The circumstances of this festive season mean the whirl of holiday parties is a bit slower and more selective than usual. With the right drink in your hand though, any gathering with those closest to you feels like a celebration. That’s why we couldn’t finish our Home for the Holidays recipe series without sharing the tumbler and twist techniques that top marketing influencers swear by.

The magical power of the cocktail is to take everyday ingredients and turn them into art. Separate out what makes a cocktail and you’ll find that you eat, drink or otherwise consume most of them throughout the year without feeling particularly glamorous doing it. Mix them together with a little flair and a twinkle in your eye, and they transport you something else. They’re the essence of a value-adding experience.

It’s no wonder then, that so many top marketing minds turned out to have a host of cocktail recipes to share. We’ve pulled the best of them together into this final Home for the Holidays treat.

Just like our earlier recipes, we’ve also got some extra serving suggestions for you – tasty nibbles and amuse-bouches from ActiveCampaign to go alongside your favorite holiday tipples. These automation recipes are designed to take typical moments in the buyer journey and add that bit of flair that makes them feel exclusive, special – and valuable. They do so in a style any cocktail shaker would be proud of.

Once you’ve tried these recipes, mix up a measure of the one for you, pour yourself a glass, and join us for a very special Yule Log Fireside Chat with bestselling author and MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer, Ann Handley. You can register to book your place on our Home for the Holidays site, where you’ll also find all of our festive recipes. It’s the perfect way to set the marketing world to rights as we look ahead to 2021.

And for those who still haven’t decided what to cook on the big occasion, we have a bonus Main Course suggestion as well. Scroll to the end for an Asian-themed take on holiday comfort food from the one and only digital prophet, Shingy.

Cocktail Numbers 1 and 2: The Northern Standard & Modern Amaretto Sour

From Jon Miller, Chief Product Officer, Demandbase

“There are two that I have to put forward. The first is the cocktail that got me through Covid. With the change to staying home and not going out to restaurants and bars, I was in a bit of a rut, drinking the same Manhattans every night. This is the drink that introduced me to a whole new world of modifications to the basic Manhattan recipe, including the Brooklyn and Greenpoint. While this is not a holiday recipe specifically, use a spicy rye and you’ll find it’s perfect for sipping when it’s cold outside.”

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 oz rye
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura
  • 1 tsp Fernet Angelico or Fernet Branca
  • 1 tsp Gran Classico or your favorite amaro

Stir everything for 30 seconds with ice, then strain over fresh ice to serve up. Garnish with a fancy cherry.

The Modern Amaretto Sour

“The second cocktail is a throwback to my college days, when I didn’t know what to order in a bar so I would just order a sickly-sweet Amaretto Sour. This recipe modernizes the Amaretto Sour and makes it into a drink that any cocktail aficionado will enjoy, but which is also approachable and easy for the whole family (adult-aged, of course) to enjoy. The egg white adds a creamy mouthfeel that is definitely worthwhile. It makes a great after-dinner drink to enjoy with dessert.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 3/4 oz bourbon (cask-aged if you have it)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp simple syrup

“Dry” shake once with no ice, then add the ice and shake again. Strain and serve over ice and garnish with that fancy cherry.

Serve both with:
Coupon Email Cycle for Customer Engagement Automation Recipe

Coupons are one of the most powerful incentives out there for a contact to engage with your business – but like finely crafted cocktails, the excitement can dissipate if you start handing them out to everyone, all the time. Give your coupon offers maximum impact with this automation recipe that uses lead scoring and behavior tracking to identify the best possible moments to serve them.

Cocktail Number 3: Slow Cooked Party Cider

From Andy Crestodina, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media

“This slow-cooker favorite is insanely easy to prepare, only needs a handful of ingredients, and can pull double duty as the aroma makes your house smell divine. It’s the perfect big-batch drink to warm the holiday and the soul.”

You will need:

  • Gallon jug of apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Some cinnamon sticks (2-3)
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • Whiskey (to taste)
  1. Dump all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, put the lid on, set to high and cook for several hours.
  2. When the party starts, reduce the heat to low and start ladling into a variety of mismatched souvenir mugs, gathered from trips around the Midwest.
  3. Add whiskey to taste

Cocktail Number 4: The Perfect Manhattan

From Lauren Goldstein, Chief Revenue Officer, Annuitas

“What makes it “perfect” is that you’re balancing sweet and dry vermouth. I believe it’s best with a twist of orange. NO CHERRY. Too sweet!”

You will need:

  • 2 oz rye or bourbon whiskey (I love basil hayden or bullet rye)
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura or orange bitters
  • A piece of orange or lemon peel for garnish

Combine the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir well, for about 20 seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass. Twist the orange or lemon peel directly over the drink to release essential oils, and serve.

Serve with:
Birthday and Anniversary Coupon Email Automation Recipe

Celebrate with your customers by triggering this automation through a date-based custom field – and offering them a coupon to mark a birthday, or the anniversary of them signing up with you.

Cocktail Number 5: Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

From Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing

“This is one of those guaranteed party-pleasers. The juicy pomegranate, floral rosemary and crisp Prosecco appeal to just about any tastebuds. It’s got that festive, celebratory feel – and it’s never failed to impress yet.”

You will need:

  • 1 bottle of Prosecco
  • 4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 oz pom juice Sparkling water
  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 fresh pomegranate
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 cup water

Boil your cup of water with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, add sugar and stir until it dissolves, then remove from the heat, strain to remove the rosemary leaves and set aside to cool. Clean and de-seed the pomegranate, then pour Prosecco evenly into four cocktail glasses, add the simple rosemary syrup you’ve created, plus lemon juice, pomegranate juice and a splash of soda water to each glass. Finish off by adding pomegranate seeds to each glass and garnishing with rosemary sprigs.

Cocktail Number 6: Holiday Milk Punch

From Tim Washer, Virtually Funny

“This recipe comes from deep in the heart of Texas. It’s served at chic American eatery Down on Grayson and it’s widely hailed as the new eggnog.”

You will need:

  • 1.5oz Maker’s Mark
  • 0.75oz Frangelico Liqueur
  • 1 Demerara sugar cube
  • 4oz half-and-half

Combine the half-and-half, bourbon, Frangelico, and sugar in a shaker. Shake vigorously then pour into a chilled glass.

Serve with:
Annual Join Date Thank You Email Automation Recipe

The day that someone signs up with your business as a contact or a customer is a date to remember. Show them you care with a Thank You note that’s tailored to how long they’ve been with you.

Cocktail Number 7: The Flame of Love

From Jason Miller, Head of Brand, ActiveCampaign

“This was the cocktail made famous by Dean Martin, for whom Chasen’s head bartender Pepe Ruiz specifically created it when the rat packer would visit the legendary Hollywood bar back in the day. It’s got everything you need for the season: warmth, festive smells and associated with a great crooner. A true classic!”

You will need:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • ¼ oz fine sherry
  • Several large strips of orange peel for garnish

Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with sherry, and discard the excess liquid. Squeeze a large strip of orange peel over the sherry-rinsed glass, while using a match to carefully flame the oils as they spray into the glass; repeat this several times with additional peels. Stir the vodka with ice until chilled, then strain into the prepared glass. Then flame a final orange peel over the finished drink and garnish to serve.

Cocktail Number 8: The South Coast Seaside Slammer

From Mark Masters, Owner, We Are The Media & You Are The Media

“I’ve called this The South Coast Seaside Slammer for three very important reasons:

1) I live on the south coast of England
2) You have to drink brine (so that’s the seaside link)
3) A few of these and you can end up anywhere

The technical term for it is a “Pickleback”, and unlike many other great cocktails, it will only take you two minutes to make, with zero prep involved apart from emptying the contents of a jar of pickles.

Not convinced by these teasers? I promise you, this is going to start off as something you would never touch in your life and end up becoming your regular bar order, when you’re the only person ordering it – until of course, the secret gets out.”

You will need:

  • A whiskey shot (preferably Jameson)
  • A shot of pickle juice

Pour your two liquids into two separate glasses and take the shot of whiskey followed by the pickle juice. The briny, salty pickle juice now becomes your best friend, and you’ll have another. See….it’s the easiest cocktail you could ever make that’s also a holiday challenge for your guests to take! What isn’t there to like? Everyone loves a pickle, don’t they?

Serve with:
Help Document Visit Follow-Up Message Automation Recipe]

When somebody visits your help pages looking for answers, don’t just assume they’ve found them. A timely follow-up email checking they’re all set demonstrates that you care about their success with your solution. It’s the kind of touch that can ignite a little brand love!

Cocktail Number 9: The New Year!

From Robert Rose, Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory

“We’re all looking forward to the New Year – and this is the holiday celebration in a glass to help get us there. If the holidays had a taste, it’s basically this.”

You will need:

  • Kentucky Bourbon (my favorite is Four Roses)
  • Blood orange
  • Ginger extract (I use Ginger Ale in a pinch)
  • Tangerine

Mix the blood orange juice together with the bourbon and ginger, add them to the glass and finish with a twist of tangerine. Pour, stir, garnish and sip. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Cocktail Number 10: Spiced Old Fashioned


From Tom Martin, Founder, Converse Digital

“The Old Fashioned is one of the top ten most Googled cocktail recipes and according to the Drinks International 2020 poll, it’s the best-selling cocktail in the world. My Christmas Eve, boozy Spiced Old Fashioned reimagines the king of cocktails by putting a unique spin on an all-time classic.”

You will need:

  • 3 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Spiced Simple Syrup
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

Start by making your Spiced Simple Syrup. Roast five cloves of cardamom, three to five whole cloves and a cinnamon stick in a small pan for a few minutes, to release the flavors. Then let the pan cool. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it liquid. Allow the syrup to cool and you’re ready to make your drink. It will remain shelf stable for weeks without refrigerating, ready for the next round.

Once you’ve got your syrup ready, the rest is super-simple. Put all the ingredients into a shaker or pint glass with a handful of ice, stir for three to five minutes until a decent amount of the ice has melted, then strain the stirred liquid into a glass with the rim rubbed by orange peel and a few cubes of ice. Garnish with a candied cherry and serve.

Serve with:
After Purchase Follow Up Automation Recipe

Somebody buying from your business isn’t the end of your job as a marketer – in many ways, it’s just the start. This sequence of follow-up emails will smooth the onboarding process for new customers and help them unlock early value from their purchase.

Cocktail Number 11: Vrucha Rakiya (Hot Toddy)

From Ivana S Taylor, Small Business Expert, DIYMarketers.com

“This hot toddy recipe beats eggnog hands down. When the temperature dips and snow flies, it’s the ideal party cocktail.

The traditional recipe uses Slivovica (Serbian Plum Brandy) but this is difficult to find and can be a little expensive. I recommend using your favorite low-cost whiskey. My go-to is Canadian Club.

If you really want to impress your friends, make a batch before guests arrive. Pour it into an insulated pitcher and then when people start arriving, greet them with a hot mug of holiday cheer.”

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups Whiskey (or Slivovica Plum Brandy)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • Saucepan

These ingredients are enough for a couple of people. Start off with small batches and then work your way up to bigger ones – but not in the same night, or you’ll be snookered!

Pull all the ingredients next to the stove and have them close at hand, because once this process starts it goes FAST. Put your pan on high heat and add about ½ cup to 1 cup of sugar into it to caramelize. DO NOT walk away. Stand there and watch it slowly start to melt, and when it does, turn the heat down and stir constantly. DO NOT WALK AWAY because once it starts to melt it goes FAST. While you’re stirring the caramelizing sugar, add whiskey or brandy and water to taste. If you want it stronger, add less and if you want it weaker add more. Serve in a glass mug or stemmed glass.

Serve with:
Reminder To Update Open Support Tickets Automation recipe

Ensure your customers aren’t left hanging with handy reminders for your support team to keep them updated on progress. This helps to keep customer support requests front of mind and defuse any potential frustrations.

Cocktail Number 12: The Cosmos

From Heidi Cohen, CMO, Actionable Marketing Guide

“Okay, so it’s maybe better known as the Cosmopolitan of Sex and the City fame, but recipes for the more stylish-sounding Cosmo go all the way back to 1900. The cocktail that changed the world? It just might be. It will certainly add a touch of elegance to holiday season.”

You will need:

  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 2-3 parts Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail (This ingredient is important since straight cranberry juice is very tart! Even worse, it significantly changes the taste of the drink.) The amount of juice used determines the strength of the drink.
  • 1 tablespoon (or a splash) Limoncello
  • Squeeze of lime

Mix all the ingredients in a drink shaker filled with ice cubes (Alternatively, you can use a jar or container with a good seal). Shake vigorously for a few minutes (If you use a jar or container, you’ll need to remove the ice cubes from the drink) then pour into martini glasses and serve straight up (aka: without ice cubes), just adding a slice of lime.

Cocktail Number 13: The Holiday Negroni

From Maria Pergolino, CMO, ActiveCampaign

“I am a big fan of aperitifs and drink Negronis all year long, but I make it a tradition to toast the people I love with a Holiday Negroni on the day I decorate my house for the winter season.”

You will need:

  • 1 part Gin
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 part Campari
  • Lime

Mix equal parts Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Campari (typically 1 ounce each) until chilled. Strain into a glass with large ice cubes. Garnish with a lime peel.

Serve with:
Invite To Join Community On Visit To Help Pages Automation recipe

Identify the most valuable potential members of your community, those with an active interest in your solutions who can help advise new customers, then send them a compelling invite with a reason to join.

Bonus Main Course: Steamed chicken, ginger and watercress
From David Shing (Shingy), Digital Prophet

“As someone who grew up in a Chinese restaurant in Australia, I have a ton of recipes I could pick. I’ve gone for my favorite simply for its power to provide me comfort, warmth, and fond memories of my family, and particularly my dad who taught me to cook and obviously taught me this recipe.

I would work at the restaurant six nights a week, and after we’d done a night of service, after we washed our stations, put away the knives and forks for the country folk, the chopsticks and bowls came out for Staffies. And this was my go-to favorite.”

You will need:

  • Whole fresh organic chicken, rinsed, pat dried and excess fat removed
  • 2-4 lbs watercress
  • bunch of green onions
  • Fist-sized piece of ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Half a cup of sweet sherry or good quality white wine
  • tbsp or more of quality sea salt
  • Black ground pepper
  • Half cup olive oil.
  • 2 tbsps of soy sauce
  • White rice
  1. Put about 8 cups of water in a ban or boiler with the salt and two teaspoons of ground pepper, add the sherry/wine, four of the garlic cloves and half a fist of sliced ginger (you can leave the skin on).
  2. Bring the water to a rapid boil (rapid avoids a scum forming and ensures the chicken stock is well held), add the whole chicken and let it boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Then turn down to a medium-low heat and simmer the chicken for an hour. By this time the internal chicken temperature (checked with a meat thermometer) should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice and wash the watercress well. We used to collect our own from the local creeks, so it held a ton of dirt.
  5. To prepare the sauce, take the skin off the remaining ginger and grate finely into a large heat-proof bowl.
  6. Add the green onions, finely sliced. Separately, add half a cup of olive oil to a saucepan, cook on high heat until it smokes, then add this to the ginger and onions. The super-hot oil sears the ginger and onions and seals in the taste.
  7. Add up to a tablespoon of crushed salt to taste, then add two tablespoons of soy sauce.
  8. Once the chicken is almost ready, add two bunches of watercress, push below the chicken stock and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes until tender.
  9. Present the whole thing in a large bowl, serve the rice and ginger sauce on the side, and dine family style meaning everyone eats from the same pot.