7 Cocktails for the Holiday Season

by Melissa Dowling

With the late Thanksgiving this year and Hanukkah and Christmas falling in the same week, it’s mayhem this month as people try to get ready for the holidays. Here are a few festive libations to ease the stress and start the celebrations.

Peppermint Slide

(Shown atop, serves two) 
4 oz. Dr. Peppermint schnapps
4 oz. Vodka
3 oz. Cream de cocoa
8 oz. Heavy cream

Combine ingredients in a blender with ice and blend. Pour into a 40-oz. round glass. Spread on top mint chocolate chip, add mint candy on the side and 2 pretzel sticks.

Bartender Eric Godfrey at Industry Kitchen in New York created this recipe.

Santa Claws Spritz

Santa Claws Spritz

1 oz. Aperol
½ oz. Monin coconut purée
1 pump Monin rosemary concentrated flavor
4 oz. White Claw black cherry hard seltzer

Combine ingredients in shaker in the order listed, except hard seltzer. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled serving glass. Top with hard seltzer. Garnish with coconut, Christmas tree pick, cherry, lime slice and rosemary sprig. 

Monin’s beverage innovation manager Anne Fontana created this recipe.

Partridge In A Pear Tree

Partridge In A Pear Tree

1 oz. Tequila Reposado (Altos Olmeca preferred)
½ oz. Lustau Amontillado sherry
½ oz. St. George pear brandy
½ oz. Celery root juice
½ oz. Lime juice
¼ oz. Grapefruit juice
¾ oz. Spiced simple syrup*
2 dashes Cardamom bitters (Scrappy’s Bitters preferred)

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Strain and serve in a decorative bird glass, if available, with grapefruit peel and fresh mint sprig.

*Combine 500g of hot water with 3 crushed cinnamon sticks, 1 freshly grated nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of whole black peppercorn, 3 teaspoons of crushed allspice berries, and 1 star anise, to medium heat for 15 minutes. Then add 500g white granulated sugar. Let sit and cool for 2 hours, and strain spices.

Sunday Hospitality’s bar director Brian Evans created this recipe for the bar pop-up SNOWday In Brooklyn.



1 oz. Green creme de menthe
1 oz. Creme de cacao
1 oz. Cream
Candy cane

Combine creme de menthe, creme de cacao and cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Christine Tripi, co-owner of the Grinchy Tavern pop-up bar in New York, created this recipe.

Gift Giver

Gift Giver

2 oz. Monkey 47 Gin
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. Cranberry syrup*
Pear cider

Add gin, lemon and cranberry syrup to a shaker, add ice and shake or 5-7 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into the glass of your choice and top with a dry styled hard pear cider of any brand. Garnish with slices of pear and a lemon wheel or a fresh citrus twist.

*For Cranberry Syrup
Combine 1 cup of room-temperature unsweetened cranberry juice (R.W. Knudsen’s Just Cranberry is great) with 1 cup white sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

The mixologists at Monkey 47 created this recipe.

Up To Snow Good

Up To Snow Good

1 ½ oz. Malahat spiced rum
1 ½ oz. House-made Julian apple cider reduction*
½ oz. Apple brandy
¼ oz. Mint simple syrup
2 dashes Black walnut bitters
1 Egg white

*For Apple cider reduction:
Slow simmer two gallons of Julian apple cider on low heat for 4 hours. After the third hour add hard cinnamon sticks, star of anise, cloves, and black peppercorns. 

Reverse dry shake all ingredients. Pour into coupe glass and garnish with Peychauds swirl, fresh cranberries and shaved nutmeg.

Corey Thomas, lead bartender at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant in San Diego created this recipe.



1 ½ oz. Ketel One Vodka
¾ oz. Lime
½ oz. Cranberry Shrub
¾ oz. Rosemary
1 oz. Sparkling wine 

Add all ingredients to a mixing tin except sparkling wine. Shake and strain into a coupe glass, top with sparkling wine and garnish with a rosemary sprig. 

Travis Briere created this recipe for Bar Drake in Kimpton’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco.

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