After you’ve finished your holiday cooking, shopping, and decorating, why not kick back with a festive beverage to celebrate the season? Whether you’re partial to cocktails, mocktails, wine, or beer, we’ll help you find animal-friendly vegan holiday drinks you can sip (responsibly) all season long.
Many holiday cocktails, wines, and beers are already vegan, but some are made with ingredients like dairy, eggs, or honey, or they’re processed using fish bladders or bone marrow. This simple guide will help you find options that are kind to cows, chickens, bees, fish, and other intelligent animals.
Vegan Cocktails for the Holidays
Lots of holiday cocktails are vegan as is, and those that aren’t can easily be made with ingredients that don’t come from animals. Instead of eggs, try using aquafaba to get a foamy top on your whiskey sour. Hot toddies can easily be made with vegan honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar instead of honey stolen from bees. And there are endless options to replace cow’s milk and cream. Plus, there are tons of vegan eggnog brands on grocery store shelves! Here are some vegan liqueurs and recipes we love to help make your holiday cocktail dreams come true:
Try it in an espresso martini or this Gingerbread Brandy Milk Punch.
You can spike your own eggnog, or you can try this oat nog liqueur, made with creamy oats instead of eggs.
This spiced whiskey is perfect in an old-fashioned or a chili cinnamon hot toddy.
Grab your favorite vegan creamer and make this classy candy cane martini.
Coconut whipped cream is delicious atop an Irish coffee.
Add a splash of Baileys Almande to your morning coffee, or serve it over vegan ice cream for a rich dessert.
How to Find Vegan Wine
Most wines are vegan, but some are filtered with “fining agents” that sometimes include animal-derived substances like gelatin from fish bladders (called isinglass), casein (derived from milk), or bone marrow. Avoid those and go for a vegan wine instead—these use plant-derived fining agents like carbon, limestone, or bentonite clays. “Natural” and “unfined” wines like pét-nats (an abbreviation for “pétillant naturel”) are usually vegan because they aren’t clarified at all.
Of course, vegan wines are wonderful when enjoyed on their own, but there are also a few festive wine-based drinks that are delicious and crowd-pleasing. Mulled wine is made with red wine that’s infused with wintery spices and served warm. Sangria is similar but served cold, and it can be made with red, white, or sparkling wine. Don’t forget mimosas, too!
Vegan Beer, Hard Cider, and Hard Kombucha
Beers, hard ciders, and hard kombuchas are usually vegan, but some are clarified with fish bladders or made with lactose from cow’s milk or honey. Barnivore.com offers an easy way to check whether your favorite options are animal-friendly. Plus, it has an extensive list of vegan wines and liquors.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Mocktails
Tons of non-alcoholic beverages are vegan, but the same filtering concerns can still be an issue. Try the vegan versions of these popular holiday mocktails:
The “most wonderful time of the year” can be a nightmare for animals—be sure to keep them in mind during the holiday season while choosing animal-friendly drinks and filling your tables with vegan food. For more tips, check out our vegan holiday guide, and keep it going all year long by ordering a vegan starter kit: