3 festive cocktails to toast the holiday season

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It’s that time of the year again when friends and family come together to share in the spirit of the holiday season.

To some, hosting parties and get-togethers can be very stressful and time-consuming. We often find ourselves paying so much attention to the food that we neglect the beverage component, and we end up at the liquor store purchasing a little bit of everything to have all the bases — and palates — covered.

As hosts, we typically want to showcase ourselves and have it be known that we can throw a great party. As a bartender, you can’t have a great party without a great cocktail — I suggest investing in quality ingredients just as you would with your food.

Here are a few festive cocktail recipes that are guaranteed to have everyone at your party hoisting a cup of good cheer for auld lang syne.

1. Burnt Cinnamon Sour

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Screech Rum
  • 0.5 oz Manzana Apple Liqueur
  • 1 oz Fresh Apple Juice
  • 0.25 oz B.G. Reynolds Cinnamon Syrup
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.75 oz Egg Whites

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Method:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Double strain to a chilled coupe glass. For a more advanced version, sprinkle with sugar and carefully use a blowtorch to crème brûlée the top layer. Always use caution when working with an open flame.

Dust with cinnamon and garnish with an apple ‘fan’.

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2. Winter Punch

Serves 24 (5 oz glasses)

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Ingredients:

  • 750 mL Bottle of Brandy
  • 750 mL Bottle of Light Rum
  • 5 oz Fresh Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • 5 oz Fresh Pulp-free Lemon Juice
  • 5 oz Spiced Honey Syrup (*recipe below)
  • 5 oz dry Curacao or Triple Sec
  • 750 mL Bottle of Dry Sparkling Wine
  • 750 mL Bottle of Sparkling Water
  • 5 Sliced Oranges
  • 5 Sliced Apples
  • 5 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 block of ice (fill a 1L tupperware dish with water and freeze overnight).

Method:

Combine the rum, cognac, cranberry juice, lemon juice, honey syrup and Dry Curacao in a punch bowl and chill in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours. When ready to serve, add apple slices, cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Top with sparkling wine and sparkling water and stir. Place ice block gently into punch bowl and serve using a ladle.

Spiced Honey Syrup:

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz Honey
  • 7 oz Water
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 5 Cloves
  • 10 Allspice Berries

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain solids and discard. Bottle syrup until ready to use.

 

3. Hot Toddy

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Cutty Sark Whisky
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Wildflower Honey

Method:

In a pre-heated latte cup add all ingredients and garnish with a clove spiked lemon wedge.

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About the author

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Justin Taylor A renowned bartender and cocktail creator, Justin Taylor has been a fixture in the industry in both Toronto and Vancouver for the better part of two decades. As Bar Manager at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, located at the iconic Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Justin continues to stir up the Vancouver bartending scene with a heady mix of knowledge, panache, wit and hospitality.
@taylormixology

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