The holidays are here and we’re ready to wrap up 2023 with our final adult beverages, cocktails, and related sips roundup. You’ll find the usual alphabetical Spirit.Ed format of cocktail recipes in the many offerings below.
Breaking the wall here a bit, I got this roundup later than I wanted because I’ve been battling an illness since last weekend and I’m not all the way better. That said, I have a duty to the people, and below, I’ve got some cocktails, mocktails, and more for the holidays, which includes Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as I’m shutting it down after this post.
Usually, I’d try to give you all some lovely descriptors and all of that, but it’s not happening, folks. I love you all, but your guy D.L. Chandler is running on fumes, so I’m doing what feels like the bare minimum, but I promise to get back on the strong path for next year.
Also, going into the next year, I’m trying to find ways to make these roundups shorter so I don’t lose people. Although I don’t mind scrolling, some do and I want to be accommodating.
I want to thank all of the wonderful brands and agencies that worked with me throughout 2023 to help bring their wares to our readers and the wider public. In 2024, stay tuned for some exciting developments that will be a great gain for all I’ve worked with in the past and beyond.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Cocktails, Punches, Mix-Em-Ups, Whatevs
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Mayan Honey Syrup
1 oz Champagne
Method: Add all ingredients (minus Champagne) and shake with ice until chilled. Strain into a flute glass, top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
American Gingerbread Martini
1.5 oz. American Harvest Organic Vodka
1.5 oz. Irish Cream
2 tbsp. Gingerbread Syrup
.25 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 oz. Half & Half
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish rum with Crushed Gingerbread Cookie and top with Whipped Cream and a Gingerbread Cookie.
A Misty Isle Sour
2 oz of Isle of Skye 12 Year Old
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 egg white (optional)
1/2 oz red wine
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in Isle of Skye 12-year-old, lemon juice simple syrup and separated egg white (optional) and shake vigorously for one minute. Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with fresh ice cubes. To float the red wine, place a bar spoon over the surface of the drink and pour the wine onto the back of the spoon allowing it to roll off it and stay on top of the drink. This cocktail does not require a garnish but feel free to add.
Amor Mio (Created by Milagro West Coast Ambassador, Luis Lopez)
2 parts Milagro Silver Tequila
3 part Apple cider
½ part Agave nectar
½ part Lemon juice
Method: Muddle blueberries in shakers to express all the juices. Add the remaining ingredients to shakers and shake for 10 seconds. Finally, fine strain into a tall glass with crushed ice, garnish and enjoy.
An OA & Cocoa
1.5 oz Ardbeg An OA
8 oz hot chocolate
.25 oz Monin butterscotch syrup
Pinch of salt
Build in glass. Use oat milk for the hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Apple and Pear Ponche (Created by Chef Pati Jinich)
Ingredients (Serves 4):
1/4 cup Gran Centenario Reposado Tequila
4 cups Water
1/3 cup grated Piloncillo or Brown Sugar
1 Apple cut into bite-sized chunks
1 Pear cut into bite-sized chunks
6 oz Sugar Cane Sticks
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Orange Rind
Garnish: Cinnamon Stick, Pear Slice, and Orange Peel
Cocktail Preparation: Bring the water, cinnamon sticks, and piloncillo to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar cane, apples, and pears. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the orange rind and simmer for 10 minutes more. Turn off heat and discard the cinnamon, sugar cane, and orange rind. Stir in the Gran Centenario Reposado tequila. Serve in a mug and garnish with cinnamon stick, pear slice, and orange peel.
Apple Pie Martini
2 oz Proper Irish Apple
2 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
2 Dashes of cinnamon
Graham cracker rim on glass
Directions: In a Boston shaker filled with ice, add 2 oz Proper Irish Apple, 2 oz Irish Cream Liqueur, and a dash of cinnamon. Shake and strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed graham cracker. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon.
Bloody Mary Martini
2 parts Reyka Vodka
3 parts Tomato Juice
4 dashes Hot Sauce
4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of Yellow or Spicy Mustard
Dash of Favorite BBQ Sauce (optional)
Sprinkle of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
Build in a shaker of ice, shake until cold and consistency desired. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of bacon or Queen olives.
Blood Orange Spritz
1.5 oz Gin
3 oz Blood Orange Juice
1.5 tsp Simple Syrup
3 oz Riondo Prosecco
Stir all ingredients except for prosecco in an iced shaker for 30 seconds to chill. Pour into an iced glass and top with Riondo. Garnish with a blood orange slice and enjoy.
Bourbon Apple Pie (Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort – Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
1.5 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
2 oz Apple Cider
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Orange Bitters
Add Buffalo Trace bourbon, apple cider, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, and orange bitters into an Old Fashioned glass and use the cinnamon stick as a stirrer to combine. Next, simply place the cinnamon stick atop the glass for an aromatic garnish – easy as apple pie!
Coffee Tonic (Created by Drambuie Ambassador Freddy May)
1 part Drambuie
2 parts tonic water
½ part coffee
Method: Start by making a Drambuie and tonic in a tall glass with lots of ice. Top with any coffee and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Cranberry And Sloe Gin Martini
50ml Minke Irish Gin
15ml Sloe Gin
15ml lemon or lime juice freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon cranberry jelly
Method: Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake until the shaker is cold. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a few cranberries.
Cup O’ Jerry
4 parts Coffee
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
¼ part heavy cream
1 pinch brown sugar
Combine and garnish with cinnamon and whipped cream
Espresso Beam Martini
Pour out 10oz of Jim Beam Vanilla and set aside for future use
Add 3.5 tablespoons of instant espresso powder
Add 8oz of coffee liqueur
Add 1oz of water
Shake and store in freezer for up to 1-3 days
To serve, pour 2oz of mixture, 1 oz Jim Beam bourbon cream, ice, and a splash of water into a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into martini glass and garnish with three espresso beans.
Festivus Fizz (Created by Hendrick’s National U.S. Ambassador, Vance Henderson)
2 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
¾ Part Fresh Lime
1 Part Pink Grapefruit Syrup
1 Dash Cardamom Bitters
Top with Sparkling Wine
Rosemary Sprig, Cucumber Slices, Cranberries to Garnish
Method: Combine ingredients (minus sparkling wine) in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and powdered sugar. The combination of sparkling wine and gin bring out the best in each other and enhance the botanicals within Hendrick’s Gin for a delightful holiday serve.
1.5 parts of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
0.75 parts of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 bar spoon of Simple Syrup
2 parts Lallier Champagne
Garnish: Orange Twirl
Combine Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake. Fine strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass. Top with Lallier Champagne. Garnish with an orange twirl.
Grand Manhattan (Created by Glenfiddich West Coast Ambassador, David Allardice)
2 parts Glenfiddich 23 Year Grand Cru
1 part Nonino Amaro
1 bar spoon maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
0.5 oz Boissiere Dry Vermouth
2 dashes of grapefruit bitters
1 bar spoon of gunpowder tea
Method: Add the Drumshanbo Gin, Boissiere Vermouth, bitters and gunpowder tea to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with Fresh Lemon zest.
Had Me A Real Good Time Holiday Punch
750ml Wolfie’s Scotch Whisky
500ml cranberry juice
1l fresh orange juice
200ml lime juice
50ml lime juice
3 vanilla pods split down middle
3 clementines, 3 limes and 3 lemons sliced in wheels
2 bottles of prosecco
Combine all punch ingredients except prosecco in a large glass punch bowl. Refrigerate for two hours. Remove bowl from fridge and discard vanilla pods. Throw in some ice cubes and serve into large glass goblets filled with ice. Top each glass up with prosecco
1.5 oz of Ragtown American Whiskey
1 Egg White
0.5 oz of Hibiscus Syrup
0.5 oz of Demerara Syrup
Black Sugar, Half Rim
Method: Shake all ingredients together, add ice and shake it again. Strain into a coupe glass.
Honey Rosemary Daiquiri
1.5oz Ten To One White or Dark
Add to cart
1oz Lime Juice
0.75oz Honey Syrup (1:1 Honey to Hot Water)
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
Garnish: Rosemary sprig
Add rosemary sprig along with all other wet ingredients to a shaker tin. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Hot Buttered Rum
2 oz Santa Teresa 1796
1 tsp. Pumpkin Butter or Unsalted Butter
.5 oz Honey Syrup
1 Dash Nutmeg
1 Dash of Ground Cinnamon
Method: Place butter in a mug. Combine Santa Teresa 1796 rum, honey syrup, and water in a small pot or saucepan. Cover and heat until barely bubbling. Pour mixture into the mug, and stir until the butter is melted. Add cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
1.5 oz. Beach Whiskey Island Coconut
.5 oz. Hot Chocolate
Combine it in a mug and stir. Top with Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Dust
Hot Rum Toddy
1 ½ oz BACARDÍ Gold Rum
3 oz of hot water
¼ oz of honey
1 lemon wedge
Method: Pour hot water into a tempered glass mug. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the water, add honey, and stir until the honey is dissolved. Add BACARDÍ Gold Rum, and stir gently. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon slice.
1 oz Disaronno Originale
3 oz Prosecco
Method: Add Disaronno Originale and Prosecco to a flute glass.
It’s Christmas, And We’re All In Misery (Casa Monica Resort & Spa – St. Augustine, Fla.)
1.75 oz bourbon
0.5 oz amaretto liqueur
0.75 oz cinnamon syrup
0.5 oz heavy cream
1 oz egg whites
Grated nutmeg (for garnish)
Put all the ingredients together in a mixing tin, add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Then strain into a coupe glass, not over ice, and garnish with the grated nutmeg.
Jolly & Holly
2 oz Mezcal Unión Uno
1 oz Club Soda
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Honey
Instructions: In a rocks glass over ice, add Mezcal Unión and honey then stir to combine. Add club soda and lime juice then stir again. Garnish with berries and enjoy!
Let It Snow (Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville – Greenville, S.C.)
1.5 oz blanco tequila
1.5 oz white cranberry juice
1 oz coconut milk
0.5 oz orange liqueur
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Cranberries (for garnish)
Rosemary sprig (for garnish)
Lime wedge (for garnish)
Cinnamon sugar (for rimming)
Coat rim of rocks glass in cinnamon sugar. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Pour over ice. Top with garnishes and enjoy.
Mamajuana Old Passioned
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Preparation: Combine Chinola, Candela Mamajuana Spiced Rum and bitters in a glass with ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice into rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Manhattan Mistletoe (Tudor City Tavern at Westgate New York Grand Central – New York, N.Y.)
2 oz Breckenridge Gin
1.5 oz simple syrup
2 orange half-wheels
In a Collins glass, muddle four cranberries and the orange half-wheels with simple syrup. Fill with ice and add Breckenridge Gin. Top with a mixture of two parts cranberry juice and one part club soda. Add thyme sprig and stir. Garnish with three additional cranberries.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
6 oz Milk or Milk Alternative
2 tbsp Chopped Dark Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
Pinch Ground Cayenne Pepper
Garnish: Optional Marshmallow(s) and pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Directions: In a pot, warm the milk with the sugar, dark chocolate, and the cayenne on the stove on low heat. Stir until all ingredients dissolve and incorporate. Once it is warm, remove from heat. Pour the Cuervo Tradicional® Añejo Tequila in a mug and then pour the cocoa over the tequila. Garnish with marshmallow(s) and a pinch of cayenne. Salud!
Batch ingredients serving 8 people:
2 cups Cuervo Tradicional® Añejo Tequila
6 cups Milk or Milk Alternative
½ cup Chopped Dark Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Chips
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 part Hudson Bright Lights, Big Bourbon or Short Stack
.5 part triple sec
2 parts apple cider
3 parts chilled Champagne
Mix the whiskey, triple sec and cider in Champagne flute and top with chilled Champagne. Garnish with apple slice.
New Year, New Yuzu
2 parts Avion Cristalino
¾ parts yuzu juice
½ parts ginger syrup
Fill your shaker with Avión Cristalino, Shake with ice and strain the cocktail over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed rocks glass. Add your grated Yuzu zest as a garnish and enjoy!
Nog Your Socks Off
0.5 oz Creme de Cacao
0.5 oz Branca Menta
3 oz egg nog of choice
Shake and serve in a large cocktail glass and garnish with nutmeg.
Ozark Jingle Juice (Westgate Branson Lakes Resort – Branson, Mo.)
3 cups sweetened cranberry juice
1 750 mL bottle of Moscato
⅔ cup of Cointreau Noir
1 cup Wheatley Vodka
25 oz sparkling apple cider
2 cups frozen cranberries
3 limes, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Combine all of the ingredients above in a large punch bowl and serve with a ladle. Rim a glass with water and sparkling sugar. Ladle the preferred amount of drink mixture into glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Praline Pie 22 (Boston Harbor Hotel – Boston, Mass.)
1.5oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon (Boston Harbor Hotel’s Reserve)
0.5 oz Pecan Liqueur
0.5 oz Praline Essence (Recipe follows)*
0.5 oz Praline Cream (1:1 ratio of Praline Essence and Heavy Cream, then whipped)
Pecan and Praline ‘churro’ (edible garnish)
Shake bourbon, pecan liqueur and praline essence for 10-15 seconds. Double-strain cocktail into a coupe and garnish with praline cream and cinnamon. Garnish the rim of a Nick and Nora glass with pecan and praline ‘churro’ with a mini clothespin to help adhere to the glass.
*Praline Essence Recipe
1 lb Unsalted Butter
1 lb Brown Sugar
1 lb confectioners’ sugar
1 Qt Praline Ice Cream
1 Qt Water
1 TBS ground cinnamon
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Allow butter to brown and then blend in both the brown and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Remove from heat and add ice cream and cinnamon, whisk until incorporated. Add water and whisk until incorporated. Strain and pour the mixture into a squeeze container, cover, and store refrigerated.
Raspberry Wheat 75
.25 oz Raspberry Simple
.25 oz Lemon
Method: Combine all ingredients, top with sparkling rose and garnish with fresh raspberry.
Red Hot Punch (Hot Holiday Punch)
To make one glass (5oz serving):
3oz Fresh Victor Cactus Pear & Pomegranate
1.5oz whisk(e)y of choice, or other barrel-aged spirit
.5 oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram or 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Glass: 6-8oz hot liquid glass or mug (such as the Libbey 8054 6oz Georgian)
Garnish: Wide lemon twist or floating allspice berries for garnish
Warm all ingredients on the stovetop or microwave (do not cook or boil). Adding hot water in order to heat the drink will dilute the mixture and lessen the intensity of flavor (not recommended, but see for yourself). For party or bar service, make a batch to store and dispense from a Thermos or other hot drinks dispenser.
Using a soup tureen or crock pot to heat up, and maintain heat: 1x 64oz bottle Fresh Victor Cactus Pear & Pomegranate 1x liter American Whiskey (bourbon, rye, or American blended will all yield varying results based on those profiles)
15oz St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Batch in a 1.5+ gallon container and refill warming vessel as needed
Garnish with allspice berries
Repo Maple Sour
1.5 oz Anteel Reposado
2 oz Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
3 Dashes of Citrus Bitters
1 TSP Cinnamon
In a shaker with ice, combine Anteel Reposado, lemon juice, maple syrup, bitters, and cinnamon. Shake well. Strain over ice in cocktail glass.Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Roses and Chocolates Recipe (Created by The Balvenie Ambassador, Naomi Leslie)
¼ part Red Wine Syrup*
4 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Add The Balvenie, red wine syrup, and chocolate bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir briefly. Strain into a flute glass and top with Champagne.
*Red Wine Simple Syrup: Heat 2 parts full bodied red wine to 1 part cane sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool before use.
0.4 oz Benedictine
0.5 Branca Menta
2 dashes of Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Salted Caramel Espresso Martini
1.5oz Sweet Blend Vodka
Shot of Espresso/Cold Brew
0.5oz Crème de cacao
0.5oz Coffee Liqueur
1oz Salted Caramel Syrup (or 1oz Caramel Sauce combined with sprinkle of sea salt)
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain and garnish with 3 espresso beans.
Silver Sparkling Moonlight
2 oz. NOLET’s Silver Gin
2 oz. Creme de Violette
1.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
2 oz. Fresh Tangerine or Orange Juice
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Lemon & Sugar or edible glitter
Rim Coupe glasses with sugar (or glitter) using a lemon slice and a shallow dish of sugar. Chill glasses until ready to use. Combine NOLET’S Silver, creme de violette, lemon & tangerine juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into the prepared Coupe glasses, top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
1 oz Kilinga Bacanora Reposado
1 oz Liquor 43
1 oz Espresso
2-3 dashes Hella Mexican Chocolate Bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker (and don’t worry if the espresso is hot). Fill shaker with cubed ice and shake hard. Fine strain into lowball glass, then fill with ice. Serve, no garnish required.
1 oz of Sorel Liqueur
3 oz Prosecco or Champagne of Choice
Method: Pour ingredients into a flute and enjoy.
2oz Cedar Ridge Original 86 Bourbon
½ oz Brown butter toffee syrup
1 oz Walnut liqueur
2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
Flamed orange peel garnish
Build cocktail in a highball glass with ice. Stir ingredients together. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned (Created by Anna Mains, Monkey Shoulder Brand Ambassador)
2 parts Monkey Shoulder
1 tsp vanilla simple syrup
1 shake angostura bitters
1 or 2 maraschino cherries
Combine ice and ingredients in mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds.
White Christmas Mojito (The Madison Hotel – Washington D.C.)
8 Fresh Mint Leaves, plus more for garnish
Juice of Half a Lime
1 TBSP White Sugar, plus more for garnish
2 oz White Rum
1 oz Coconut Rum
¼ Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Rim glass by dipping it in simple syrup and sparkling sugar. In a shaker add mint leaves, lime juice, and sugar. Muddle until mint leaves break down. Add ice, white rum, coconut rum, and coconut milk. Shake until well chilled. Place ice in the prepared glass and strain the cocktail over. Splash with sparkling water. Garnish with mint leaves and pomegranate arils.
Winter Old Fashioned
25 parts Allspice Liqueur
25 parts Monin Pear Syrup
3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Garnish: Thin slice of bosc pear and a smoked cinnamon stick
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir for 20-25 seconds then strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish.
Mocktails Are Not Cocktails But They’re Something Special
Cranberry Citrus Cooler
½ Nirvana Super Seltzer, Pineapple Orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 mandarin orange, peel and juice the rest
6 ounces Cranberry Juice
Lightly toast the cinnamon stick the oven or toaster oven for 60 seconds. Warm the cranberry juice over low heat with the orange peel and the toasted cinnamon stick, do not boil. Take off heat, let cool to room temperature. Squeeze the rest of the orange through a sieve over a bowl. Grab two glasses with ice, place juice of the orange between the two, top with cranberry mixture (peel and stick removed). Top off with some Pineapple Orange Nirvana Super Seltzer. Enjoy!
4 oz Carrot Juice
1-inch Piece of Ginger (finely grated or juiced)
4 oz Orange Juice
12 oz Melon Cello Seltzer
2 Tablespoons Agave Syrup
Melon ball or thin orange slice (optional)
Sprig of mint or basil (optional)
Combine carrot juice, orange juice and freshly grated or juiced ginger. Add agave syrup and shake mixture well until ingredients are combined. Divide mixer between two 12 oz glasses. Fill each glass with the melon cello seltzer. Place a melon ball or thin slice of orange halved onto the rim of glass. Rub a sprig of mint of basil between fingers to release aromatics, place inside the drink. Stir gently before sipping.
MIXOLOSHE by Zayn
Learn more here.
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