IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Holiday cocktails with style

New-wave drinks from the nation's finest mixologists
/ Source: msnbc.com

Hazel

Lucy Brennan's Hazel is best paired with a chocolate truffle. Brennan, of 820 and Mint in Portland, Ore., suggests a milk chocolate truffle with a filling of white chocolate and lemon zest.

Ice cubes
2 oz. Cruzan vanilla rum
1 oz. Crater Lake hazelnut espresso vodka
1 espresso bean for garnish

1) Fill a 5 oz. martini glass with ice and set aside to chill.

2) Fill a tempered pint glass with ice and add the rum and vodka. Cap the pint glass with a stainless-steel cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

3) Empty the ice from the martini glass.

4) Strain the drink into the martini glass, add an espresso bean and serve immediately.

Source: "Hip Sips" (Chronicle Books, 2007)

Sweet Love

Pair the Sweet Love with a coconut and chocolate sushi with candied ginger for a memorable dessert.

1 oz. Kahlúa liqueur
1 oz. banana rum
3 oz. strong hot coffee
2 heaping tsp. vanilla whipped cream for garnish (recipe follows)
Mexican chocolate shavings for garnish

1) Pour the Kahlúa and rum into a 12-ounce heat-resistant wine glass.

2) Add the coffee, leaving 1-inch space at the top. Add the whipped cream and a generous amount of chocolate shavings.

3) Lay 2 long drinking straws across the top of the drink. Hold the hot drink by the stem of the glass when serving.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

Makes 2 cups
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 oz. (1 1/2 tsp.) Monin Vanilla Syrup

In a chilled stainless-steel bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer at high speed. As the cream begins to thicken, gradually add the vanilla syrup and beat until soft peaks form.

Source: "Hip Sips"

Absolut Mission

Pair this winter winner with a cheese plate featuring Rogue River blue cheese and honey.

Ice cubes for chilling and shaking
2 ounces Absolut Vanilla vodka
1/2 oz. ruby port
2 tbsp. fig purée
1/2 oz. fresh lemon and lime juice (half lemon, half lime)
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 edible flower or 1 sliced fig for garnish

1) Fill a 5-oz. martini glass with ice and set aside to chill.

2) Fill a tempered pint glass with ice and add the vodka, port, fig purée, lemon-lime juice and simple syrup. Cap the glass with a stainless-steel shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

3) Empty the ice from the chilled martini glass. Strain the drink into the martini glass and garnish with a flower or sliced fig. Serve immediately.

Source: "Hip Sips"

Cider Car

This is Todd Thrasher's take on the classic Sidecar cocktail, served warm. Thrasher, of Eve Restaurant in Alexandria, Va., makes his own cider using apples and pears from the kitchen at Eve.

Cinnamon sugar
1 ounce Busnel Calvados
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Hot apple cider

1) Rim a martini glass with cinnamon-sugar. Pour the Calvados and Cointreau into the glass.

2) Fill with hot apple cider. Serve immediately.

Source: Todd Thrasher, Eve Restaurant

Bubbling Scarlet

4 oz. demi-sec sparkling wine
Pomegranate-vodka mixture (recipe follows)
3 pomegranate seeds for garnish

1) Pour the sparkling wine into a champagne flute.

2) Add a few squirts of the pomegranate-vodka mixture and drop in the pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

Pomegranate-Vodka Mixture

1 (500 ml) bottle pomegranate juice
1/4 cup simple syrup
10 oz. Belvedere vodka

Put the juice, syrup, and vodka into a soda siphon and add a CO2 cartridge. (It’s very important while adding the CO2 cartridge to shake vigorously) Keep refrigerated at all times.

Source: Todd Thrasher

Peppermint Paddy

1 oz. peppermint schnapps
1/2 oz. white crème de cacao
1 oz. Starbucks peppermint syrup
Swiss Miss White Chocolate powder, prepared according to package directions
Chocolate Reddi-wip for garnish
Candy cane dust for garnish (recipe follows)

1) Combine the schnapps, crème de cacao, and peppermint syrup in an Irish coffee glass.

2) Fill with hot white chocolate and top with whipped cream.

3) Sprinkle with candy cane dust and serve immediately.

Candy Cane Dust

Grind a few peppermint Altoids and pieces of candy cane in a coffee grinder.

Source: Todd Thrasher

Eve's Ultimate Sin

Evelyn Hsu of Peacock Alley in New York's Waldorf-Astoria concocted these drinks around a core of apple flavors.

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Wild Appel vodka
1/2 oz. Kahlúa
1/2 oz. Butterscotch schnapps

1) Combine the vodka, Kahlúa, and schnapps in a shaker filled with ice.

2) Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Serve immediately.

Source: Evelyn Hsu

Apple Cider

Cinnamon sugar
1 1/4 oz. Van Gogh Wild Appel vodka
3/4 oz. Rhapsody Dutch Chocolate Raspberry liqueur
Hot apple cider
Whipped cream for garnish

1) Rim a heat-resistant martini glass with cinnamon sugar.

2) Pour in the vodka and liqueur. Fill with hot apple cider.

3) Top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Source: Evelyn Hsu

Raspberry Womanhattan

Raspberry Womanhattan, devised by mixologist Ryan Magarian and served at Seattle's Suite 410, is a great winter aperitif. It’s also wonderful with fruit cake and fruit salads that have chopped nuts.

1 oz. Basil Hayden bourbon1 oz. Hangar One Raspberry vodka1/2 oz. Noilly Prat sweet vermouth1 dash Angostura bitters3 fresh raspberries for garnish

1) Fill a shaker three-quarters full with ice. Measure in spirits. Add bitters.

2) Stir swiftly for 30 seconds. Strain immediately into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three raspberries on a pick.

Source: Ryan Magarian

Kathy Casey's Rum Pom Pom

Seattle food consultant Kathy Casey puts favorite holiday flavors in a glass.

Allspice sugar (recipe follows)
1/2 small tangerine or mandarin orange
1 1/2 oz. spiced rum
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1 ounce POM juice or other pomegranate juice
Long tangerine or mandarin orange peel, twisted, for garnish

1) First, create a half-rim of allspice sugar on a martini glass: slide a tangerine wedge over the glass rim and, pressing the fruit lightly against the rim, slowly turn the glass a half turn to lightly film part of the rim with juice. Remove the fruit wedge.

2) Holding the glass at an angle, lightly dip the rim about 1 1/2 inches into the sugar, evenly coating a crescent-shaped section of the rim. Set aside.

3) Squeeze tangerine half into a large shaker glass, then drop in. Fill shaker with ice.

4) Measure in rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and POM. Cap shaker glass and shake vigorously for 5 to 6 seconds.

5) Strain into the rimmed glass. Garnish with a long tangerine peel twist.

Allspice Sugar

Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

In a small bowl about 2 inches deep, mix ingredients thoroughly. (If made ahead, store airtight and remix before use.)

Source: Kathy Casey Food Studios