Food & Drink

The 10 Best Christmas Drinking Movies

The holidays are a time for whipping up a big batch hot cocoa, snuggling up with the family up on the couch, and putting on a movie so you don’t have to actually talk to each other. While great Christmas movies abound, there are a few out there that are particularly suited for those of us who drink our hot cocoa spiked. Here, the Christmas movies to drink your way through.

Bad Santa

Perusing the Christmas movie shelf (or Netflix queue), the first movie to scream, “Let’s drink some whiskey!” is Bad Santa —then it shouts a bunch of profanities and passes out. Billy Bob Thornton as a debauched drunken mall Santa is as fantastic as it sounds. It’s a boozy Christmas classic.

It’s a Wonderful Life

When Clarence first sidles up to the bar at Nick’s Place, he has trouble deciding between Flaming Rum Punch and Mulled Wine (“heavy on the cinnamon, light on the clove”). We’ve all be there. There are many, many amazing seasonal holiday beverages and only a couple of months in which to drink them. How can one possibly choose? While Nick gets a little gruff with him, saying the bar “doesn’t need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere,” we’d gladly share a drink with our favorite tippling angel.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Griswold holiday celebration may go awry when cousin Eddie and the gang show up, but at least Clark has his Eggnog. There’s nothing like drinking Christmas cheer out of reindeer-head mugs, which make for the “hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye.”

White Christmas

Speaking of Bing and Danny, while their characters may not slurp any Eggnog in White Christmas, the drink does appear in its white frothy glory in a scene in the bar car on their train to Vermont. Though buttermilk is the drink of choice for many of the movie’s characters, we prefer to watch with something suitably retro in hand, like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. You’ll be crooning like Crosby in no time.


It’s hard to go wrong with Bill Murray when it comes to holiday drinking entertainment. While his Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas, takes place in an actual bar (Bemelmans), we think his greatest moment in Christmas mixology session can be found in Scrooged, when he whips up a new classic yuletide cocktail: Stoli and Tab.

Harold and Kumar Christmas

Harold and Kumar may smoke more than they drink in the stoner comedy series, but that doesn’t mean their Christmas special goes without a holiday tipple. Between hanging with their pal Wafflebot and shooting down Santa, the heroes find time to win an epic game of beer pong, earning the perfect Christmas tree in the process.

Trading Places

Long before Billy Bob donned the boozed-soaked big red suit, Dan Aykroyd drunkenly stumbled the streets of Philly dressed as Santa, eating entire sides of smoked salmon. There’s two ways to drink along with this movie: Champagne poured into a flute, or whiskey straight out of a brown-bagged bottle.

Love Actually

While this cheesy series of interwoven Hallmark-worthy Christmas moments may not immediately seem particularly boozy, one scene was (secretly) made great by a nip of vodka. Hugh Grant recently revealed he couldn’t perform his famous dance scene in the film without getting a bit tipsy first, proving once again the magical, rhythmic powers of booze.


We remembered Gremlins as a PG-rated kids movie, but during a recent screening, we were reminded why the movie is responsible for the invention of the PG-13 rating. In an indulgently lengthy scene, Phoebe Cates attempts to bartend for a rowdy crowd of gremlins, as they tear apart a bar, slam drinks, swing from the ceiling fan, smoke up a storm and generally blow things up. These pitch black cocktails will tap into your rowdy gremlin side, while these low ABV drinks will help you maintain a more Mogwai-esque composure.


Buddy the elf may never have tried “syrup in coffee” before arriving in New York, but spiked coffee is one of our favorite warming holiday drinks. Whip up an Irish Coffee  to drink during a screening or swap out the Mint Julep’s usual sugar for maple syrup to create a tickle-fight-worthy drink Buddy would certainly love.