this been all my life?

This recipe even includes hints of that classic spiced orange flavor, and it’s so easy! 

Just remember to double or triple it for a crowd. 

2. Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Hello, spiced orange, ginger, apples, and rum all in one drink! 

If there’s one thing that just screams holidays, it’s spiked hot apple cider. 

Picture cozying up on the couch with a blanket and mug of this warm goodness.

Now, imagine your entire party raving over the pure magic of this recipe at your Christmas gathering. 

Either way, it’s a win! 

3. Winter Citrus Hot Toddy

Wait. 

Is this a cough syrup concoction or the best holiday drink ever?

Let’s be real.

Some hot toddies are a little more medicine-tasting than I’d like to admit. 

But this hot toddy recipe is all delicious and no sickness.

It’s also as fresh and natural as it gets because Tessa includes her personal simple syrup recipe.  

4. Spiced Orange Hot Chocolate 

How about some ultra-rich hot chocolate with spiced orange and drops of Grand Marnier?

Here’s what I love about this recipe:

It’s vegan and vegetarian– not to mention healthier than most hot chocolates.

Instead of using processed hot chocolate packets, you make your own mixture with cashew milk, dark chocolate, and whipped coconut cream. 

5. Bailey’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate

It’s not Christmas without a Bailey’s peppermint hot chocolate. 

Although not as healthy as the recipe above, it still works as one of those one-time Christmas party occasions. 

Just grab some milk, cocoa powder, Bailey’s, peppermint Schnapps, and voila! 

9 Cold Christmas Cocktails (Alcoholic)

Next, let’s explore the real kicker of Christmas:

Cold, holiday-themed cocktails. 

All of these are gluten-free and guaranteed to be a slurping hit. 

6. Cranberry Old Fashioned

You need a drink that’s super simple and easy to make for holiday parties, right?

Enter:

This amazing cranberry old fashioned recipe made of just 3 ingredients:

American honey whiskey, cranberry juice, and bitters. 

Top it with a maraschino or two and BOOM!

Best. Christmas. Cocktail. Ever.

P.S. If you struggle to find gluten-free honey whiskey, it works just as well with plain whiskey! 

7. Salted Caramel White Russian

Don’t mind my drool.

I’m just obsessed with creamy, sweet drinks around the holidays, and this salted caramel white russian definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Just grab some vodka, Kahlua, cream, caramel, and salt, and don’t forget the ice! 

8. Peppermint White Chocolate Martini

After-dinner sippers anyone?

Go ahead and snag this peppermint white chocolate martini recipe STAT! 

This recipe was made for entertaining, which means it’s basically a fool-proof hit. 

And if you use the adorable candy cane flags?

There’s no turning back from best host ever. 

9. Peppermint Espresso Martini

Next stop on the peppermint train! 

Espresso and peppermint are one of those holiday combos everyone goes crazy over.

And for good reason!

The sweet, java blend will leave your mouth cheering for more– not to mention how easy it is on your eyes. 

Martinis are always so gorgeous-looking!

10. Sparkling Pomegranate Rose Cocktail

Nope, that’s not rosé wine. 

It’s actual rose water, and it couldn’t be more festive and delicious.

Plus, it might even be able to pass as healthy since it’s got loads of pomegranate juice. 

Garnish with pomegranate seeds for the full effect!

Spiced Apple Cider Moscow Mule from Brianne of Cupcakes and Kale Chips

11. Spiced Apple Cider Moscow Mule 

Fireball whiskey, dark rum, fresh apples, ginger beer, and cinnamon mesh together for a beautifully refreshing holiday drink. 

Heads up!

If you’re super sensitive to gluten, fireball whiskey might bother you.

However, this recipe includes substitutions, such as homemade cinnamon-infused rum, apple-spiced vodka, or just using all dark rum. 

12. Pumpkin Pie Spice ‘Tini

What if you could turn pumpkin pie into a Christmas cocktail?

Oh wait, it’s already been done!

Try this incredible pumpkin pie spice ‘tini, full of celiac-friendly vodka, non-dairy milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, peppermint oil, and a candy cane.

Yup.

It’s dairy-free, too! 

13. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

Okay, but how cute is the name Rudolph’s tipsy spritzer?

And the drink is just as good!

You’ve got orange juice, cranberry juice, ginger ale, and vodka all mixed together for a fantastic punch bowl beverage. 

You can totally leave out the vodka for a non-alcoholic version, too. 

Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian from Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest

14. Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian 

Talk about a cozy cocktail!

Vanilla chai tea just screams winter vibes, and the white russian aspect takes it to a whole other level of deliciousness.

Plus, you know it must be good when you make your own chai tea simple syrup. 

5 Warm n’ Cozy Winter Drinks (Non-Alcoholic)

You’ve got to have something for everyone!

Here’s where this list of 5 warm, non-alcholic beverages come in hot and handy. 

Plus, they’re still perfect for the kids! 

(and 100% gluten-free)

15. Hot Apple Cider

Most apple ciders include lots of added sugars, and yes, alcohol.

But this hot apple cider tells a different story with unsweetened apple juice, spices, oranges, and pure maple syrup.

All-natural sans the spike! 

Just let it simmer, sit back, and smell those sweet spices waft through your home.  

16. Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Wine without the wine?

Thanks to grape juice, it’s totally possible.

Plus, this recipe is literally only 4 ingredients: 

Grape juice, orange, star anise, and cinnamon. 

And, it already serves 8 people! 

17. Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate

The last hot chocolate recipe of the day is more than just healthy–

It’s the perfect balance of sweet, chocolatey, and creamy. 

These days you can also find dairy-free whipped cream in-stores, which will give it that classic hot chocolate look. 

18. Green Tea Non-Alcoholic Hot Toddy

Looking for a hydrating cocktail that just exudes wellness with every sip?

Let me introduce you to this green tea non-alcoholic hot toddy. 

With green tea, lemon, spices, honey, and orange juice, it wins most nourishing drink by a landslide. 

Warm Spiced Cranberry Cocktail from Caroline of Caroline's Cooking

19. Warm Spiced Cranberry Mocktail 

Warm, spiced, and everything nice. 

This cranberry mocktail ticks off all of those holiday drink boxes in one fell swoop.

If you’d like, feel free to add in a little bit of rum right before serving for a kick.

Otherwise, enjoy that cranberry-cinnamon goodness! 

6 Chilly Holiday Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)

I’m not sure what it is about cold drinks on an even colder day during the holiday season, but they just... work!

You’ll definitely want to have something like Christmas punch and eggnog out for everyone to enjoy.

And these are sans-alcohol, which is even better since they cater to the whole party.

You can always add in some spikedness to your own drink later if you prefer!  

20. Pomegranate Cranberry Mocktail

Let’s get down with some pomegranate cranberry tastiness!

This bubbly beverage doesn’t have any added sugar and takes only 10 minutes to make. 

And it includes a super-secret gut-healthy ingredient:

Kombucha

Genius! 

Christmas Punch from Rebecca of Sugar and Soul

21. Christmas Punch 

It’s not a party without punch. 

And this Christmas punch is crazy fruity yum!

P.S. you can make the punch ahead of time, but don’t add the sprite or ice until just before, so it doesn’t lose its fizz.

22. Non-Alcoholic Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog can be a hit or miss, but it’s still one of those classics you gotta put out on the drink table. 

Plus, this recipe is homemade, which means it tastes way better. 

And if you’re worried about it being complicated, don’t be!

Eggnog is extremely easy to achieve. 

23. Frozen Hot Chocolate

Okay, I lied. 

This recipe is the last hot chocolate drink on the list!

Frozen hot chocolate is a fun twist on the traditional warm version, and who knows, it might be even better!

24. Mock Winter Sangria

What’s winter sangria, you ask?

It’s traditionally served in Spain and includes a sweetener, chopped fruit, and wine. 

However, this recipe skips the wine and loads up the cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and ginger ale. 

So wintery festive!

25. The Pink Prancer

Automatic 5 stars for the name, am I right?

The pink prancer is all about cranberry juice, orange juice, mint syrup, and a candy cane.

Fruity and minty fresh! 

Plus, it turns out a gorgeous pink color. 

Love!

Holiday Drinks are Worth a Shot!

Christmas cocktails are a super simple yet effective way to amp up a buzzing holiday spirit. 

And thanks to this list, you have a wide array of gluten-free drinks to choose from, non-alcoholic included! 

Don’t forget to have fun with it! 

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