'Tis the Season

The holiday season will soon be upon us, as will the frigid weather in some locales. It’s the time of year when patrons will enter your bar, some decked out in winter coats and red cheeks looking for a quick warm-me-up, while others come in simply looking for something seasonally inspired to warm their spirits. Turn up the heat with winterized variations on their favorite cocktails.

Holiday Rumba
On the menu at Glass Cactus Nightclub, part of the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.
2 ounces Bacardi Rum
1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce Coco Real Cream of Coconut
¼ ounce Monin Lavender Syrup

Combine liquid ingredients into a Martini glass; garnish with cinnamon.

Drink Recipe - Bombay Sapphire Winter FlowerBombay Sapphire Winter Flower
Courtesy of Bombay Sapphire.
¾ part Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
2-3 parts Champagne
Wild hibiscus syrup
Wild hibiscus flower (for garnish)

Shake the first four ingredients with ice and strain into a Champagne flute. Drizzle with wild hibiscus syrup, garnish with an edible wild hibiscus flower and top with chilled Champagne.

Thanksgiving Toast
Courtesy of TY KU.
2 ounces TY KU Sake
½ ounce canned cranberry sauce
1 ounce ginger ale
3 roasted walnut halves
Sprig of rosemary

Shake sake, cranberry sauce and ginger ale vigorously with ice and strain into a Martini glass. Add a float of ginger ale after straining, and then garnish with 3 roasted walnut halves and speared cranberries on a sprig of rosemary.

Under the Mistletoe
Courtesy of VeeV Açaí Spirit. 
2 ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit
White cranberry juice
Mint and 2 frozen cranberries, for garnish

Pour VeeV Açaí Spirit in a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with white cranberry juice, and garnish with mint and 2 frozen cranberries.

Holiday Drink Recipes - Under the Mistletoe

Tullamore Toddy
Courtesy of Tullamore Dew.
1 ½ ounces Toddy mix*
1 ½ ounces Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Lemon peel (flamed, if desired)
Cinnamon stick

Combine Toddy mix with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Garnish with a lemon peel and a cinnamon stick.

*Toddy Mix
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
3 pieces cardamom
2 pieces anise
1 tablespoon allspice
1 very small vanilla stick (or half a large one)

Heat brown sugar and water to a simmer and add spices. When adding vanilla pod, cut down the middle and scrape the insides into the pot.

Kahlúa Cognaccino
Courtesy of Kahlúa.
1 part Kahlúa Coffee Cream
½ part amaretto
1 part Martell VS Cognac
Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a flute
dusted with nutmeg.

Heated Affair
Created by Jacques Bezuidenhout, master mixologist at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and served at San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
2 ounces Partida Anejo Tequila
6 ounces hot spiced apple cider*
Heavy cream

In a small warm wine glass, combine Partida Anejo Tequila with hot apple cider. Float heavy cream and finish the drink with freshly grated nutmeg atop the heavy cream.

*Apple cider: In a pot, add organic apple juice and a selection of your favorite winter spices such as cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice and orange peel to find the right flavor for your spiced cider. Simmer liquid for 15 minutes and taste for flavor, adjusting spice as needed. Strain liquid to remove spices and orange peel. Serve warm and enjoy.

Corzo Holiday Cider
Courtesy of Corzo.
1 ½ parts Corzo Silver Infusion
1 part apple juice
¾ part simple syrup
Apple slice (for garnish)

Shake all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
Holiday Drink Recipes - Corzo Holiday Cider

Bacardi Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Bacardi.
2 parts Bacardi Gold
2 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
1 ½ parts chai
¼ part simple syrup
Graham cracker rim (for garnish)

Shake all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled Martini glass rimmed in graham cracker.

Winter Spiced Gingerbread Martini
Courtesy of Monin.
½ ounce Monin Gingerbread Syrup
1 ½ ounces vodka
½ ounce white crème de cocoa
Brown sugar

Fill a shaker with ice. Add vodka, white crème de cocoa and syrup. Shake well and strain into a chilled brown-sugar-rimmed Martini glass. For a creamier drink, add a splash of Baileys or half-and-half.

Winter Holiday Greenhouse Sangria RecipeWinter Holiday Greenhouse Sangria
Developed by David Greekwood, bar supervisor at Summer Winter at the Burlington (Mass.) Marriott Hotel.
Makes one pitcher.
1 apple
1 Asian pear
1 nectarine
1 cinnamon stick
1 bushel mint (chocolate, apple, spearmint and peppermint)
1 bushel lavender
1 bushel pineapple sage
¼ cup simple syrup
¼ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup Champagne
1 bottle red wine (recommended: Carchelo Tinto)
½ cup apple cider

Thinly slice all fruit. Heat lavender, mint, pineapple sage and cinnamon with wine in a saucepan for 20 minutes over a low simmer. Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher and steep for 24 hours. Double the recipe with every bottle of wine added.

Suggested Articles

New reports have an updated forecast on the total sales lost from COVID-19 and restaurants are pacing ahead of retail and beauty businesses that are c

Leaders come together to share creative strategies and tactics as the industry reopens.

We discussed how bars and restaurants can structure their menus with Allison Varone, VP of Belvedere Vodka for Moet Hennessy USA.