Faith Kramer
Past President, Hadassah Oakland Ruach Chapter

Hanukkah Cocktails for Holiday Cheer

Sufganiyot Cocktail. Photo courtesy of the author.
Sufganiyot Cocktail. Photo courtesy of the author.


Chocolate egg Cream. Photo courtesy of the author.
Chocolate Gelt. Photo courtesy of the author.
Faith Kramer’s Cookbook 52 Shabbat Dinners. Artwork courtesy of the author.

Add some adult liquid delights to the Festival of Lights with these four Hanukkah cocktails (plus a mocktail). The recipes were created for an adults-only Hanukkah party for my local Hadassah chapter, Oakland Ruach, California a few years ago and remain seasonal favorites.

Toast the holiday with the Hanukkah Gift (featuring chocolate-orange liquor and a piece of chocolate), the Chocolate Gelt, with its cocoa powder rim and flecks of golden schnapps, the Chocolate Egg Cream Shot, a miniature, alcoholic version of that old-time drink, and my take on a liquid jelly donut – the Sufganiyot with a powdered sugar rim, vanilla and citron vodkas, and a splash of kosher blackberry wine. For a zero-proof drink, try the non-alcoholic version of the Sufganiyot.

At our holiday party, we served mini versions of the alcoholic beverages so attendees could try more than one. We used pretty, stemmed liqueur glasses but shot glasses work well, too.

Chocolate Gelt
Serves 1 (or 3-4 mini cocktails)

Cocoa powder for garnish, optional
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) clear chocolate vodka
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) gold-flecked cinnamon schnapps (such as Goldschläger)

If desired, moisten rim of martini or cocktail glass with water and dip into cocoa powder. Put ice in cocktail shaker, add chocolate vodka. Shake well, strain into martini or cocktails glass. Add schnapps, gently stir.

Makes 1 (or 3-4 mini cocktails)

Lemon Wedge
Powdered Sugar
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) vanilla-flavored vodka
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) citron or citrus-flavored vodka
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) kosher sweetened blackberry wine (such as Manischewitz)

Rub lemon wedge around edge of martini or cocktail glass. Dip into powdered sugar. Add ice, vanilla vodka, citron vodka and blackberry wine to a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into prepared glass.

Chocolate Egg Cream Shot
Makes 1

1⁄2 oz. (1 Tbs.) cream (cold)
1⁄2 oz. (1 Tbs.) seltzer (cold)
1⁄4 oz. (1⁄2 Tbs.) chocolate or flavored chocolate liqueur

Pour cream in a shot or liqueur glass. Add seltzer. Gently stir. Slowly pour chocolate liqueur in the center of drink. Do not mix. Serve immediately.

Hanukkah Gift
Makes 1 (or 2-3 mini cocktails)

3 oz. (6 Tbs.) chocolate vodka
1⁄2 oz. (1 Tbs.) chocolate-orange flavored liqueur (such as Sabra)
1 small chocolate gelt coin, chocolate kiss, or chocolate baton

Add ice, vodka, and liqueur in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into martini or cocktail glass. Drop unwrapped chocolate candy into drink or garnish glass rim with it.

Sufganiyot Mocktail
Makes 1

Use half lemon-lime soda and half plain seltzer for a less sweet version or skip the lemon-lime soda and try with 4 oz. of lemon-flavored seltzer.

Lemon wedge
Powdered sugar
1 tsp. raspberry flavored Italian-style soda syrup
1/2 Tbs. vanilla flavored Italian-style soda syrup
4 oz. lemon-lime soda, chilled

Moisten rim of champagne flute with lemon. Dip into powdered sugar.  Add raspberry and vanilla syrups.  Carefully pour in soda.  Stir gently.

So light the candles, spin the dreidel, and (responsibly) imbibe these themed cocktails this Hanukkah. They may become just as much of your holiday traditions as latkes, sufganiyot and other Hanukkah foods.

Happy Hanukkah!

Faith Kramer is the author of the cookbook 52 Shabbat Dinners.  For more information, please visit






About the Author
Faith Kramer, a former president and current board member of the Hadassah Oakland Ruach Chapter, is a member of the Hadassah Writers' Circle. The California-based food writer is the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” (The Collective Book Studio). She writes a twice-a-month recipe column for the J, Northern California’s Jewish News Source. See more about her cookbook, other writing, and recipes at She can be reached at
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