Winter is officially and wonderfully upon us! It’s time to decorate those trees, orchestrate the caroling rehearsals, fit for obnoxiously matching pajamas, construct gingerbread condominiums, watch Charlie Brown Christmas specials for the first time this year, strategize tolerance for your loved ones and finally reopen the…
…wait, you’re telling me everyone else in the world finished this checklist by Columbus Day? Well, hums and bugs for everyone then! Let’s waste no further time and reemphasize the “bar” in “holiday bark” with these eight classic (ish) cocktails:
8. Candy Cane Mojito
Personally, peppermint is the farthest I’m willing to go before a mint leaf is then uninvitedly present in my glass. In this subcategory you can go more festive with a Chocolate Peppermint Stick variation, combining your schnapps with creme de cacao (white) OR minthe (green) like the Moulin Scrooge one may tend to be. Of course, for the dapper gentleman, simply garnish your standard iced rum-syrup-soda concoction with crushed candy cane delight.
7. Frost & Coke
Jack Frost’s middle name is Daniel because I’m the one typing, and JD boasts a Tennessee Cider in spurts throughout the later months. Stir 2 ounces of the “Winter Jack” apple whiskey with your choice between Vanilla or Cherry Coca Cola, and then proceed to have drunken nightmares about Michael Keaton.
This pairing of St. Germain liqueur and champagne previously mentioned in the December SprezzaSix indicates to your party peers how you’re already ahead of their game in prep for New Year’s. It’s soothingly fitting since society fancies commercializing and accelerating all holidays nowadays…but I’m not bitter, nor are these strawberries!
5. Hot Chocolate Rum & Raisins
The logic is infused in here somewhere, I assure you. Drown out those Christmas blues, Santa sniffles or margarine naysayers with this warm blanket of spirits. Your butter is cuddled with 2 oz. Bacardi Black or any dark rum, a stick of cinnamon, a slice of citrus…and then customize with a spoonful of Hershey’s chocolate syrup for the rebellious child terror still inside you. Then steal some of your grandfather’s gin-soaked golden raisins, because Italian relatives are legit.
4. Pastry Martinis
The boozy-cookie concept is more regularly enjoyed in shot form for a sweetly controlled portion of your Kahlua or Baileys with schnapps. Speaking once more from a biased Italian upbringing, we tend to dominate holiday dessert plates – from struffoli to those jelly thingies. Elevate the game this Christmas and make mine a cannoli martini shaken, with amaretti crumbs dusting the rim and a side of those edible doughs that were lit that one time.
3. Mulled Sangrias
The possibilities are endless, whether your fruit and wine are saturating in the fridge or heated with motherly love. Cranberry remains a popular juice flavor well after Thanksgiving in challenging apple to a duel for Malbec’s affection, along with the rest of your sugar, spice, and everything naughty-or-nice.
2. Eggnog Mudslide
The notoriously rich and thickened milk punch is a mandatory staple of the table, if just to be publicly mocked for existing before you sneak a double fist of nog and southern comfort when no one is looking and then start dancing to Mariah Carey even though someone already turned the radio off. My usual mudslide recipe – equal parts milk (in this case nog), Kahlua and coffee ice cream – is topped with crumbled Oreos and gummy candies anyway, so substitute ginger snaps and Stride sticks from your stocking.
1. SHRIMP COCKTAIL!
Yeah, we’re going to need some food to combat the Grinch’s poison these next few days. Either keep your shrimp chilled as is, opt to instead broil some flounder or Maryland crab (thank you in-laws) or boldly allow your seafood to simmer in vodka. Then spike your ketchup-horseradish sauce with irresponsibility and tell the kids to settle for crackers and ginger ale gratefully in the corner.
Remember to share with us through the comments below YOUR Christmas cocktail tips and traditions, while you safely and deservedly relish in the sustenance of this holiday season 🙂
Mike L. // The Guide