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9 Must Try Espresso Cocktail and Drink Recipes for the Holidays

            9 Must Try Espresso Cocktail and Drink Recipes for the Holidays

Christmas holidays is about enjoying the sounds, scents and flavours of the season.  It is a great time to try some new recipes especially in the drink department that will both impress and delight your family and friends. 

All of the specialty coffee drinks listed here all have a good strong coffee or espresso as a base.  You can make espresso using a moka pot but there is an appliance that will make making espresso blissfully simple.  That machine is a superautomatic espresso machine.  So before you even begin looking at the recipes consider how you will make the star ingredient.

The Equipment for Making Good Espresso

A superautomatic machine lets you:

  1. Make an espresso on demand simply by pushing a button
  2. You can make one or twenty espresso in a row depending on how many you need.
  3. Cleanup is easy so you can enjoy your drink and guests.
  4. Many models like the Philips LatteGo Series provide hot steamed milk on demand again saving time and effort. Any unused milk does not go to waste. The milk cup can be simply placed in the fridge for the next time you want hot milk.
Of course, you also need premium coffee beans that will produce a smooth creamy espresso.
The following recipes comes from the book I Love Coffee! by Susan Zimmer .

Happy Holiday Coffee Punch

 A yummy crowd pleaser that serves 35.


 1 cup (250ml) whipping cream

¼ teaspoon (1.2 g) salt

½ cup (110g) sugar.  You can use powdered sugar as well as castor sugar.

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) almond extract

½ teaspoon (2ml) vanilla extract

1 quart (1 litre) cold strong coffee

1 quart (1 litre) vanilla ice cream

1 quart (1 litre) chocolate ice cream

½ teaspoon (1.5g) of grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon (1.2g) of ground cinnamon


  1. Whip the whipping cream in a bowl, slowly adding the salt, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts.
  2. Pour the chilled coffee into a punch bowl.
  3. Add walnut size chunks of ice cream to the punch bowl.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the punch.
  5. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Orange Yule Delight Latte

 “Yule” glow with delight as you serve this.

Espresso Canada Blog Holiday Coffee Cocktails.


 4 ounces (113ml) light cream or milk

3 ounces (60 ml) hot, fresh espresso

¾ ounce (20 ml) orange flavoured syrup or liqueur

¼ ounce (7ml) amaretto or almond flavoured syrup


  1. Steam the light cream until hot, frothy, and doubled in volume.
  2. Pour into a mug
  3. Pour the hot espresso, syrup and amaretto into the frothy cream and stir gently. 

Christmas Cappuccino


4 ounces (113ml) eggnog

2 ounces (60ml) hot, fresh espresso

½ ounce (15ml) sambuca

½ ounce (15ml) premium egg yolk liqueur

Whipped cream, for garnish

Ground cinnamon, for garnish

Grated nutmeg, for garnish

1 cinnamon stick, for stirring


  1. Steam the eggnog until it has doubled in volume
  2. Pour the eggnog into a tempered Christmas glass or mug
  3. Gently pour the espresso down the side of the glass into the eggnog
  4. If using the liqueurs, gently pour them into the finished beverage
  5. Scoop a dollop of whipped cream onto the top.
  6. Dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Serve immediately, with the cinnamon stick.

Snowflake Latte

Mint lovers will melt away with this latte!


½ ounce (15ml) premium gourmet vanilla-flavoured syrup

½ ounce (15ml) premium gourmet peppermint-flavoured syrup

1 ½ ounces (45ml) hot, fresh espresso

10 ounces (310 ml) steamed milk


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a coffee mug and stir.
  2. Enjoy!

Classic Christmas Coffee 

A merry coffee to warm the whiskers with!


1 ½ ounces (45ml) premium whiskey or rye

2 ½ teaspoons (8.25 ml) real maple syrup

¾ cup (176 ml) hot, fresh espresso

¼ cup (30 ml) whipping cream (unwhipped) for garnish

1 candy cane, for garnish


  1. Combine the whiskey and 1 ½ teaspoon (7ml) of the maple syrup in a heated mug or cup.
  2. Fill in the rest of the way with coffee
  3. In a small bowl, combine the whipping cream with the remaining, 1 teaspoon (1.25ml) maple syrup, and whip until soft peaks form
  4. Spoon the flavoured whipped cream on top of the coffee
  5. Top with a candy cane.

Candy Cane Latte

The drink will spread Christmas cheer.


¾ ounces (20ml) cherry-flavoured syrup or kirsch

¼ ounce (7ml) crème de menthe syrup or liqueur

2 ounces (30 ml) hot, fresh espresso

4-6 ounces (113-170 ml) steamed milk

Whipped cream, for garnish

Small candy canes, for garnish


  1. Pour the syrups and espresso into a 12-ounce (340ml) latte mug
  2. Add the steamed milk.
  3. Top with whipped cream.
  4. Garnish with small candy canes hanging off the rim of the mug. 

Midnight Star Coffee Cocktail 

A starry coffee spirit to settle back with!


Espresso Canada Blog Holiday Cocktails


1 ½ ounces (45ml) hot, fresh, espresso

1 ½ ounces (45ml) hazelnut-flavoured syrup

1 ½ ounces (45ml) vanilla flavoured vodka

4 ounces (125ml) crushed ice

Whipped cream, for garnish

Cocoa powder, for garnish


  1. Place the espresso, syrup, vodka, and ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously-the hot espresso will melt the ice and dilute all the ingredients rapidly, and the mixture should be nice and frothy.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass.
  4. Float the whipped cream on top.
  5. Garish with cocoa powder in a “star” shaped dusting fashion.

Spiced Buttered Rum Latte

A coffee to warm the cockles of anyone’s heart.


1 ounce (30ml) buttered rum-flavoured syrup

1 ounce (30ml) gingerbread-flavoured syrup

1 ½ ounces (45ml) hot, fresh espresso

9 ounces (280ml) steamed milk

Whipped cream, for garnish

Ground cinnamon, for garnish

1 cinnamon stick, for garnish


  1. Combine both syrups at the bottom of the coffee mug.
  2. Stir in the hot espresso.
  3. Pour the steamed milk into the coffee mixture.
  4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. 

Merry Mocha Espresso Eggnog

An ‘egg-citing” holiday coffee drink.


1 ounce (30ml) chocolate syrup or rum

2 ounces (60ml) hot, fresh espresso

4-6 ounces (113-170ml) steamed eggnog

Cocoa powder, for garnish (optional)

Grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine the chocolate syrup and espresso in a 12-ounce (340 ml) Christmas mug. Stir until blended.
  2. Fill the cup the rest of the way with the steamed eggnog.
  3. Dust the top with cocoa powder or nutmeg. 

Flavoured Syrups To Use in Coffee: What You Need to Know 

Below is what you need to know about flavoured drinks, where you get them, how to make your own and how to use them.

 Syrups come in a wide range of flavours.  Some of the basic flavours which are good to include in your coffee bar rail include: vanilla, hazelnut, mocha, and chocolate. But there are a whole range of specialty syrups like: mint, gingerbread, tiramisu, B-52 and more.

 It is unreasonable and impossible to have all these flavours on hand when preparing specialty holiday drinks.  Below is a way you can make your own so that you can make holiday flavoured drinks with those special flavours that scream holiday. Flavoured liqueurs can substitute syrups if the alcohol is not a concern.

How To Make Flavoured Syrups and Flavoured Liqueurs for Specialty Drinks

 All syrups start with a simple sugar syrup. Sometimes it is referred to as “sugar syrup” or “bar syrup”.  It is quick and easy to make.  All you need are two ingredients: water and sugar.  Here is the preparation of simple syrup.

  1. Simmer equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is totally dissolved.
  2. Stir constantly. Do not allow to boil.
  3. Cool thoroughly and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. The syrup can be kept refrigerated for up to one month.

 You can add items to flavour your syrup. For example, adding a cinnamon stick will make it cinnamon syrup, or add a vanilla bean to make it vanilla syrup.  When you add a flavour it should be remain in the syrup for at least 7 -10 days to ensure maximum flavour. The possibilities are endless.

You can also purchase ready made premium syrups here. 

Spirited Syrups

Your favourite liqueur can be made by combining syrup with vodka in a 1:1 ratio. 1 ounce (30ml) of syrup to 1 ounce (30ml) vodka.  For example, mix hazelnut flavoured syrup with vodka to make a tasty liqeuer to serve with coffee or desserts. Or mix dark chocolate syrup with vodka, then add steamed milk and espresso for a Mocha Café Mudslide.

 Other Tips and Tricks to Using Flavoured Syrups in Coffee Drinks

  1. When adding favoured syrups to hot coffee beverages, the syrups should be combined with hot, not cooled espresso or coffee and then stirred. This method thoroughly blends the two flavours together.  If you are making a milk-based coffee beverage, milk may be added to the syrup flavoured espresso, then stir again.
  2. Another option for hot flavoured coffee is to first steam the milk with the chosen syrups and allow it to sit while you separately prepare the hot espresso. The steam infuses the syrup and milk with extra flavour.
  3. Syrups will eliminate the need for sugar and other sweeteners.
  4. In a 5-6 ounce cappuccino (which is the measurement of a true Italian cappuccino) add only 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10ml) of flavoured syrup. Don’t add too much syrup because you want to enjoy the original coffee flavour. 

This holiday season try your hand at a new espresso based drinks.  There are many specialty drinks you can make to reflect the taste of the season.  When you have all the equipment you need, making incredible drinks can be fun and easy.


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