Shake up your holiday party with one of these stellar cocktails.
pink martinis with lemon peel

Classic cocktails are timeless for a reason: There's an alchemy to their core ingredients. For the iconic and celebratory martini, the backbone is a blend of gin or vodka, and vermouth. Then a flourish: In the most austere martini, it is either an olive or a citrus twist. 

For the holiday season, there's opportunity to shake things up with an array of martini recipes suited to Christmas parties and other festive gatherings. There could be a dash of another liquor. Herbs. An exotic fruit. A themed yet delectable garnish. The martini might be served in its eponymous V-shaped glass, or it might not. Explore the possibilities.

Do we have the martini for your Christmas party? Why, yes, we do. Cheers!

pink gin martini
Credit: Justin Walker

Pink Gin Martini

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Aromatic Angostura bitters tint this martini a pretty pink, while an unexpected lick of searing Kirschwasser makes the cocktail appropriate for a party or for après-ski.

chartreuse martini

Chartreuse Martini

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Chartreuse is complex and so undervalued as a mixer. In this holiday party-worthy martini it introduces voluptuous layers of herbs to a straight-laced cocktail. 

classic martinis
Credit: Bryan Gardner

Classic Martinis

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In addition to gin or vodka, the classic martini allows variations in savory garnishes, too. Pickled onions, olives, or suave caper berries each meet with our approval.

pink martinis with lemon peel

Lemon Gin Martini

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The driest of martinis (the gin to vermouth ratio here is 6:1) allows the essential oil of lemon to sing through. It is a surprisingly good pairing for fatty, retro tidbits like artichoke dip, and pigs in wee blankets. And it's holiday party-ready, too, since the recipe makes 8 servings.

martini with olives in glass

Iced Martinis

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Another martini recipe ready for a party. A touch of seltzer and plenty of ice creates an effervescent and refreshing drink. Have ready three garnish dishes with olives, lemon peel, and cucumber slices for quick variations. 

martini with orange peel
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Sherry Martini

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We may be stretching the definition of a martini here, but what a luxurious stretch it is. Lillet blanc's herbal sweetness combines with dry amontillado sherry to create a smooth and very easy-sipping aperitif. It may become your favorite.

cocktail with salt rim
Credit: Kate Mathis

Silver Tequila Martini

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Combining the best of two very good drinks—the Paloma and the martini—gives you the silver tequila martini, bright and ever so slightly bitter with pink grapefruit juice and zest.

martini bar
Credit: Paul Costello

Extra Dirty Martini

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Don't be tempted to hold back on the olive juice. For extra effect, choose olives in an oily brine where herbs, spices, and chile have been congregating. 

three martinis with garnish

Shiso Martini

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Whether you grow your own shiso or pounce on some fresh leaves at a Japanese emporium, the fresh, floral presence of this herb macerated overnight in gin makes these party martinis straight-up delightful.

martini with sprig on yellow background

Olive-Rosemary Martini

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For elegant sophistication and tons of flavor use fresh rosemary branches as skewers for olives. (And for extra oomph, add the stripped rosemary needles to the shaker, before straining.)

lychee martini

Lychee Martini

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Floral and tropical, litchis in syrup take the edge off a dry vodka martini and make a sophisticated drink.

tomolive martini
Credit: Bryan Gardner

Tomolive Martino

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When you want to change your garnish game, it's hard to go wrong with savory Tomolives, which are pickled green tomatoes. You can buy these zesty treats, or use our pickled cherry tomato recipe to make your own (just substitute unripe green cherry tomatoes).

green apple martini
Credit: Quentin Bacon

Green Apple Martini

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Not that cloying green apple martini. Our version uses actual (tart) apples, along with lemon. Make the fragrant syrup ahead of time and keep ready in the refrigerator for shaking-time simplicity.

Cranberry Martini

Cranberry Martini

Just a touch of cranberry juice and a smidgeon of vermouth, but there's a lot of vodka in these very festive cranberry martinis. 


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