Originally published in the December 2019 Issue of Local Profile under the title “Cheers!”
Cheers! Here are our local chefs recommending favorite holiday drinks, both where you can get them and how you can make them.
Cinnamon Fig Sidecar, Silver Fox
Few cocktails are more classic than a Sidecar’s unique blend of cognac and orange liqueur, served straight up in a coup glass. But Silver Fox’s simple addition of a pinch of cinnamon and a single Black Mission fig turns an old standby into a holiday necessity.
1 Black Mission Fig
½ ounces fresh sour mix
Pinch of ground cinnamon
½ ounces Grand Marnier
1 ½ ounces Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
Dice all but one slice of fig (to be saved for garnish) and muddle with fresh sour. Add all other ingredients and shake. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh fig wheel.
Warm Pumpkin Ponche, Stephen Pyles’ Flora Street Cafe
“This drink is a Mexican-inspired cross between a hot buttered rum and a traditional Christmas spiced “ponche.” The star is Charanda, which is a sweet cousin to rum and when mixed with the acidity of the tamarind spiced ponche, you get the perfect backbone for this warm and elegant holiday treat that’s not too sweet and tastes like all your favorite holiday memories.” -Adam Mitchell
1 ounce Charanda Blanco
½ ounce Ponche de Tamarindo
1/2 ounce Clove Syrup
1 – 2 teaspoons pumpkin butter
2 – 3 ounces hot water
Stir to fully melt and incorporate the butter. Top with cinnamon whipped cream and add a cinnamon stick for garnish.
Pumpkin Spice Manhattan, Haywire
The Pumpkin Spice Manhattan’s spicy warmth, nutty aroma, and subtly sweet finish are a perfect addition to any holiday drink menu. One sip and you’ll want to curl up to a roaring fireplace with your favorite dog, smoking a freshly rolled cigar while listening to your favorite Christmas album.
1 ounce Maker’s Mark bourbon
1 ounce pumpkin spice liqueur
½ ounce hazelnut schnapps
½ ounce simple syrup
Cinnamon sugar (for rim)
Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass with a cinnamon sugar rim.
Dee’s White Chocolate Martini, Dee Lincoln Prime
Dee’s White Chocolate Martini is nothing short of a winter wonderland in a glass. This creamy martini packs a delightful punch of peppermint thanks to the Peppermint Schnapps. It’ll reminds you of Christmas candy, like Brach’s peppermint taffy nougats, only an infinitely tastier adult version.
2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce white chocolate liqueur
1⁄2 ounce milk chocolate liqueur
1⁄2 ounce Irish Cream
½ ounce peppermint schnapps
Garnish: Crushed Candy Cane (to rim the Martini Glass) and Mini Candy Cane
Pour all ingredients into a shaker tin filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a crushed candy cane rimmed martini glass. Garnish with mini candy cane.
Bulleit Rye Smash, III FORKS
We never get a white Christmas in Texas. In case of warm holiday weather, cool down with this simple, classic whiskey cocktail, particularly when it’s built on a uniquely complex and spiced rye like Bulleit. Garnished with a sprig of mint, it makes any evening feel special.
1½ ounces Bulleit Rye
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce water
3 lemon wedges
4 mint leaves
In a lowball glass, muddle the lemon, mint, and simple syrup. Add ice, whiskey and water. Stir. Garnish with mint sprig.
Grey Goose Apple Cider Mule, Craftway Kitchens
Adding egg whites to a cocktail is a classic way to achieve a light and foamy top. In this case, it’s a perfect vehicle for that final sprinkle of cinnamon, ensuring every sip to be a creamy, apple cinnamon-filled delight. The added ginger beer gives a nice kick that balances this sweet and tangy cocktail.
2 ounces Grey Goose
2 ounces apple cider
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce egg white
2 ounces ginger beer
Pour all ingredients (except ginger beer) into a shaker with no ice. Tightly seal it and “dry shake” with great force for about 30 seconds. Open, add ice, reseal, and shake briefly to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the ginger beer.
Sidecar to Tangier, Zaytinya
If you’re mourning the closure of Zaytinya the way we are, then say goodbye with a homemade version of their Sidecar to Tangier.
The holiday season and Mediterrannean cuisine share a common bond. Spice. That’s why this earthy cocktail fits right in with its bold flavors and heady aromas. The addition of saffron makes for a unique color and flavor that’s sure to incite intrigue into any who partakes in this exotic elixir.
The hardest part is making your own Tangier 23 infused Metaxa. But the work is worth it.
1 ½ ounces tangier 23 infused Metaxa (Make this yourself by combining 20 grams of La Boite’s Tangier #23 spice blend with 750 milliliters of Metaxa five-year-old Greek brandy, letting it steep for 18 hours, then fine straining it through two coffee filters, before combining it an additional one and a half liters of brandy.)
½ ounces Combier orange liqueur
½ ounces honey syrup (For the honey syrup — combine 3 parts clove or rosemary honey with 1 part warm water)
¾ ounces lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass.
For Garnish: Carefully, add a tiny pinch of saffron (4-5 stigmas). Be careful not to go heavier on saffron, as it is extremely powerful— and costly. Another option would be to use safflower instead.