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Spice up Your Holidays with Winter Cocktails

I've always been a sucker for the holidays. This was always the time when I noticed how eating and drinking brought people together. Even as a child, I noticed there was something to all of this. They weren't just eating because they were hungry, and they certainly weren't drinking because they were thirsty. I knew back then the holidays were for celebrating.

Welcome back thirsty readers. It's time to take off that scarf, sit down by the fire, and sip some winter warmers, because the season is upon us. Christmas is always a time for spirit-forward cocktails filled with spice, hot toddies, and let's not forget that eggnog. I'm sure all of you have already enjoyed a few holiday themed beverages of you own (since Christmas is only a few days away). There's certainly no shortage of Christmas cocktail menus, holiday cheer, and or course the lights. This year, a holidaypop-up bar can be found in pretty much any city in America. These winter wonderlands evoke the escapist feelings of childhood Christmas combined, of course, with adult libations.

Yippie ki Yay Mother Fucker from Miracle Bar.

Yippi Ki Yay Mother Fucker from Miracle Bar (locations worldwide)

Just in case you aren't able to find a holiday bar near you, I've put together a few fun holiday cocktails you can make at home or perhaps take a few ideas to create your own. This time of year is meant to be fun and light-hearted, so as you can see, these cocktails are as playful as the season itself.

Spirit Forward

I Saw Mommy Drinking Sazeracs shaker of spirits

This large-build and boozy number is exactly what the doctor ordered for you whiskey lovers out there. Please enjoy this one in moderation though, as it packs a punch

2oz Bonded Rye Whiskey

.25oz Laphroaig 10 Year

.25oz Green Chartreuse

.25oz Don's Spices #2

.25oz Pomegranate Molasses

.25oz Peychaud's Bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled old fashioned glass.

Garnish with a clove-studded lemon peel.

Son of Santa Fred Yarm, Cocktail Virgin

With everything you'd need from a holiday whiskey drink, this spiced bourbon-based drink from bartender Fred Yarm is named after a character from East Cambridge.

1.5oz Four Roses Bourbon

1oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth

.25oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

.25oz Avèze Gentian Liqueur

Stir and strain over ice.

Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Hot Toddies

Night Hunt shaker of spirits

I made this toddy a few years ago after trying some Jagermeister and hot when I had a cold. It was awful at first, but made so much better with a little pineapple syrup (since that's pretty much all I had at the house that day). After toying around a bit, this experiment turned into a pretty fun cocktail.

1oz Plantation Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum

.75oz Jagermeister

.5oz Demerara Syrup

.75oz Pineapple Juice

1tsp 6% Citric Acid Solution

4oz Hot Water

Combine all ingredients in a heat-proof glass.

Stir and Garnish with a clove-studded Lemon peel. (again, it is Christmas after all)

Magnificent Decadence Ian Adamczyk, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.

Because who doesn't love a flaming glass filled with rum?

.75oz Landy VS Cognac

.75oz Aged Jamaican Rum

3 Tablespoons Spiced Butter Batter

5oz Hot Water

151 Proof Rum to top

Combine all ingredients in a heat proof glass and stir well.

Using a bar spoon, float .5oz 151 proof rum on top.

Set ablaze and admire.

...That Eggnog

Creme de la Creme ala Edgar shaker of spirits

This eggnog was a personal challenge, originally made for a guest who told me they didn't like scotch. I highly recommend enjoying this one with cookies.

2oz Macallan 12 Year

.5oz Creme de Cacao

.25oz Maraschino Liqueur

.75oz Don's Spices #2

1oz Heavy Cream

1 Whole Egg

Shake all ingredients with ice first.

Strain and remove ice.

Dry shake and pour into an eggnog cup.

Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Hopefully these will hold off the hunger until your holiday feast. I know I'm ready for all of the cookies in my future. Actually,I need to get out of here and fly back to Pittsburgh for Christmas! Enjoy responsibly, and until next time keep shaking.

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