Four Christmas Cocktails
Say hello to the new crop of holiday cocktails from some of the world’s best bartenders. Cheers!
The New Brandy Alexander
Recipe courtesy Gina Schauerte, bartender at Blackbird Bar, San Francisco
This modern take on the classic Brandy Alexander calls for Vecchia Romagna, an Italian brandy with luscious vanilla and baking spice flavors, but any other brandy can pinch hit. Though it’s creamy and delectable straight up, consider taking this cocktail and a handful of ice cubes for a spin in the blender to make a frozen frappe.
1½ ounces Vecchia Romagna Brandy
1½ ounces crème de cacao
½ ounce heavy cream
2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
2 dashes Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
Fresh ground nutmeg, for garnish
Traditional: Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and fine strain into a martini glass or pousse-café glass. Garnish with nutmeg.
Frozen: Add all ingredients except garnish to a blender with ice. Blend and pour into a pousse-café glass. Garnish and serve with a straw.
Recipe courtesy Bryan Dayton, beverage director/owner of OAK at Fourteenth, Boulder, CO, and Acorn, Denver
Made with fruity, full-bodied ruby Port, this citrusy sipper practically glows in the glass.
1 ounce ruby Port
¾ ounce gin
¾ ounce Pierre Ferrand dry Curaçao
½ ounce honey syrup (mix equal parts honey and hot water)
½ ounce grapefruit juice
¼ ounce lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters and twist of grapefruit peel, to garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with bitters and grapefruit peel.
Yule Tide Toddy
Recipe courtesy Jen Keyser, bartender at Midnight Cowboy, Austin, TX
There’s nothing like maple syrup and cinnamon to make this fragrant winter warmer one you won’t want to put down.
2 ounces hot water
1½ ounces Makers Mark Bourbon
½ ounce Amaro Abano
¼ ounce maple syrup
3 dashes Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters
Cinnamon stick, to garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnish in a snifter glass. Stir well, and garnish with cinnamon stick.
Spiced Sherry Cobbler
Recipe courtesy Brendan Dorr, master mixologist at B&O Brasserie, Baltimore, MD
Rich, nutty Amontillado Sherry is the perfect backdrop for this not-so-classic cobbler, which may put some in mind of festive tiki drinks.
1 lemon wedge
2 brandied cherries
1 orange slice
2 ounces Lustau Amontillado Sherry
½ ounce cinnamon-spiced syrup*
Lemon wedge (or other seasonal fruit), for garnish
Mint sprig, for garnish
Muddle the fruit except garnishes in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add Sherry, syrup and ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass. Scoop in crushed ice. Garnish with lemon wedge and mint sprig.
*Use a commercial brand (like Torani) or make your own cinnamon-spiced syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
2 whole cloves
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and dissolve sugar in water. Add the cinnamon sticks and turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, then allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the cinnamon and cloves. Pour into a container and cover tightly. Refrigerated, the syrup should keep for about two weeks.