This holiday, we wanted to recreate the season’s classic cocktails with a fresh new twist. Inspired by this idea, we teamed up with our resident cocktail master, Dave Toomey, to get his updated variations on the old standbys with a little extra spice, flair, and kick. Read on for some fresh, new takes on your favorite classic holiday drinks.
Egg ‘Em On Eggnog (serves 4)
According to food guru Alton Brown, eggnog dates as far back to the late 17th century Colonial America. Though bourbon is now the eggnog spirit of choice, back then it was actually rum. When you think about eggnog you can’t help but ignore its creamy custard-y texture, the addition of — you guessed it — eggs. Extra eggy is exactly how we like ours, and we know you do too.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup of sugar + 2 tablespoons
- 3/4 cup pint whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 egg whites
Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream the eggs while gradually adding the sugar. Continue beating until fully dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon, and nutmeg and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add in 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites back into the mixture and chill for one hour in the refrigerator. To serve, pour into a chilled glass and grate fresh nutmeg over the top.
Cheeky Cherry Coke (serves 1)
Cherry Coke is a holiday cocktail icon, and while we’ll always love the original, what turned us onto the updated version is the bubbly mouthfeel resulting from the addition of sparkling wine. Mixing in homemade Coca-Cola reduction syrup balances the brightness of the sparkling wine by taming it down with a dark cola flavor. And, of course, the Luxardo Maraschino Cherries — as opposed to traditional bright red maraschino cherries — add a cheeky cherry pop!
- Coca-Cola Syrup (recipe below.)
- Coppola Sofia Sparkling White Wine
- Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
Combine 1/2 oz Luxardo and 1 oz Coca-Cola Syrup in a coupe glass. Top with Coppola Sofia Sparkling White Wine and garnish with Luxardo maraschino cherries.
Coke Syrup Reduction: Pour 3 cans of Coca-Cola Classic in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly. Reduce to low and simmer while continuing to stir until volume has reduced by ¾. Remove from heat and allow reduction to cool to room temperature. Store in clean bottle in refrigerator for up to 12 weeks.
Blushing Berry New Year’s Eve Punch (serves 10-12)
This is one drink worth blushing over, trust us. Not only is it easy on the eyes, it’s also refreshing, simultaneously sweet and tart, and oh-so-sophisticated. A perfect 10, perhaps? Okay, we’ll admit it: it’s our new holiday cocktail crush.
- 2-liter bottle Sprite
- London dry gin
- Sparkling white wine
- 1 cup Lillet Blanc
- 1/2 bottle Grand Marnier
- Ice cubes
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 12 Cranberries
Add 2-liter bottle Sprite, 1/3 bottle of London dry gin, 1 bottle of your favorite sparkling white wine, 1 cup Lillet Blanc, and 1/2 bottle of Grand Marnier to a punch bowl. Top punch with large ice cubes, 3 sprigs of rosemary and a dozen or so cranberries cut in half floating as garnish.
Butter-Me-Up Rum (serves 2)
We’ve flipped the traditional buttered rum cocktail on its head by replacing the traditional sweetener with our aforementioned homemade Coca-Cola reduction. The outcome? A deeper, smoother flavor profile nicely complemented by the addition of traditional winter spices. Are you buttered up yet?
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 4 oz. Coke syrup reduction
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup Zaya Rum
Add 2 cups water, ½ stick unsalted butter, 4 oz of pre-made Coke syrup reduction (recipe above), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg to 2-quart saucepant and bring to boil a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup Zaya Rum.
Sweet + Spicy Hot Chocolate (serves 1)
We may not look spicy, but then again isn’t it the quiet ones you have to watch out for? At first sip, this hot chocolate is sweet, smooth, and perfectly creamy. But just you wait: you’ll soon feel a bit of heat on your tongue. Not too much, but just enough to keep you guessing.
- 3/4 dark cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 oz. creme de menthe
- 2 oz. creme de cacao
- 1/2 oz. coffee-flavored liquor
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 cups whole milk (or reduced fat, if preferred)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together ¾ cup dark cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ⅓ cup honey, ¼ cup water, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 oz creme de menthe, 2 oz creme de cacao, ½ oz coffee-flavored liquor, and ¼ teaspoon chili powder over medium heat until smooth and creamy.
Slowly add in 4 cups whole milk (or reduced fat, if preferred) and whisk continuously until bubbles start to form around the edge. Remove from heat promptly and top with peppermint schnapps whipped cream (recipe follows).
We hope you enjoyed our fresh new takes on your favorite traditional holiday cocktails. Be sure to comment below and tell us if you have any fun new twists on your favorite drinks.
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