There’s staying warm by the fire and staying toasty anywhere in the house. Several good holiday drinks will get you to the latter quickly.

The following holiday drinks, and their accompanying descriptions, may make it seem like the Ballistic staff has a drinking problem. We assure you, we don’t. We’re around firearms nearly 24/7 — we don’t get that luxury. It’s the lifestyle we chose.

Outside of the holidays, we get few breaks to unwind. However, this is how we like to do it.

To quote legendary poet Homer Jay Simpson: “To alcohol — the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems!”

Without further ado, check out our recommendations below. Also, scroll through the gallery above for a better look at some of the holiday drinks listed.

Nino Bosaz — “Mad at Manhattan”

The Manhattan is a classic drink. And even though I’m born and raised in the state of New York (upstate in cow country), I can’t stomach the fact that the majority of Manhattan-dwelling folks find guns, hunting, and shooting in general appalling. Hence the name of this Ballistic-approved holiday libation: Ballistic’s “Mad at Manhattan.”

  • 2 ounces Bulleit Rye (Check out Bulleit’s kick-ass history at
  • 0.5 ounce Martini & Rossi Rosso (Can’t beat the price!)
  • 2 dashes Agostura bitters
  • 2 cherries (His and hers in case you want to share)

Pour booze into a tall mixer glass. Toss in a handful of ice cubes. Stir until it’s good and chilled; this also dilutes it a touch. Go get your favorite cocktail glass. Drop in the cherries. Pour the chilled booze into your glass (not the ice cubes!), and say “cent’ anni,” wishing folks 100 years of good health.

Linas Cernauskas — “The Suffering Bastard”

Originally named “The Suffering Bar Steward” (traced back to the Long Bar at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo), according to legend it was created as a hangover cure. We believe it’s more likely to cause one than cure, but you might find it has medicinal properties such as telling some of those annoying relatives to “piss off.” It’s a drink for all seasons, celebrations and pillages.

There are a number of different recipes out there, some that use rum and other questionable additions. I like to stick with what the original called for: Bourbon and gin. We ain’t messing around here.

  • 1 ounce bourbon (I use Basil Hayden)
  • 1 ounce gin (I use either Hayman’s Old Tom or Beefeater London Dry)
  • Approximately 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 4 ounces chilled ginger ale or beer

Shake the bourbon, gin, lime juice and bitters with ice. Strain into a Old Fashion glass filled with crushed ice and top with ginger ale/beer. Garnish appropriately.

If it is too tart for you, cut the lime juice in half. Sometimes I like to make it with just bourbon and ice.

If you got to suffer through the holidays, make sure you do it in a drunken style where you won’t be invited anywhere next year.

Greg Lickenbrock — Jack Daniel’s … and that’s it

  1. Get yourself a glass.
  2. Pour some Jack Daniel’s in it — three fingers’ worth. Use four if Aunt Lydia is coming over.
  3. Sit in the recliner—not the couch that would allow others to sit next to you.
  4. Find something good to watch, then hide the remote, while you sip away.

Easy peezy. I don’t do fancy drinks.

Matthew Hogan — Saranac Brewery’s “Big Moose Winter Ale”

Like Greg, I’m not fancy. I enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like spending time with family, Taco Bell and easy-to-drink beverages that don’t require dozens of ingredients.

Beer is my go-to beverage of choice. During the winter, specifically the holidays, I go with “Big Moose Winter Ale” from Saranac Brewery in Upstate New York.

If you can’t get your hands on a Saranac, there are plenty of other options. That’s the beauty of beer — there are so many options and they all get you drunk. No shame in going simple and picking up a Labatt Blue or a PBR. If you judge me for drinking either of the aforementioned beers, then I hope Rudolph leaves you a nice steaming present for Christmas.

Andrew Berry — “Boozy” Eggnog

I could go on a whole spiel about how you should make your own eggnog from scratch, but it’s the holidays. You’ve earned the right to be lazy. Store-bought options like Organic Valley, Ronnybrook or Traders Point Creamery will do just fine.

  • Fill an Old Fashioned glass (or a Highball, no judgements here) three-quarters of the way with the eggnog.
  • Grab a bottle of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and pour a shot (or two) into the same glass.
  • Stir.
  • Add a sprinkling of nutmeg on top.
  • Drink.
  • Sneak off from the dinner table for another drink.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Ken Ross — Multiple Holiday Drinks

Two options for me:

1. Jameson 12 Year Old
  • Pour over one ice cube.
  • Smoke Cuaba Divinos Cigar.
2. Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic
  • Strip leaves from two sprigs of mint and place in the bottom of a highball glass along with cucumber.
  • Muddle with a muddling stick or the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill a glass with ice.
  • Pour gin over ice, top off glass with tonic, stirring once, and garnish with remaining mint sprig and thin cucumber wedge.
  • Smoke 601 Red Label Robusto cigar.

Joe Albanese — Laphroaig 10 Year Old

The holidays mean family time. But you don’t have to let that spoil all of your fun. So grab a favorite relative and head down to a lake that has frozen sufficiently to support your weight and drill a couple of holes and insert lines. If that’s not an option, throw on your waders and hit the local river.

Normally, these occasions would call for whatever bourbon is on sale, but you should splurge a little on yourself after all that gift giving. Fill your flask with a peaty single-malt such as Laphroaig 10 Year Old —cask-strength of course—and enjoy. And it’s the holidays, so share.

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