A Simple Holiday Cocktail Hour (Recipe: Cookies and Cream Cocktail)

Written by Kristen.

This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in the elaborate and forget all about the simple. We host a much anticipated holiday party each year with friends but to be honest with you, although I love our holiday party, I have really been struggling with how I was going to fit it in with our already crammed packed schedule.

Our party is typically big, with a full dinner, dessert, cocktails, presents and games… but it was more than I felt like I could handle with life being so crazy this year. So instead of completely cancelling the party, I had to simplify.

A simpler option to a full holiday party is to host a simple holiday cocktail hour. This way we can still see our friends, celebrate the season together, yet I won’t be so stressed about losing an entire day devoted to planning and preparing for a big party.

Our friends are also busy, so they have welcomed the opportunity to socialize yet not eat up an entire evening.

As I’ve been planning, I’ve come across some great tips to help keep our holiday cocktail hour fun and simple.

Tips for a simple holiday cocktail hour:

  • Set a short time frame. 1-2 hours at the most will help to keep your cocktail hour simple.
  • Request help. Ask your friends to bring ingredients for their favorite cocktail or holiday appetizer or sweet treat.
  • Keep it casual. Let your friends know this is just a casual, laid back gathering. That will give them an idea of what to expect when walking through your door.
  • Hire a bartender. Since you aren’t spending the money you would on a full meal, take some of the money you’ve saved and hire someone to mix the drinks for you!
  • Relax and have fun. Focus on your guests and enjoy the short time to celebrate together!

Connecting with friends is important, especially when life gets crazy. It is easy to lose touch and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. A simple holiday cocktail hour will be just what you need to reconnect and get through the rest of the season!

Here is an idea for a festive holiday recipe you can share at your event – Cookies and Cream Cocktail.

Photo by Kristen Doyle of Dine & Dish

Cookies and Cream Cocktail

Santa's cookies and milk get a grown up twist to make this delicious cocktail!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 martini
Calories: 384kcal
Author: Kristen


  • 1 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 ounce Creme de Cacao
  • 2 ounces Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • Corn syrup and crushed sugar cookies optional


  • Dip the rim of your glass in corn syrup, then into the crushed sugar cookies.
  • Pour the Irish Cream, Creme de Cacao, Heavy Cream, Vanilla and brown sugar into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake until well blended.
  • Pour into a small martini glass. Garnish with a small, homemade sugar cookie, if desired.


Results are best if your ingredients and glasses are chilled beforehand


Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 43mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 835IU | Calcium: 37mg


What is your favorite festive cocktail?

About Kristen

Kristen Doyle is a mom of 4 young children and the face behind the food blog, Dine & Dish. Sharing recipes that are quick and simple to get on the table, Kristen’s goal is to provide a resource for others looking to simplify their lives in order to reconnect with their family, one meal at a time.

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  1. What a great idea! So fun & festive!

  2. This sounds so yummy!

  3. This sounds delicious! I love the cookie garnish 🙂 And what a fanastic idea instead of worrying about throwing a huge party!

  4. Brilliant tips! I have felt overwhelmed this year as well and these will come in handy.

  5. Yummy! I am hosting a cookie decorating party tonight and will try this. I’ve got a great recipe for Chocolate Martinis I will be serving as well.

  6. totally cute!!! Love this!

  7. My husband would really go for that. I’m not really into creamy drinks. I’ve latched onto sours, the latest being decidedly Canadian.

    Maple Sour
    2oz Canadian whiskey
    1oz lime juice
    1oz Canadian real maple syrup (amber or dark for good flavour)

    Shake and serve over ice.

  8. Hello Kristen,
    what a nice idea.
    I like this recipe but these tips, they are just perfect! 🙂 Thank you.

  9. Oooh, yummy! We typically try to learn a new specialty cocktail for the holiday season, and this looks like just the thing for this year! Can’t wait to give it a try.

  10. Great tips… And, I love the look of that cocktail! Yum 🙂

  11. Oh my goodness, what an awesome cocktail! Can’t wait to try this!

  12. I’m not really a fan of super-sweet drinks. This cocktail looks pretty, but I’d never drink it.

    The closest I get to sweet is my favorite Christmas cocktail: real egg nog. Made with real, organic, raw eggs. And lots of alcohol. This recipe is the one I riff from http://256.com/gray/recipes/eggnog/ . I don’t fold the whites into the nog mix, but let it float on top like some beautiful crazy frothing latte. It is delicious, and I have NEVER served it to anyone who didn’t like it.

  13. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    Oooh yum! I want to come to cocktail hour at your house, Kristen!

  14. We are finally hiring a bartender for our New Year’s Eve party – after six years and a party that’s grown to almost 100 people, it’s money well spent, yes?

    • Wow, I’m tempted to come crash this party, Casey! And I totally agree. Now for parties over 20 I rent stemware. No more washing wine glasses the morning after!

  15. It looks fantastic, Kristen! I cannot wait to try it.

  16. I could go for one of those, is it bad to want it this early in the morning?

  17. Hi! loved the cocktail idea and the recipe looks wonderful but we really dont drink alcohol and i would love to know if their is or can it be made non-alcohol cocktail?
    Sorry for the bother

  18. love the star sugar cookie. this cocktail is delish ! happy holidays 🙂

  19. I don’t really have a very well stocked bar. Ironic considering we have a full sized “Pub” in the garage.

    This really sounds delightful! I have Irish cream and plenty of cookies. I love the idea of a short bread cookie milkshake/cocktail. Yum!

  20. I love this!! sounds delicious Kristen!!

    Thanks for linking up, I featured this post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2011/holiday-foods/

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  21. This is my dream!

  22. 5 stars
    I love to cookies, great recipe. Thanks for sharing

  23. Lisa Kelley says

    5 stars
    This drink is amazing! I had to substitute vanilla creamer for the heavy cream since that was the only thing I had that was close. I only used 1 oz. Of the creamer since it is sweetened but it came out so good.

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