It’s not hard to guess that one of our favorite parts of the holiday season is the excuse to drink freakishly festive cocktails. Perhaps normally we skew towards drier, more boring grown-up quaffs. But when the holidays come around we say: bring on the candy canes and mulling spices, and jingle jangle that cocktail shaker.
Oh yes, we indulge quite a bit.
But lucky for everyone there is some sophisticated solace to be found in between. The key to cocktails that are as festively tasteful as they are tasty? Top shelf liquors, top quality ingredients and, above all, good recipes.
To get you started, we have compiled a list of our favorite holiday cocktails showcasing our most beloved holiday “spirits.”
The Great Maple Pumpkin
Topping the list because it is everyone’s favorite—combining not only our favorite bourbon, Maker’s Mark, but also one of our new favorite sweeteners: Crown Maple syrup. Family-owned, produced on a majestic wooded farm just a short drive upstate, Crown Maple is the purest maple syrup we’ve tasted and the deeply nuanced flavor is perfectly showcased when combined with Maker’s Mark. The other major factor that makes this cocktail ridiculously good is the Sugar Island Spiced Rum. Brand new to the market (as of Fall 2013) the incredibly smooth, Carribbean sugar cane flavor of this rum really makes it a stand out choice for mixing.
- 1.5 parts Sugar Island Spiced Rum
- 1 part Maker’s Mark Bourbon
- 0.5 parts Crown Maple
- 1 Egg White
- 1 parts Pedro Ximénez Sherry
- 1 Spoonful Pumpkin Puree
- 1 part Cream (or half and half)
Combine all ingredients and dry shake, add ice and shake again; strain in a lowball and garnish with dusting of pumpkin spice!
The Aperol Sunset
We love bringing a little tropical twist of fun to our holiday repetoire. We also love our latest tequila discovery: Tres Agaves. The certified organic, award-winning tequila is made in one of the oldest distilleries in Mexico and crafted by a fifth generation master distiller (and town’s former mayor). You can almost taste the sunshine in its smooth finish.
- 2 oz. Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
- 1 oz. Aperol
- 1 oz. Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar
- ¾ oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz. fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 edible flower, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the flower.
Holiday Cider & Vine
We love using Portón in this bright holiday cocktail, where the layered surprise of pisco is almost like unwrapping a present for your mouth.
- 1 part Portón
- 2 Parts Fresh Apple Cider
- ½ Part St. Germain
- Squeeze Fresh Lemon
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice; strain into a coupe and garnish with apple slice.
Apple Spiced Margarita
As it turns out, we really like tequila. Especially when it’s authentic 100% estate grown blue agave tequila handcrafted in small batches to ensure the finest quality possible. Not only does CRUZ Tequila deliver in purity, but its warm, buttery finish and silky smooth taste are just perfect for feeling cozy, making this wintery margarita seem made to order for the season.
- 2 oz. Cruz Reposado Tequila
- Splash of Peach Schnapps
- 4 oz. Apple Cider
- 1 lime squeezed
- 1-2 oz. filtered water
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a cinnamon/sugar rim.
So, what’s in a name? Yule Mule is every bit as awesome as Russian Standard Vodka is anything but standard. Classic and complex, Russian Standard Vodka’s full body, rounded mouth feel and long, savory finish make it ideal for pairing with all the festive treats on the table, as well as the warm ginger and bright cranberry juice in this cocktail.
- 2 parts Russian Standard Vodka
- 4 parts ginger beer
- ½ part cranberry juice
- ½ part lime juice
Pour vodka, ginger beer and both juices over ice in a copper Moscow Mule mug or rocks glass filled with ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with fresh cranberry and a sprig of rosemary.
Cheers to Happy Holidays from all of us at Socially Superlative!