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7 Simple & Sophisticated Cocktail Recipes To Make At Your Next Holiday Party

Surprise your friends with your mixology skills.

Staff Writer, Studio
7 Simple & Sophisticated Cocktail Recipes To Make At Your Next Holiday Party

The holiday season is here and you might be wondering how to elevate your upcoming party. While you can buy matching dinnerware or prep some fancy appies, one of the simplest ways you can take the vibes up a notch is to create some unforgettable cocktails.

And BACARDÍ's got you covered.

Whether you're an experienced rum drinker or more of a newbie, BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho could be the star ingredient in every cocktail you serve at your cosy gathering.

The BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho's flavour profile is just right for the season. The oaky vanilla and spices make it super toasty while dried apricots mellow it out.

This year, you can also get your hands on the brand's 2022 limited-edition cask finish variant of this flagship Premium rum. The second instalment in this rare series is the Reserva Ocho Rye Cask Finish and it's got all the warm flavours to celebrate the holidays.

It's smokey and woodsy with some sweeter notes of caramelised brown sugar and vanilla. What's even more magical? It's got an aroma of gingerbread, maple sugar and a touch of spice.

Similar to the Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish released the year prior, the Reserva Ocho Rye Cask Finish is exclusive and produced only this one time — which means gifting it to someone or serving it at your get-together will make it an even more memorable experience for your guests.

It's also aged in American oak barrels for eight to twelve years and finished in rye casks for the last two months. Talk about a holiday treat.

If you're ready to shake things up and discover the seasonal cocktail that'll have all your friends excited for next year's celebration, here are seven foolproof recipes.

Cheers to the season with an Old Cuban

Courtesy of BACARDÍ

This modern classic combines BACARDÍ rum and Champagne for a refreshing drink that's sure to start your gathering with a bang. It's got a bit of bubbly, so you can welcome everyone with some serious elegance.

Combine two ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, two dashes of Angostura bitters, 1 ounce of lime juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup and 6 whole mint leaves in a shaker. Shake and fine strain into a coupette and top with Champagne.

A mint leaf garnish is the finishing touch that adds even more seasonal flare.


Be merry and bright with an Ocho Negroni

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What's your drink of choice? A rum negroni? With BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho in it? By carefully balancing dark cacao with Mediterranean orange, this rich rum Negroni is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

And don't shy away just because you're not a fan of a classic Negroni — the sweeter notes in the Ocho help balance out any bitterness here.

Add one ounce of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, one ounce of Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino and one ounce of Martini Bitter Liqueur to a mixing glass with ice.

Stir (don't shake) until chilled and strain into a rocks (or lowball) glass with a block of ice. Top with a spiral of orange zest to really impress your crew.


Get cosy and classy with an Ocho Old Fashioned

Courtesy of BACARDÍ

Make every sip extra luxurious for your party-goers. This recipe uses a Caribbean touch to upgrade a traditional Old Fashioned to a bold but approachable experience. The iconic cocktail is simple and timeless.

Bust out a rocks glass and pour in two ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho along with two dashes of Angostura bitters and ¼ ounce of simple syrup. Fill with ice, stir until mixed and very cold, then garnish with an orange peel twist.


Stay up late with an After Ocho

Courtesy of BACARDÍ

The After Ocho is the espresso martini you've been dreaming of. It's the coolest way to keep the party going all night with some rich flavours that just scream wintertime. To really wow your friends, chill your coupe or martini glass beforehand.

Combine two ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, ¾ ounce cinnamon syrup and 2 ½ ounces of any cold brew in a cocktail shaker.

Fill with ice and shake it up, then strain it into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon (extra points if you can make it into a cool design). Feel free to play around with other flavoured sweeteners too, like peppermint, salted caramel or hazelnut.


Get out of the snow with a Tropical Treacle

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Escape from the winter wonderland outside with this tropical twist on a classic 90s cocktail. The oaky flavour of the Ocho balances the sweetness of pineapple juice — so you get a drink that's super sippable.

It's the coolest way to relax during the busy season.

Add two ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, two dashes of orange bitters, ¼ ounce of simple syrup and ice to a rocks glass. Stir until chilled and mixed through, then pour ½ ounce of pineapple juice in and gently stir.

Top with ice cubes and orange zest for an extra punch of paradise.

Want to experiment? Try this with the limited-edition Reserva Ocho Rye Cask Finish for a smoky, caramelised base flavour profile.

Elevate some eggnog with Ocho

Corinna Gissemann | Dreamstime

This cocktail is creamy, comforting and thanks to the Ocho, extra rich with holiday spice. You can get creative and customise the recipe too. Choose to use vegan eggnog, offer up various garnishes like star anise or mint, and even add a caramel rim.

Just don't forget the whipped cream!

Fill a highball glass with three ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, eight ounces of any store-bought eggnog (or make it from scratch if you want to be fancy) and two teaspoons of cinnamon. Stir to combine.

Pop in a stick of cinnamon for some extra pizazz.


Book a getaway at Hotel Nacional

Courtesy of BACARDÍ

Cap off the evening with a fruity yet festive creation that celebrates Havana culture and the spirit of the holidays. Caribbean flavours of pineapple, lime and apricot compliment the Ocho's velvety flavours of oak and banana leaf.

Inspired by Cuba's golden age of cocktails, this might be the cocktail your friends request you make every year.

You'll need two ounces of BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, one ounce of pineapple juice, ½ ounce of lime juice, ½ ounce of simple syrup and ¼ ounce of apricot liqueur. Add it all to a cocktail shaker, shake and fine strain into a coupette.


It's the little touches that turn a typical holiday hangout into an unforgettable seasonal soiree. Crafting a handmade cocktail with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho is just one of those thoughtful things your friends won't forget.

BACARDÍ has delivered 160 years of excellence, and this family secret is now yours to enjoy in any cocktail. With so many recipes to experiment with, get your own creative genius going in the kitchen.

Try transforming any traditional cocktail into a drink personalised for each one of your guests — you might be surprised by how easy it is to elevate every party moment.

And maybe send your guests away with their own bottle of this year's cask finish series, the Reserva Ocho Rye Cask Finish.

To learn more about BACARDÍ, check out their website or follow them on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.

    Emily Coppella
    Staff Writer, Studio
    Emily Coppella is a Staff Writer for the Studio department focused on sponsored content and is based in Kingston, Canada.