Cocktails for an Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly sweater parties are the best of the holidays, a chance to humiliate yourself in the presence of a roomful of humiliated others. The simple truth is, though, get 40 people in an apartment in thick, long-sleeved wool and nylon blends appliquéd with heavy, potholder-like teddy bears and snowmen, things are going to get thirsty pretty fast. With that in mid, here are 10 boozy drinks perfect for an ugly sweater party.

1. Candy Cane Vodka


Careful, tiger, this straight-up infusion of crushed-up candy canes in vodka is as strong as it is sweet. Drink one of these over the rocks and you’ll end up in Candyland fast. And believe us, nothing is worse than waking up in a rumpled sweater appliquéd with plaid bows and fuzzy reindeer. Get our Candy Cane Vodka recipe.

2. Classic Cosmopolitan


Chic, sexy, and go-go as the ‘90s themselves, the Cosmo is a potent pink charmer, perfect for loosening up your guests even more than standing around wearing enormous Santa or snowflake pullovers. Careful! Have too many of these and you’ll end up with more regrets than merely looking ridiculous. Get our Classic Cosmopolitan recipe.

3. Slushy Blended Margarita


The slushy blended margarita is a rather unsophisticated thing, but once you’re wearing an ugly Christmas sweater, things you’d otherwise be too embarrassed to have in your hand look pretty good there. A couple of these and you’re body temp will drop, so having a sweater on is perf. Get our Slushy Blended Margarita recipe.

4. Sazerac Jelly Shots


Nothing lifts a party like a tray of Jell-O shots, and these are the best you’ll ever pop into your mouth. A solid version of the classic New Orleans cocktail, they contain rye whiskey, absinthe, and two kinds of bitters. Get our Sazerac Jelly Shots recipe.

5. Liquid Cocaine


The good thing about this mix of rum, minty Rumple Minze, Jägermeister, and Goldschlager is not having to text your dealer and wait around all night. The less-good thing: You can get a little hot in that sweater after downing more than two of these shots. Get our Liquid Cocaine recipe.

6. Rum and Coke


Rum and Cokes are the unofficial drink of ugly sweater parties. They’re uncomplicated, accessible, cooling (important when you’re wearing a pound of itchy thrift-store wool on your back), and, if you happen to spill, the Coke’s unlikely to wreck the glitter woven into your holiday kitten sweater. Get our Rum and Coke recipe.

7. Blender Eggnog


Blender eggnog is perfectly aligned with ugly sweater holiday. The whirr of the motor flashing on and off, dimming the lights, drowning out the Karen Carpenter version of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”—they’re perfectly aligned. Get our Blender Eggnog recipe.

8. Kiwi Sparkler


Nothing looks better against a red-and-gold pullover with tinkling bell appliqués than this lovely green drink, ice cubes clinking, the sparkling Prosecco tickling your guests’ noses. Also, it contains vodka and peach liqueur, the two unofficial liquors of ugly sweater Christmas. Get our Kiwi Sparkler recipe.

9. Tom and Jerry


That thrift-store Tom and Jerry bowl-and-mug set you picked up when you found your treasured pom-pom nosed Rudolph sweater—this is the perfect time to peel off the price stickers and fill it with something delicious. Get our Tom and Jerry recipe.

10. Pine Cone Punch


Pineapple juice, dark rum, and a jolt of pine liqueur, served in enameled tin cups. It’s delicious Alpen-kitsch, a taste of tacky holidays as bracing as the air in a Christmas tree lot. Get our Pine Cone Punch recipe.

Header image by Ramsey Mohsen / Flickr.

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