Yep, it’s that time of year where our weekends (and the occasional weeknight) are filled with Holiday parties and merriment. The Christmas Spirit has hit me pretty hard this year. I’ve been watching Christmas movies and singing carols. I have my first live tree whose named Elmer. Now all I need is some snow and I’m going to be as happy as an Elf on the North Pole.
One aspect of this season in particular is that a lot of people ask for cocktail ideas or the contribution of a beverage or two for their party. Of course I’m not one to turn down either and I’m more than happy to contribute to the quality quaffing of the season.
Obviously there are several usual suspects when it comes to Holiday drinks – Hot Buttered Rum, Mulled Wine, Spiced Apple Cider, & Egg Nogg just to name a few. And while all of these are great options I wanted to add something else to the list.
This past Saturday Sylvie and I went to a Soup & Cookie holiday party at our friend Josh’s house co-hosted by his lovely gal Jenny. I was tasked with bringing Egg Nogg to the party and I was happy to oblige. My go-to Nog is the easy-as-pie recipe from Jeffrey Morganthaler. But being a Scofflaw, I couldn’t just leave it at one drink. I wanted to come up with an original cocktail that was boozy, non-too-sweet, and really made me think of Christmas. Even further, I wanted a cocktail that brought the flavors of what I feel are Victorian-esque Christmas desert flavors. So what could that be? Plums! Fruit Cake! Spices! Brandy! Oh for the love of Santa Claus, FIGGY PUDDING!!!
Now just to turn these ideas into a cocktail. Here’s what I came up with:
1.5 oz Brandy
1 oz White Port
.50 oz Bonal quinquina
.25 oz Cointreau
.25 oz Allspice Dram
.25 oz Trader Tiki’s Cinnamon Syrup
3 d Fee’s Plum Bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange peel and maraschino cherry.
Before you say anything, yes that’s lemon peel as a garnish in the picture. I didn’t have any fresh oranges on hand so I used what I had. Sue me. To me, the flavors that combine in this drink really hit all the high notes of what I was looking for. It’s boozy, that’s for sure. But you also have the spices, citrus, and a bit of a dried fruit character from the white port and the Bonal. The Plum Bitters adds another layer of fruit and helps to marry the sweetness and spiciness from all the ingredients. I definitely want to give this recipe a try with a tawny port in place of the white port. I think that will heighten the dried fruit flavors even more. If you try it, let me know the outcome.
So tell us what your favorite Christmas cocktails are! Do you have a unique recipe or an old standby? Leave us a comment and share.