6 Unique Holiday Cocktails To Kick Start Your Festive Season

Food & Drink

Give your bar cart a makeover this holiday season with new ingredients, and use them to add a few new cocktails to your repertoire. Here are six ideas to wow your guests and loved ones.

Chocolate City Martinez

The Martinez is a classic cocktail that predates the martini. In this version, the richness of chocolate bitters and sweet vermouth pairs perfectly with the oak notes of the barrel rested gin, which features American Spicebush and grains of paradise in the botanical blend. The cocktail is named after Washington D.C., the home city of District Made Spirits and Vermoof.

2 oz. District Made Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin

.5 oz. Vermoof

.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino

2 dashes Fee Brothers Chocolate Bitters

Lemon peel

Stir and serve in a chilled coupe. Garnish with lemon peel.

Mexican Christmas Punch

Created by Manny Hinojosa, Tequila Cazadores Global Brand Ambassador, this warming, fruity drink is inspired in the traditional punch served in Mexico during the holidays. Piloncillo is a Mexican unrefined cane sugar, available in Latin markets.

Yields 16 drinks

1 cup The Perfect Purée Pink Guava purée, thawed

1 cup The Perfect Purée Blood Orange concentrate, thawed

1 cup dry hibiscus flowers

10 cups water

10 small piloncillo cones

2 large cinnamon sticks

1 apple, cut in slices

1 oz. Tequila Cazadores Reposado

In a medium cooking pot combine all ingredients except tequila. Boil over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve in heat proof glassware topped with tequila. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve with a teaspoon to stir and eat the caramelized fruit.

Log Cabin

Located halfway between Austin and Houston, Hotel Lulu opened a year ago in Round Top, Texas, home to the world’s largest antiques and vintage design festival. The first full-service luxury boutique hotel of its kind in downtown Round Top is home to Il Cuculo bar, from which this recipe comes.

1 oz. Texas Bourbon

1 oz. Cocchi sweet vermouth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Tree Hive Maple Syrup & Honey

2 dashes lavender bitters

1 dash cardamom bitters

Amarena cherry or cranberries for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, vermouth, lemon juice, maple syrup, lavender bitters, and cardamom bitters. Add ice and shake well until chilled. Pour over ice, garnish with an Amarena cherry or three cranberries and enjoy.

Holiday Host

This Korbel cocktal recipe was created by cocktail content creator Saeed “Hawk” House (@cocktailsbyhawk)

1.5 oz. Korbel Rosé Brut

1 oz. Korbel Brandy

.75 oz. Lemon juice

.75 oz. Cherry syrup

.5 oz. Biscotti liqueur

1 Chocolate covered dried apricot

Shake and serve in a coupe glass. Top with Korbel. Garnish with the apricot on a skewer.

Fruitcake Fizz

This cocktail created by Helen Lai, co-bar lead at Olamaie in Austin, Texas, uses Pomegranate Rambler Yaupon Energy, part of the newly released line of natural energy drinks released by the Texas-based mineral sparkling water. Yaupon is an ancient source of natural caffeine indigenous to the U.S., providing an all-natural plant-based boost.

1.5 oz. Pedro Ximenez Sherry

1 oz. Heavy whipping cream

.5 oz. Simple syrup

.75 oz. Lemon-lime juice

1 Egg white

4 dashes Angostura bitters

Pomegranate Rambler Yaupon Energy

Shake all ingredients together without ice in shaker tin for about 20 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 10 seconds. Add 2 ounces of cold Pomegranate Rambler Yaupon Energy into a chilled Collins glass. Strain the contents of the tin into the glass and slowly top off with Rambler. Top with grated cinnamon.

Cosmo Bianco Jello Salad

Serve your guests a super fun welcome drink with this recipe from Tattersall Distillery that channels the popular Jell-O salads of the 1960s and 70s.

2 cups Tattersall Cosmo Bianco

1 cup dry white sparkling wine

3 packs Knox gelatin

2 teaspoons cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, reserving ½ cup sparkling wine aside. Let mixture sit for a minute to let the gelatin bloom. Heat over medium heat, not letting it boil, and stirring constantly just until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, add reserved sparkling wine and stir.

Pour into a 3-cup Jello mold and refrigerate until set.

Optional garnish: Slice lemons and put them in the bottom of the mold, pour just enough of the gelatin mixture to cover them and refrigerate for 20 minutes, just so the lemons stay put. Pour the rest of the mixture and refrigerate until set.

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