By Aly Walansky
Your mom thinks the holiday season is all about food, and your mate sees the season brimming with gift boxes and bows. But these holiday spirits come on the rocks — shaken not stirred! Food is yummy, but fashionable drinks are both festive and merry. There’s a reason they call it a cup of cheer. While you are gearing up for kissing under the mistletoe or getting your jingle bell rock on, these holiday cocktails will keep you in the spirits, literally.
Whether you like it or not, you will most probably be pulled from the happy confines of your apartment in the coming weeks to be “sociable.” Office holiday parties, requisite family dinners, gift-obligatory dates, and parties with your buds will take over your winter months. Tip the scales in your favor by maintaining your holiday buzz. (Responsibly, of course. Nothing says depressing like being the smelly drunk dude at Christmas dinner.)
If you are headed to one of those “nice” parties (i.e.: you are not wearing sneakers) a good bottle of choice may be Dubonnet Rouge. This aperitif is the sort of thing you’d see in 007′s hand. Created from the fruity wines of Roussillon in France and Napa Valley, and its ruby red color and spicy aroma can’t help but add holiday flair to a party. And if you are uncorking at a party for two, try mixing a Dubonnet Mistletoe Kiss:
1 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
1/2 oz. Sour Apple Schnapps
1 oz. Apple Cider
1/2 oz. Sour Mix
Shake with cracked ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with a slice of apple
While a festive aperitif may warm up your holiday, if you want a nostalgically jolly twist on some traditional winter favorites, Starbucks Liqueurs and DeKuyper cordials can mate into the perfect dessert-friendly concoctions. Think along the lines of the chocolate milk of your youth, with a twist.
1 oz. Starbucks Coffee Liqueur
1 oz. Starbucks Cream Liqueur
¼ oz. DeKuyper Peppermint Schnapps
Shake and strain into martini glass. Garnish with sprig of mint.
You can’t heat up your holiday party without a Hot Toddy. There are several ways to make it, and some are more appetizing than others, but if you want to experience it at its best, go for Bulleit Bourbon. With its unique high rye recipe and distinctive character, your toddy will be the talk of the crowd.
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. honey
1/3 oz. lemon juice
3 oz. hot water
Warm the honey and lemon juice for about half a minute and then to add hot water and the bourbon. Enjoy!
Mixing dessert and your drink is always exciting, and mixing up ways to do it adds to the fun. Agavero’s Tequila is powerful blend of select 100% Blue Agave Aà±ejo and Reposado tequilas, making it ideal for everything from body shots to toasting. If you want a great spin on a traditional favorite, a holiday must-try is Mexican coffee.
1 oz. Agavero Tequila
Cup of fresh brewed coffee
Dollop of fresh cream
If you have a special moment to toast this year (um…perhaps New Years Eve rings a bell?) you may want to impress your woman (or your Aunt Sally) with your impressive wine collection. Ballatore Bubbly cocktails are made with sparkling wine, but contain a unique twist that will keep the conversion flowing long after the cork has been deployed. Try the Spiced Pear Tart-tini:
1¼ oz. pear liqueur
1 oz. pear nectar
Splash lemon juice
1 oz. Ballatore Gran Spumante
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp white sugar
To prep the martini glass, mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a plate, rub a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass and then dip it in the cinnamon-sugar mix until well coated. Thinly slice the pear and place the slice in the rimmed martini glass. In a mixing glass, combine the pear liqueur, pear nectar, brandy, and lemon juice with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepped martini glass. Top off with Ballatore Gran Spumante and serve.
Lets be real though, while wine and cocktails obviously have their place this season, we still need to be true to ourselves. And for many of us, a fruity mix in a flashy glass just ain’t going to cut it, no matter how jolly we may be feeling this time of year. We (and by we I mean those of the species blessed with chest hair and an obsession with the Playboy channel) want beer.
Black Dog Ale is an English-style amber ale that embodies the taste and smell of the season. Its distinctive aroma and color will warm you while the sweetness of the malt will help you chill out after a long frustrating day of holiday shopping – the decidedly unjolly part of holiday hoopla.
Never underestimate the power of multi-tasking. While any of these driks are great for mixing up your dates and parties, the bottles themselves make great gifts. So share the love — buy enough to go around!
Here’s a toast to a great holiday season for you and yours!
*Oh and our legal department requires us to tell you to drink in moderation, blah blah blah, pregnant women shouldn’t drink (and anyone stupid enough to drink while pregnant shouldn’t be allowed to have a kid) and don’t drink and drive-that’s what cabs are for.