Make your guests vegan Christmassy cocktails this holiday season.

Christmas is often a time of indulging, and for many, it means cracking open a bottle of bubbly or adding a little extra something to after-dinner coffee. If you’re looking for the perfect vegan-friendly beverage to treat yourself to this festive season, here are the best vegan booze brands and recipes to consider.

Indulge in a vegan cocktail this Christmas.

Isn’t All Alcohol Vegan?

Contrary to popular belief, not all alcoholic beverages are vegan. While spirits tend to be animal product-free — although watch out for ingredients like honey — beer and wine can be filtered using animal products like isinglass (aka fish bladder), egg whites, and gelatin (derived from animal bones).

According to vegan alcohol guide Barnivore, “these products grab onto the impurities and make it easier to catch them in the filters, though there are many animal-free alternatives in use.”

Animal-free alternatives include limestone, carbon, bentonite clay, plant casein, and kaolin clay.

Prosecco can be vegan-friendly.

How to Find Vegan Booze Brands

Barnivore is a helpful guide to finding vegan-friendly booze. It has more than 45,000 entries, all of which have been checked (and sometimes double and triple checked) by its regular users. If you know of a beverage that is or isn’t vegan and it’s not on the site, Barnivore is also open to submissions.

If you’re in the store or supermarket, look out for vegan labeling. More and more companies are beginning to clearly mark their alcoholic drinks as vegan. Some supermarket chains, like the UK’s Marks & Spencer, are even making their entire own-brand wine selection vegan-friendly — so eventually, you may not even have to check labels.

Sue Daniels — a winemaker for Marks & Spencer — said in a statement, “we’ve made this commitment as part of our overall aim to make M&S products more relevant to more customers and to take action to reflect their changing dietary demands.”

She added that the supermarket chain is starting to see big changes in winemakers across France and Spain, who are taking steps to ensure their products appeal to the vegan market.

5 Brands to Try Offering Vegan Booze

Absolut Vodka is animal-free.

1. Absolut

Vodka makes up the basis of many cocktails, you can make martinis, cosmopolitans, and even Moscow mules. Absolut Vodka is a completely vegan brand, according to a post on its website from 2017. A representative confirmed, “all Absolut products are vegan, thus they do not contain any animal products and no such products are used in the production process.”

They confirmed that the ingredients for Absolut Vodka are grain, enzymes, yeast, and water (which they obtain from their very own well). The brand offers a number of flavored vodkas — including vanilla, strawberry, apple, and rhubarb. For all of its flavored products, Absolut uses only “natural ingredients from berries, fruits, and spices.”

Ryan Reynolds owns vegan-friendly Aviation Gin.

2. Aviation Gin

Owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, Aviation Gin is completely vegan. A representative for the company told Barnivore, “Aviation American Gin contains no animal products (egg, soy, dairy, honey, etc.) and no animal products are used in the processing of the gin. Aviation is created solely at our distillery in Portland, OR.”

According to the brand, each bottle of Aviation Gin is handcrafted in small 100-case batches. The gin itself is blended with cardamom, coriander, French lavender, anise seed, sarsaparilla, juniper, and two kinds of orange peel. 

Baileys is the ultimate festive drink.

3. Baileys

For many years, Baileys couldn’t be enjoyed by anyone who didn’t wish to consume dairy. But in 2017, the drink brand debuted vegan Baileys Almande, and everything changed. Just like the original, the dairy-free alcoholic drink has a creamy texture. It’s made with almond oil, almond essence, and real vanilla. According to Baileys, it’s a “naughty delicious indulgence,” served best in a cocktail, coffee, or over ice.

Freixenet’s Extra Dry Prosecco is vegan-friendly.

4. Freixenet

Headquartered in Catalonia, Freixenet has been making wine since 1861. According to Barnivore, some of its beverages are vegan. Add its bubbly Organic Cava or Prosecco Extra Dry to a cocktail — like a bellini or a mimosa — or simply enjoy it on its own.

Sailor Jerry Rum is vegan-friendly.

5. Sailor Jerry Rum

According to Sailor Jerry Rum, its liquor is made the “traditional way” and it doesn’t include any animal products. Its recipe was inspired by sailors, who used to blend spices into their rum to make it more palatable. Drink it on its own, with a mixer, or add to a variety of cocktails, including a dark mojito. If you fancy it, you could also add to a hot chocolate or creamy coffee.

8 Vegan Christmas Drink Recipes


 

Candy cane martinis are cute and playful. | Edgy Veg

1. Candy Cane Martini

A candy cane martini is a sweet and festive way to enjoy the holidays. Edgy Veg says they may be for adults only, but they’re “cute and playful.” They’re also quick and easy to make, and your guests will love them.

Get the recipe here.

Add some bourbon to your festive hot chocolate. | Dietitian Debbie

2. Spiked Vegan Hot Chocolate

There’s nothing like sitting by the fire and enjoying a cozy hot chocolate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day evening — even better if that hot chocolate is spiked with bourbon. Pop on a holiday movie and curl up with this recipe for a tasty spiked vegan hot chocolate.

Get the recipe here.

Impress your guests with candied sage cocktails. | Salted Plains

3. Cranberry Sage Cocktail

This cranberry sage cocktail is a sleek drink to serve party guests before dinner. It looks all the more impressive thanks to the addition of candied sage. If you don’t have time on the day to candy the sage, you can do this up to three days before and keep in the fridge.

Get the recipe here.

Add leftover mincemeat juice to make your cocktail extra festive. | The Rose and Bean

4. Santa’s Kryptonite Cocktail

This cocktail is extra festive because it contains real mincemeat liquid, does it get any more Christmassy than that? Make yourself a batch of tasty vegan mince pies and then save the juices, add to a cocktail, and relax in front of a festive movie with a mince pie in one hand and a drink in the other. Bliss.

Get the recipe here.

Add champagne to the punch for some extra fizz. | Simply Recipes

5. Vegan Champagne Peach Punch

Fruit punch is a holiday party staple because it’s strong and fun to serve. This vegan holiday punch recipe features peach nectar, lemon juice, peach brandy, grenadine syrup, and three (three!) bottles of champagne.

Get the recipe here.

Add vegan-friendly eggnog to your martini. | Delish Knowledge

6. Vegan Eggnog Martini

Just because you’re avoiding animal products doesn’t mean you have to miss out on eggnog. In fact, you can make an eggnog martini if you fancy. According to Delish Knowledge, this cocktail is “warm, inviting, perfect for holiday parties, drinks with friends, or an after-dinner dessert.”

Get the recipe here.

Garnish your Christmas Cosmos with lime and cranberries. | Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

7. Christmas Cosmos

Whether you’re hosting a party or just sitting in with your feet up, these Christmas Cosmos are the perfect festive treat. All you need is vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice, and some lime slices to garnish.

Get the recipe here.

This recipe gives the classic mojito a festive twist. | Half Baked Harvest

8. White Christmas Mojito

Mojitos are normally associated with all things tropical, but this recipe gives it a snowy, festive spin. It’s minty, coconutty, and super Christmassy.

Get the recipe here.