Day 6 of “12 Drinks of Christmas! Try Any of These 4 Cocktails for Your Holiday Party!

With holiday party season in full swing, entertaining expert Mark Addison, author of the award-winning book, COCKTAIL CHAMELEON, shares his essential holiday party entertaining tips and festive cocktails that are sure-fire party pleasers! Whether you are doing a small New Year’s Eve gathering or a rocking party for everyone, your guests deserve to have some great cocktails and  you deserve to have fun  at your own party! (That’s a novelty, right?)


Here’s Mark Addison’s tip #1:




Learn to make (and taste) 4 guaranteed crowd-pleaser cocktails!

4 Cocktail Chameleon Holiday Cocktails:

Cranberry Sauce Punch, Cranberry Champagne Cocktail, Mountain Mule, The Marktini 2.0

 Cocktail recipes and all photos are courtesy of Cocktail Chameleon!


Holiday Parties require more time from the host and therefore a signature cocktail that serves multiple guests or one that can be scaled up into a pitcher with minimal effort on the hosts’ part to serve are ideal for holiday entertaining; obviously punches, and even martini’s or champagne cocktails that can be served in a variety of glassware are great options to mix-and-match. These surely work for intimate gatherings as well, but more detailed cocktails with elaborate garnishes in specific glassware is best for smaller groups.

These are the 3 most important aspects of cocktail making…

  • A good recipe with quality ingredients:
    -A truly successful cocktail is all about proportions and requires a deft hand with sweet, tart, bitter and spirits. The right balance is about flavors that complement—and never overwhelm—one another.
  • Proper glassware: Part tradition, part common sense and part personal style, your choice of glass should never be incidental. It’s a key element in the presentation of a carefully considered cocktail.
  • The name says it all – A good name will not carry a poor drink to success; but a good name attached to a good drink will catapult your drink to the greatest heights of popularity.
    Tell It Like It Is – This is a very literal approach
    Personal Experience – a memory that the cocktail evokes
    The Locale– Naming a cocktail after a geographical location
    Pop Culture & Events – Movies, Literature, holidays and other timely events, both past and present.
    The Namesake – a person (yourself) or celebrity of past or present.
    Holiday-themed Cocktail Collection images


Cranberry Sauce Punch



While dinner’s in the oven, offer a round or two of this elegant punch, the perfect herald of delicious things to come. Based on a jammy swirl of cranberries, spices and orange juice, it’s reminiscent of everyone’s favorite holiday condiment. Top it off with good Champagne and the gratitude will flow.


1/2 cup frozen cranberries

2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 cloves

1 star anise pod

1 cardamom pod (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp grated orange zest

3 cups fresh orange juice

1 bottle chilled champagne

8 orange peels
24 spiked cranberries

Tools & Materials

2-quart saucepan

Large glass pitcher

Eight 11-oz wine glasses


  • In the saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugars, spices, 2 Tbsp water, and orange zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the orange juice to the pan and stir to combine, scraping down the sides. Strain into the pitcher, add the remaining orange juice and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • To serve, pour 2 1/2 oz of the cranberry-orange juice into each of the glasses and top with 2 1/2 oz of the chilled champagne. Garnish each glass with an orange peel and spike cranberries.


Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

This cocktail makes a wonderful welcome at Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations. Prepare it ahead and all that’s required is to add chilled Champagne as your guests arrive. Create a tart infusion by soaking frozen cranberries in vodka and orange liqueur, then use the “drunken” cranberries as a garnish.


Level of Difficulty: Easy
Yield:  5 oz, Serves 1

The Cranberry Cocktail – found in the champagne chapter of Cocktail Chameleon – is the perfect make-ahead drink for holiday parties. Prep the ingredients and just add chilled champagne as guests arrive!


1 oz Cranberry Liqueur

2 dashes orange bitters

4 oz champagne, chilled

3-5 spiked Cranberries (for garnish)

Tools & Materials

Cocktail pick

8 oz flute


  • Pour the liqueur into the flute, add the bitters, and top with the champagne.

  • Garnish with a cocktail pick loaded with the cranberries.

Find the full recipe in the “Punch” chapter of Cocktail Chameleon.

Mountain Mule


This variation on the popular Moscow Mule was dreamt up in the Green Mountains of Vermont and inspired by flavors from around the world. Mark Addison’s homemade Vermont maple syrup adds a faintly smoky swirl of sweetness to the spicy Northern Italian amaro and vibrant Polish rye vodka for a cocktail with a worldly twist on the classic.

Level of Difficulty–easy
Yield:  6 oz., serves 1


1 1/2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka

1/2 oz. Amaro Montenegro

1/2 oz. Vermont maple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

3 oz. ginger beer


1 lime wedge

1 cinnamon stick

Tools & Materials

Cocktail shaker


  • Fill the shaker with ice and add the vodka, amaro, maple syrup and lime juice, shaking until well chilled.
    Pour into the glass and top with the ginger beer.
    Garnish with the lime wedge and cinnamon stick



The Marktini 2.0

This signature martini is never out of place at a cocktail party. It’s ideal to scale up for a pitcher and can even be made into a punch with the addition of Champagne. Use this recipe as a point of departure to come up with your own variation and name it after yourself.

Level of Difficulty: easy
Yield: 4 1/2 oz., serves 1; or scale up for a pitcher

Who thought this signature martini could have been perfected… but indeed it has… introducing The Marktini 2.0! That’s the great thing about a well-balanced cocktail recipe; it can always be adapted to include new ingredients for an updated version.

Here we’ve included Amaro Montenegro and Chopin Rye Vodka to update the flavor profile resulting in a more vibrant and spicy version of the original.  It’s an ideal cocktail to scale up for a pitcher to make your next party stress-free so you can get out from behind the bar and have fun with your guests. After all…

“Its called entertainng for a reason, you get ot have fun while you do it” – Mark Addison


1 1/2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka

1/2 oz. Amaro Montenegro

1 oz. orange simple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. pomegranate juice

1 orange peel curl

Tools & Materials

Cocktail shaker



  • Fill the shaker with ice and add all the ingredients, shaking until well chilled.
    Strain into the chilled glass.
    Garnish with the orange curl.


About Mark Addison & Cocktail Chameleon*:

Author, Designer and Entertaining expert Mark Addison has spent a lifetime dreaming up elaborate events and other spectacles, often with a signature drink in the mix to help fuel the festivities. In Cocktail Chameleon, he provides 12 variations on 12 classic cocktails, starting with a lesson on the fundamentals of each drink (proportions, technique, and ingredients) before sharing the secrets of his own recipes.

Addison’s ultimate goal: to inspire you to create your own unforgettable Signature Cocktails.


* Cocktail Chameleon is the winner of the”Best Cocktail Book in the US”
“Best in the World” Silver Medal at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
“Top 10 Cocktail Books” by Tales of the Cocktails’ “Spirited Awards”
Selected for the J.P. Morgan Summer Reading Lis,t was voted “The Hostess Gift of the Season” two years running by KD Hamptons


COCKTAIL CHAMELEON is the ideal Host & Hostess Gift and the perfect gift for all the Cocktail Lovers on your holiday shopping list, so give the gift of Holiday Cheers!

For Mark Addison’s “Best in the World” award-winning* book, “Cocktail Chameleon” and a world of cocktail resources visit…
Take 20% off ALL Cocktail Chameleon* products on and on Amazon!**
*SIGNED EDITIONS of Cocktail Chameleon exclusive at

Cocktail Chameleon can also be purchased on Amazon.

Follow Mark Addison on these social channels::


LOVE what I am seeing in the awesomeness of this book as well as these amazing cocktails. Wow! You need this book for your New Year’s Eve Party!

Stevie Wilson,

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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