Is that store-bought eggnog in your glass looking a bit lackluster? We thought so. The good news is, you don’t have to be a professional bartender to kick your holiday cocktails up a notch. We’ve compiled simple recipes from six of the hottest bars and restaurants in the country—so simple, in fact, that you can easily make them at home. After sipping on these bad boys, you’ll never want to look at eggnog again.
“The Yuzu-Acai Cooler has a great berry flavor that's super refreshing. Not overly sweet. It's light as a holiday punch with an extra boost of antioxidants to help get you through the season."– Ming Tsai, Chef, Blue Ginger.
2 ounces TY KU Soju
1/2 ounce Peach Liquor
3/4 ounce Ginger Syrup* (buy online or make from scratch)
3/4 ounce Acai Juice
3/4 ounce Yuzu Juice (or Lemon Juice)
Shake with ice, pour into tall Collins glass. Top with Soda Water. Garnish with lime wheel
* To make ginger syrup: Combine 4 cups sugar, 2 cups fresh ginger (cut into ⅛-inch slices), and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy and reduced by half, about 40 to 45 minutes. Strain ginger pieces out and reserve syrup.
The Cinnamon Twist, Pink Taco Sunset Strip
West Hollywood, CA
"The smokiness of Don Julio Anejo blends perfectly with apple cider and cranberry, but the Serrano peppers and cinnamon infused simple syrup take it to the next level. The taste is at once sweet, smoky and spicy."- Bobby Sloan, mixologist, Pink Taco.
1.5 oz Don Julio Anejo
1.5 oz Homemade Apple Cider
.5 oz Cranberry Juice
.5 oz Cinnamon infused Simple Syrup
3 slices Serrano Peppers
Combine Serrano Peppers and Simple Syrup in a mixing tin, muddle. Add remaining ingredients and top with large ice cubes. Shake and dump into a rocks glass. Garnish with Cinnamon stick.
Belgian Winter Fizz, The Tippler
New York, NY
"While it has the rich, warming flavors that we associate with the season, the combination of the gin and Lambic make it light and refreshing on the palate. It's also a easy drink to serve as a punch, with some orange slices, cinnamon sticks and dried cranberries thrown on top."– Annalisa Maceda, Bar Manager, The Tippler.
2 oz. Tanqueray gin
1 tsp. Maraschino liqueur
1 heaping tsp. orange marmalade
.25. oz. fresh lemon juice
1 small egg white
3 oz. Belgian golden ale
Shake all ingredients but beer and cinnamon, without ice, for 10 seconds. Must be shaken very hard. Add ice to mixing tin and shake for 10 more seconds. Pour into a snifter or highball glass. Add the Belgian ale to the mixing tin and swirl around. Top cocktail with the beer, making sure to get all the foam into the glass. Grate fresh cinnamon over the top and enjoy. Note: If serving as punch, don't shake but add an ounce of ice-cold water per serving to the mix.
Cinnamon Apple Manhattan, 121 Fulton Street
New York, NY
“The Cinnamon Apple Manhattan cocktail was created to bring a mix of the Big Apple and the holidays together—we are inspired by the city that surrounds us and a touch of cinnamon reminds us of the holiday season!” – Alex Rodriguez, Managing Partner, 121 Fulton Street.
2oz Bulleit Bourbon
3/4 oz Apple Pucker
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dash bitters
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain. Garnish with Apple Slice and Cinnamon Stick
The Ginger Bitch, Rock & Reilly's Irish Whiskey Pub
West Hollywood, CA
"This cocktail brings together all the elements that are reminiscent of the holiday season. The Reilly's Mother's Milk whiskey warms the bones as the apple 'shine and cranberry juice are the perfect compliment to any turkey dinner with family and friends." - Timmy Kitchens, mixologist, Rock & Reilly's Irish Whiskey Pub.
1.5 oz Reilly's Mother's Milk Whiskey
3/4 oz Apple Pie 'Shine
1 oz Cranberry
Fresh Lemon (squeeze)
Orange Twist Garnish
Combine Reilly's Mother's Milk whiskey, Apple Pie 'Shine, squeeze of lemon in shaker. Slap 2 large basil leave, add to shaker and stir gently. Pour over ice in tall glass. Top with splash of ginger ale. Garnish with orange twist.
Iris, Catch Miami
“The Iris is an easy crowd pleaser. It has an addictive blend of tart grapefruit and earthy-sweet honey, and it’s good for you. Grapefruit is just coming into season during the holidays and it gives you an immune-boosting dose of vitamin C. Topping the cocktail with a splash of Champagne keeps it bright and nothing lets people know a party has started like the sound of the cork popping on a bottle of bubbly.” – Colin Maxwell, lead bartender, Catch Miami.
2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1.25 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1.25 oz Honey Syrup (1:1 Honey to Hot Water)
2 Dashes Fee Bros. Grapefruit Bitters
5 Mint Leaves (reserve 1 for Garnish)
Top with ~1 oz Champagne
Combine vodka, honey syrup, bitters, and four mint leaves. Top with champagne. Garnish with last mint leaf.
White Christmas Cosmo, Sotto 13
New York, NY
“Don’t let the fact that this is a ‘cosmo’ threaten your masculinity. It’s a little sweet, a little tart and the crushed candy cane rim will make you look like a bonafide mixologist. A punch of pom juice adds a great look and a healthy boost.” – Frankie Oley, mixologist, Sotto 13
2 ounces Tito's Vodka
1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 ounce White Cranberry Juice
1 ounce Pomegranate Juice
Candy Cane, crushed into small pieces
Add vodka, St. Germain, white cranberry juice and squeezed lime wedge to shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Dip rim of martini glass into agave nectar then candy cane pieces. Strain drink into glass. Slowly add pomegranate juice so that it sinks to the bottom.