That’s the Spirit: Making Great Holiday Cocktails

Since the idea of sifting through all the classic holiday cocktails to create your bar menu this season may seem overwhelming, we went straight to the source and asked Farmers Restaurant Group head bartender extraordinaire Jaclyn Beasley for some of her favorite additions that bring seasonal flair to any holiday cocktail menu.

From festive punch to warm, wintery concoctions, here are some of Jaclyn’s ideas (and inspirations) to start serving up some great holiday-centric cocktails that will surely get your guests in the spirit of the season.

Winter Punch. Jaclyn suggests adding a little island flair to your holiday bar menu by including a full-bodied, rich rum punch complete with spices, citrus, and your favorite sparkling wine. The sweetness of the rum mixes well with the added layer of spices (you can use an aged, spiced rum of choice for ease), and the slight dryness of the wine offers a great balance of flavors.

A ‘Flip’ is a class of cocktail that traditionally features: egg, sugar, spice, and a spirit of choice such as bourbon, brandy, cognac or sherry. In this case, Jaclyn suggests using bourbon as your spirit because the natural vanillin notes play wonderfully with the spices and the smooth texture created by the emulsified eggs creates a great seasonal selection with a little something extra.

Hot Buttered Rum is essentially just as it sounds: rum, butter, sugar, spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla), and hot water. This satisfying, soothing cocktail is perfect for sipping with family and friends, especially around a fireplace or fire pit.

The Vieux Carré is one of Jaclyn’s all-time favorite cocktails, regardless of the season. Originating in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Vieux Carré features cognac, rye whiskey, Benedictine liqueur, and Amaro (an Italian herbal liqueur). It is quite the cocktail: sweet, bitter, smooth, and subtly spiced. An added zest of an orange at the end ties everything together.

And for those non-imbibers: unpasteurized cider … with the most popular of this freshly pressed juice variety being apple cider. Although, mixing fresh berries, pomegranates or pears with cider can create unique blends for guests to enjoy along with everyone else that might be indulging. Cheers!