Holiday Cheer: Creative Cocktail Recipes to Celebrate the Season

The holidays are a time for toasting, and what better way than with a festive cocktail? To draw patrons in for a pick-me-up after a busy day of shopping or a holiday get-together with old friends, offer something special with the recipes below.

Peppermint Mocha Martini
Developed by Jess Hix, director of drink development and training at Patrick Henry Creative Promotions.

¾ ounce vanilla vodka
¾ ounce dark crème de cacao
½ ounce espresso
1 ounce half and half
2 ounces mint syrup
4 ounces pasteurized egg whites

Shake vodka, crème de cacao, espresso and half and half, and strain into Martini glass. For foam: Combine ingredients in iSi canister; place lid and screw on tightly. Screw on CO2 cartridge (you should hear a hissing sound) and shake canister well. Invert the canister completely. Pour foam at the side of glass and top the Martini.

Winter Punch
Courtesy of Domaine de Canton
Serves approx. 17-20 drinks

1 750 ml bottle of Domaine de Canton
5 ½ ounces pear puree (suggested: The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley)
Juice of 4-5 lemons (about 8 ½ tablespoons)
1 L bottle of club soda
3-4 Bartlett pears, sliced
Seeds from one pomegranate
In a large punch bowl filled with ice, combine the bottle of Domaine de Canton, pear puree and lemon juice and stir together until well mixed, making sure the pear and lemon has dissolved into the liqueur. Add ¾ of the bottle of club soda (you may want slightly more or less, according to taste), then add the sliced pear and sprinkle a handful of pomegranate seeds and stir well. Serve in stemmed wine glasses and garnish with some pear and pomegranate seeds.

Kahlúa Cognaccino
Courtesy of DISCUS.
¾ ounce Kahlúa Coffee Cream
½ ounce amaretto
¾ ounce Martell VS Cognac

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a flute dusted with nutmeg.

Velvet Stocking
Provided by Bombay Sapphire.

Velvet Stocking Cocktail by Bombay Sapphire

1 part Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ part Velvet Falernum Liqueur
1 ½ parts blood orange juice
¼ part lemon juice
Lemon peel, for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Jolly Tini Recipe
On the menu at Seattle’s Tini Bigs.

4 ounces Finlandia Vodka infused with apple-flavored Jolly Ranchers*
¾ ounce fresh sweet-and-sour mix
1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add infused vodka and sweet-and-sour mix. Stir vigorously and strain into a large Martini glass.

*To infuse vodka, place 18 Jolly Ranchers in a 750 ml bottle of vodka. Let stand until the candies dissolve, about 24 hours, rotating the bottle two to three times.

The Cold Comfort
Courtesy of LOFT Organic Liqueurs.

1 ½ ounces LOFT Spicy Ginger Cello
1 ounce spiced rum
2 ounces milk or half & half
Cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or simply place ingredients with ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with a little cinnamon or grated nutmeg.

Hot Brandy Flip
Courtesy of Korbel.
(makes six servings)

12 ounces Korbel California Brandy
6 medium eggs (whole)
6 tsp. powdered (aka confectioners) sugar
Grated nutmeg

Mix all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender and pour into a saucepan. Heat gently on the stove. Pour into warm Irish coffee glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Peppermint Patty Martini
Courtesy of Za Za Restaurant in Boston.

1 ounce Peppermint Schnapps
1 ounce Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
2 ounces light cream
1 Peppermint Hershey Kiss or Mini Candy Cane

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until the shaker is frosted. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a mint Hershey Kiss or a mini candy cane. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy your Peppermint Patty Martini.

Champagne Holiday Punch
Created by Erick Castro, The Rickhouse, San Francisco.

1 ½ cup Bols Genever
½ cup orange curacao
¾ cup lemon
½ cup simple syrup
½ cup Champagne
10 dashes Fee Brothers Old-Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
8 ounces sparkling water
Fresh grated nutmeg

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl and garnish with pineapple and star anise.

Courtesy of DISCUS.
¾ ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce cranberry juice
2 ½ ounces Piper-Heidsieck Champagne

Pour cranberry and Cointreau into Champagne flute. Fill with Champagne and garnish with a holly leaf.

The Nutcracker Sweet
Provided by the National Peanut Board.

Nutcracker Sweet cocktail1 ½ ounces peanut-infused rum*
½ ounce crème de cacao

Pour ingredients into a chilled tumbler; add ice, stir and strain into a chilled coupe. Whip some heavy cream using a vigorous 10-second shake and add a thin layer on top of the cocktail.

*The rum infusion: In a sealable jar, cover 1 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts with 12 ounces of dark aged rum (best to use Dominican or Puerto Rican rum). Leave the mixture in a cool, dark place for four days. Strain out the peanuts and place into the fridge for another day; strain the liquid through cheesecloth.

Corzo Holly
Courtesy of Corzo Tequila.

Corzo Holly Cocktail

1½ parts Corzo Reposado
¾ part fresh lime juice
1 part simple syrup
3 fresh strawberries, quartered
3 fresh basil leaves
1/8 part balsamic vinegar (optional but highly recommended)

Muddle all ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a strawberry slice.

Chocolate Cherry
Courtesy of DISCUS.
1 ounce Effen Black Cherry vodka
½ ounce DeKuyper Crème de Cacao White liqueur
1 ounce cream

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass that has been drizzled with chocolate. Garnish with a cherry if desired.

Bacardi Mistletoe
Courtesy of Bacardi.

Mistletoe Cocktail2 parts Bacardi Superior
½ part green chartreuse
¾ part lime juice
1 part honey syrup
3 rosemary sprigs

In a mixing glass, muddle 2 rosemary sprigs with the honey syrup. Add the remaining ingredients: Bacardi Superior, green chartreuse, lime juice and ice. Shake and strain contents into chilled Martini glass and garnish with remaining rosemary sprig.

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