Christmas is the time to get creative behind the bar, and our favorite bartenders have been busy coming up with some truly outstanding creations. This year, these five great holiday destinations have outdone themselves, and I’ve even convinced some of them to share their special recipes so you can make them at home.
Christmas Old Fashioned at £10, from the Montage Beverly Hills
There’s nothing like Christmas in Beverly Hills! There may not be snow, but who needs snow when you have a bartender who can create concoctions like this? Their Christmas Old Fashioned at £10 brings plenty of Christmas spirits to patrons of this fabulous speakeasy-style bar at the Montage, named the #1 hotel in Los Angeles in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The bartender shared the recipe with me, and I can’t wait to try it. Sugaring the rim with crushed peppermint candy gives it that little extra bit of Christmas!
Christmas Old Fashioned at £10
2 oz Bulleit rye
3 drops Angostura bitters
Drops mint bitters
1 sugar cube
Peppermint candy-sugared rim
The Quince That Stole Christmas, from the Copperleaf Restaurant at Cedarbrook Lodge
Who can resist this drink, with a name like that? Named after my favorite Christmastime television special, The Quince That Stole Christmas really embodies the festiveness of the season. Copperleaf’s bartender is no Grinch though, and you’ll find him to be generous with the spirits especially around Christmas. Using unique ingredients like Quince cordial, Lillet Blanc, and Treveri Brut (but alas, it does not include any “Who Booze”), this delightful drink is the perfect Christmas treat.
Spiced Apple Margarita, from the Redwood Room at San Francisco’s Clift Hotel
There is plenty of Christmas spirit in San Francisco, and the folks at the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel have it going on. Leave it to San Franciscans to really juice up a margarita just for the holiday, and their spiced apple margarita is just the thing to leave for Santa by the fireplace. The little extra splash of cinnamon makes this margarita one to remember.
Spiced Apple Margarita
Casa Amigos Reposado tequila
Organic apple juice
Honey simple syrup
Blackberry Kir Royal cocktail from the Continental Atlantic City
New Year’s Eve in Atlantic City? Sign me up and point me to the bar! Over at the Continental Atlantic City, the bartender tells me they’re planning a special Blackberry Kir Royal New Year’s Eve cocktail, just the perfect drink to sip next to the firepit.
Blackberry Kir Royal
Garnish with a floating blackberry
Santa’s Little Helper, from the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta Art Bar
Santa might need a little help on Christmas Eve, and this may be just the thing – although we hope Rudolph doesn’t get into Santa’s special drinks! If you’re in Atlanta, the Sonesta’s Art Bar is the place to be on Christmas eve. Of course, being in Atlanta, the inclusion of peach schnapps was a natural choice! And the addition of chocolate and coconut flakes on the rim makes this one really festive.
Santa’s Little Helper
1-1/2 oz vodka
½ oz peach schnapps
½ oz triple sec
2 oz cranberry juice
Shake together ingredients with ice, strain into a martini glass and rim with white chocolate and coconut flakes, and drop in a cherry.