Most of us are spending the holidays at home with our quarantine buddy and you may need some extra cheer, so we’re sharing some great holiday cocktail ideas from our resident mixologist, Daniel Gonzales! These beautiful and tasty beverages are sure to make your holidays bright!
“Dashing through the snow in a one–horse open sleigh” conjures up child–like excitement every time I hear Jingle Bells being hummed or sung for the first time of the holiday season. There is a smell in the air and a chill in the breeze that lets you know winter has arrived. This cocktail is served ice cold, but the warming spices and flavors come through in a soft and inviting way. Peppermint Snowflake is a great way to kick off the holidays. You can prepare the cocktails early and store them in your refrigerator, then have the whipped cream, peppermint, and chocolate at the ready to complete your beverage.
1 ounce Pyrat XO Reserve Rum
1 ounce RumChata
½ ounce Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1 ounce half and half
Vanilla whipped cream
Crushed peppermint candy
In a mixing glass, combine Pyrat Rum, RumChata, Godiva, and half and half, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, preferably decorated with red icing stripes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle crushed peppermint and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!
Crazy Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
There is no question that my favorite holiday of the year is New Year’s Eve. I love all the optimism, the smiles, and the sense of relief that everyone in the room feels that another year has passed (especially 2020!). It’s the time we make resolutions to become better versions of who we are. New Year’s Eve has a light and refreshing feeling with the cool crisp winter air that has an effervescence and if we are lucky, ends with a sweet kiss. This simple cocktail is made to reflect this sentiment. I made a couple variations to this classic cocktail to give it a little more optic appeal and textural surprise.
5 ounces Gruet Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine
1 Fee Bros. Cranberry bitter-soaked sugar cube
1 crushed watermelon hard candy
On a plate or napkin, place sugar cubes and pour a few drops of Cranberry bitters on top. (Be careful not to put too much bitters, as it can make the sugar start to dissolve.) Take a champagne flute and dip the rim of the glass in agave nectar, then dip it into your crushed candy. Fill champagne flute with Gruet, then drop in your sugar cube gently. Serve to your guests and toast to 2021!
The Honest Apple
In February 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in a part of Kentucky that was still rugged frontier. Eventually his family moved to the Knob Creek farm, where he lived until 1816. Freddy Noe, the master distiller of Jim Beam, named his favorite whiskey after this Kentucky landmark. Knob Creek is an excellent choice for a holiday cocktail because of its distinct barrel–aged flavor and smooth deep character. The Honest Apple is a “cold toddy” essentially, and if you add hot water instead of ice, you can make a hot toddy. I use a holiday spice blend in the honey to create a sensual experience that lifts this drink to a higher complexity and depth of flavor.
1 ½ ounce Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon Whiskey
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce spiced honey
To make spiced honey, take 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of water, place in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn temperature down to a simmer and add 1 sliced apple, star anise, cloves, vanilla, and a cinnamon stick. Let simmer for 30 minutes, then allow to cool. Strain your honey syrup and store for future use.
In a mixing glass, take all ingredients, shake, and strain into a coffee mug over ice, garnish with apple slices, ground cinnamon, and cloves. Sip and smile!
As you drive around New Mexico in fall, you begin to see the pomegranates turning that vibrant red color, letting you know that the jewels hidden inside the organic treasure chest are ripe and ready to consume. This refreshing fruit makes for a fantastic burst of flavor during the cooler months. The margarita is always a crowd pleaser and this version of the margarita is sure to impress your guests and drown out any holiday stress with just a couple sips of Persephone’s illicit elixir. The aroma of the lime zest gives this cocktail a subtle freshness, while adding beautiful color and visual appeal.
1 ½ ounces Patron Roca Silver tequila
½ ounce La Pinta Pomegranate liqueur
¼ ounce Palini limoncello
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce agave nectar
Lime zest (make sure you zest your limes before using them for juice)
1 spoonful pomegranate seeds
In mixing glass, combine Patron, La Pinta, Palini, lime juice, and agave nectar. Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Spoon in your pomegranate seeds, then add a nest of lime zest, and serve.
Please enjoy all these cocktails responsibly and happy holidays!
Written by Daniel Gonzales • Photography by Amanda Gonzales
Originally published in Neighbors magazine | 2019