At-home entertainers, take note: Sure, you could set out a couple of bottles of wine or champagne at your holiday soiree, but if you really want to put your guests in a festive mood, spice things up — literally — with a big-batch cocktail that features a little kick. With hints of seasonal favorites like cinnamon, clove, and cocoa, these drinks please palates — and look good doing it.
Mamma I’m Coming Home
312 Chicago (Chicago), Head Bartender Jennifer Knott
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 ½ cups Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky
- ¾ cup Fonesca Bin 27 Port
- ¾ cup honey syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 7 cloves
- Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and let mull for an hour.
- Double-strain the cinnamon sticks and cloves from the hot cider.
- Pour into an Irish coffee mug and garnish with a soft caramel candy.
- Note: For an extra-special cocktail (and if you’re thinking ahead), make it with pecan-infused Scotch. To do so, place 16 ounces of raw pecans on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven set at 200 degrees and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool. Pour pecans and 1 liter of Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky into a large airtight container and let sit and infuse for a week. Strain after a week.
Tulio (Seattle), Lead Bartender Matt Slocum
- 1 bottle Campari
- 1 bottle sweet vermouth (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino preferred)
- 2 bottles prosecco
- 1 bottle Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
- Pre-mix the Campari and sweet vermouth.
- Pour 2 ounces of the pre-mix over into a rocks glass over ice and stir.
- Top with 1 ounce of prosecco.
- Garnish with orange peel and add one or two drops of the mole bitters.
Dirty Habit (Washington, D.C.), Head Bartender Sarah Ruiz
- 12 oz. slivovitz
- 9 oz. Singani
- 9 oz. spiced grenadine
- 6 oz. lemon juice
- 16 dashes Chinese five-spice bitters
- Combine the slivovitz and Singani into a bottle and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve the punch, add the spiced grenadine, lemon, and Chinese five-spice bitters to the punch bowl with the batched alcohols and stir over ice.
- Add as much ice as desired and garnish with star anise, bay laurel, plum blossoms, shaved cinnamon, and edible flowers.