Christmas Cocktails 2017

Christmas Cocktails 2017

Who doesn’t love a holiday cocktail? Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another cultural holiday, these cocktails are sure to please you and any guests. We’ve also included an easy appetizer which pairs nicely with beer, plus a holiday cake recipe. Imbibe and enjoy!

White Christmas Mojito
courtesy of

juice of 1 lime
8 mint leaves
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. white rum
1 Tbsp. coconut rum
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
sparkling water for topping
fresh pomegranate arils for garnish

Muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves in a heavy glass until the leaves have broken down. Fill the glass half way with ice. Next combine the white rum, coconut rum, and coconut milk in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour over the ice and stir to combine. Top with sparkling water, mint leaves and pomegranate.

Santa’s Hat Christmas Cocktail
courtesy of
2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. water
3 Tbsp. shredded sweetened coconut
6 oz. cranberry juice
2 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. grenadine* (Note: you can also used maraschino cherry juice or Pama Pomegranate Liqueur.)
peppermint sticks or candy canes for garnish (optional)

First prepare the glass rims. Place coconut on a small plate and confectioners sugar on a separate small plate. Add water to the sugar and mix with a fork until well combined with no lumps. Dip the rim of one martini glass in the sugar mixture, ensuring that the entire rim gets well coated. Immediately dip sugared rim in coconut.

Next prepare the cocktail. Fill a cocktail shaker 3/4 full with ice. Add cranberry juice, coconut rum, and grenadine; shake for about 10 seconds until chilled and well mixed. Strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish each cocktail with a peppermint stick or candy cane, if desired.

The cocktail mixture can be prepared in larger batches in advance and chilled in the refrigerator until serving time for up to 2 or 3 days. Be aware that the peppermint stick/candy cane garnish will melt into the cocktail and change the taste. If you’re not a peppermint fan, just leave off the garnish.

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays
created by Pete Canny, The Wayland and The Lost Lady
2 oz. Patrón Silver tequila
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. allspice syrup
1/2 oz. Cocchi Americano
1 egg white
silver luster dust

Add Patrón, lemon juice, allspice syrup, and Cocchi Americano to shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a glass mug over ice. In separate shaker, dry shake egg white. Add Silver Luster Dust to mug and stir. Top with egg white foam, and garnish with a miniature gingerbread house (available from Williams Sonoma online).

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Gingerbread Shake
1 oz. Baileys Pumpkin Spice
1/2 oz. Irish whiskey
1 tsp. dried ground ginger
3 scoops coffee ice cream
whipped cream
maple syrup

Combine Baileys Pumpkin Spice, Irish whiskey, coffee ice cream, and ginger in a blender. Blend thoroughly. Then pour contents into a mason jar. Garnish with whipped cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, and garnish with a gingerbread cookie.

White and Stormy
1 1/2 parts Amarula Cream Liqueur
1 slice plus fresh grated ginger
a dollop of honey
1/2 part bourbon
1 1/4 part half cream a half milk

Dry shake and fine strain all ingredients over fresh ice in a short glass. Garnish with the piece of sliced ginger dipped in honey.

Smoky Star
by Young Kim at the Flatiron Room
1 1/2 oz. BenRiach 10-year-old Peated Curiositas
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz. Benedictine
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise

Add all ingredients including 1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with the remaining star anise.

Punch Tagada

Punch Tagada
created by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Team
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3 parts fresh apple cider (We used Crispin Original Hard Cider.)
1 part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 part earl grey tea
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
¼ part hulled fresh strawberries (or mulled fruit)
4 star anise
4 tsp. allspice
grated nutmeg (to taste)

Steep 1 tea bag in 5 oz. of hot water for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat all of the ingredients and keep warm on a low flame. Add fresh strawberries, star anise, all spice, and grated nutmeg to taste. Allow the flavors to blend together in a large punch bowl or slow cooker. Serve hot, garnished with a strawberry or mulled fruit.

Hudson Norway Spruce
2 parts Hudson Manhattan Rye
3/4 part sweet vermouth
1/2 part Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
2 dashes aromatic bitters
orange peel
cocktail cherry

Stir liquid ingredients over ice until well-chilled, and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail coupe. Using a vegetable peeler, cut a swatch of orange zest and squeeze peel-side over drink to express oils on surface, and discard zest. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Cuppa Cheer

Cuppa Cheer
created by Pamela Wiznitzer of Seamstress NYC
1 oz. Kerrygold Irish Cream
1 oz. Brancamenta
1 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
1 sprig of fresh mint

Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Dry shake well and pour over crushed ice in a champagne flute. Garnish with a sprig of mint before serving.

1 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1/2 oz. Amontillado sherry
1 oz. organic pear juice
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. orgeat syrup

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake. Strain over cubed ice into a rocks glass. If you cannot fine pear juice, blend 2 fresh pears in the blender and strain out the pulp. A suggested garnish is blanched or thinly sliced almonds or a lemon wheel.

Cachaca egg nog

Cachaça Egg Nog
courtesy Multnomah Whiskey Library, Portland, OR
12 eggs
1 1/3 cups super fine sugar plus 3 Tbsp. on the side
1 pint heavy cream
1 quart whole milk
1 750 ml bottle of Novo Fogo Barrel Aged Cachaça
1 tbsp real vanilla extract

Separate the egg whites from the yolks into separate large bowls. Slowly add the sugar in a fine stream to the egg yolks while whisking vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then slowly whisk in the heavy cream, whole milk, and vanilla extract to the yolk-sugar mixture. In the other bowl, add 1 Tbsp. of sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form and the egg whites take up about five times their original volume. Fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk and cream mixture. Pour the entire mixture into a large jug using a funnel, then pour in a bottle of Novo Fogo Barrel-Aged Cachaça. Screw the cap onto the jug and give it a hearty shake to combine. Refrigerate and serve with a fine dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top.

Note: if you are concerned about the raw eggs, then create a ‘cooked base’ by heating half the milk and eggs on medium while stirring constantly. Strain out any egg bits which develop and proceed with the rest of the recipe. You cannot cook the egg whites unless you skip beating them and just make the base with the whole eggs. The egg nog will taste just fine.

Holiday Tree
KANU Lounge at Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
2 oz. Tanqueray Gin
1 oz. Campari
2 oz. cranberry juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
1 egg white
apple slice

Shake all ingredients without ice. Then add ice and shake. Double strain into a coupe, then garnish with the apple slice and cinnamon.

Everything Nice

Everything Nice
1.5 oz. Mezcal Pelotón de la Muerte
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 bar spoon of allspice dram

Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass with ice and serve. You can garnish with fresh cranberries if you like.

Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios Recipe
adapted from
½ cup Balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
2 ripe pears, preferably Bosc
2 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 4 slices
4 tsp. chopped pistachios, toasted if you like

Roasted Pears

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar-size) metal baking pan with cooking spray. Cut pears in half lengthwise, hollow out the core and slice a small piece off the other side so they will lie flat when served. Placed cored side down in the prepared pan. Bake the pears for 30 minutes.

While pears are baking, create the balsamic glaze by adding the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until it begins to boil. Lower the heat to low. Continue to stir often. Simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. You can make this ahead of time and pour into a jar with a lid; store in refrigerator.

After the pears have baked for a half hour, gently turn them over, baste with the balsamic glaze and place a piece of Brie in the hollow of each pear. Bake until the pears are tender and the Brie is slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle each pear half with 1 tsp. pistachios and drizzle a bit more balsamic glaze before serving.

These pears are an excellent pairing with a sour beer. We used a pomegranate Belgian style ale.

Bundt Cake

Cider-Gingerbread Bundt Cake Recipe
courtesy of King Arthur Flour
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, 65°F to 68°F
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
5 Tbsp. boiled cider (We used Brooks Dry Cider.)
3 Tbsp. molasses
1 cup grated apple

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a small 5- to 6-cup capacity bundt pan. Combine all the spices; set aside 1 tsp. for the glaze and use the rest for the cake.

To make the cake: beat together the 4 Tbsp. of the butter, oil, ¾ cup of the sugar, spice mix, salt, baking powder, and baking soda on medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until the batter looks fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Beat in half the flour, then 3 Tbsp. of the boiled cider. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat in the remaining flour, followed by the molasses. Fold in the grated apple.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 38 to 42 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it for 5 minutes before turning it out of the pan.

To make the glaze: while the cake is still warm, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter, 2 Tbsp. of the boiled cider, 2 Tbsp. of the sugar, and spice mix together in a saucepan set over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, stirring until smooth.

Brush the glaze onto the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing. Store the cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Kim Richards lives in Santa Rosa, California. She is an author, amateur cheese maker, wine/mead maker, and a novice home brewer. She enjoys a nice cocktail while listening to live music, watching movies and mixed martial arts, or dining at home and in restaurants. She and her husband frequent festivals and love to visit breweries and distilleries.

Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned with maple syrup.

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