Christmas Cocktails

‘Tis the time of year that booze is hot, buttered, and plentiful. And not plentiful in the usual sense; plentiful in a socially acceptable sense. And since we’re sick of eggnog already, here are two ciders, one punch, one hot buttered rum, and one plain ol’ but nevertheless delicious cocktail. Enjoy.

Crabbie’s Spiced Ginger Cider

Created by Frankie Solarik, Barchef

8 oz. vanilla infused brandy
2 oz. raisin bitters
3 oz. cinnamon syrup
8 oz. 100% pure (non-alcoholic) apple cider
4 oz. Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer (500mL)
Flamed orange zest

In a medium punch bowl, add vanilla brandy, bitters, syrup, and cider, then fill with ice cubes. Add 4 oz. of Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer, garnish with flamed orange zest.

To Make Cinnamon Syrup
In a sauce pan, add one litre of water and 500mL of sugar. Add to sticks of whole cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the mixture. Remove from the stove and strain. Let cool to room temperature, then place in a sealable container in the fridge. Will last one week.

Midori Cider

1 part Midori Melon Liqueur
2 parts (non-alcoholic) apple cider
1 wedge of lemon
Apple for garnish (optional)

Fill the glass with ice and pour in Midori. Squeeze 1 wedge of lemon and drop in the glass. Add apple cider, stir gently, and garnish with an apple slice.

Basil Hayden’s Spiced Christmas Punch

Created by Joaquín Simó (New York, NY)

1 bottle Basil Hayden’s bourbon
6 parts sweet vermouth
6 parts black tea
12 parts fresh apple juice or apple cider
8 parts fresh lemon juice
4 parts Demerara simple syrup
½ part Angostura bitters
24 parts club soda
6 ice blocks* (see recipe below)
1 cinnamon stick (for garnish)
12 apple slices (for garnish)
1 piece of nutmeg (for garnish)

Add Basil Hayden’s bourbon, sweet vermouth, black tea, apple juice, lemon juice, demerara syrup and Angostura Bitters in punch bowl and stir. Top with club soda. Carefully place the 6 pre-made ice blocks into the punch bowl and garnish with apple slices and freshly-grated cinnamon and nutmeg.

*Ice Blocks
24 parts Water
12 Apple Slices
6 Cinnamon Sticks

Prepare ice blocks by filling 6, 4-ounce square plastic containers with water, two apple slices and one cinnamon stick each, and place in the freezer.

Canadian Christmas

1 ½ oz. Iceberg vodka
½ oz. Ferrand dry curacao
½ oz. cinnamon syrup
½ oz. pomegranate juice
1 oz. lemon juice
3 oz. club soda
1 rosemary sprig

In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the soda and half of the rosemary sprig. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain the cocktail over ice in a Collins glass, top with soda, and garnish with the remaining rosemary.

Innis & Gunn Hot Buttered Rum

2 oz. Diplomatico Reserva, or other aged rum
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg
3 cloves
1 bottle Innis & Gunn Rum Finish
1 oz. lemon juice
Orange bitters
Knob unsalted butter

In a pan, heat Diplomatico Reserve maple syrup, large pinch of nutmeg, 3 cloves and Innis & Gunn. Heat gently for 15-20 minutes, without allowing to boil. Add lemon juice along with a couple of dashes orange bitters, a small knob of unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt (or more to taste). Serve immediately, we like to garnish with a fresh citrus zest, studded with cloves.

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