Tingle all the way: boozy recipes and gifts for holiday ’17

‘Tis the season — to take the edge off

Punch up your holiday parties with festive cocktail recipes, new-release liquors and wines and artisan mixers and accessories, plus cultivated gifts for hooch lovers that’ll have them ho-ho-hoing all season long.

Build Your Bar

Every solid bar starts with standard distilled liquors, but your soiree selection shouldn’t be basic. Send your old standbys back to the cabinet and replace with conversation-piece bottles like V.E.S.’s hangover-free vodka and gin made from 1,000-year-old recipes, homegrown American Born whiskey, The Bitter Truth pink gin infused with bitters, 12-year-aged Hardy Legend 1863 cognac, Nicaragua’s award-winning Flor de Cana rum and Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Anejo tequila. Spotlight a variety of interesting vintages at your wine station, like Indaba’s Chenin Blanc 2017 and the Kanonkop Kandette 2015. Don’t forget the ice.

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Christmas in Pear-is
Created by 5Church Atlanta
1-1/2 oz. vodka
1 oz. allspice simple syrup
3/4 oz. St. George Spiced Pear liqueur
3/4 oz. lemon juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake, strain, and serve in a
martini glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

Hot Rocket
4 oz. Rocket vodka
8 oz. apple cider or unfiltered juice
1 tsp. maple syrup
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Add vodka to hot cider or unfiltered juice. Stir in teaspoon of maple syrup. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Dilution Solutions

Swap out the Schweppes for Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beers and Ales (available in extra spicy and sugar free), enjoy a mid-party pick-me-up with Kicktail Energy Mixers (all the oomph without the energy-drink aftertaste) and concoct your own creation using Pampelonne’s sparkling wine-based cocktails (though they’re just fine on their own at 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV)).

Zero to Thirsty

A 50-ounce bladed pitcher whips up big-batch merry margaritas in Crux’s seven-speed blender that boasts tell-and-show performance from its 800-watt motor base providing over one horsepower of ice-crushing force.
$89.99, macys.com.

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Frozen Persimmon Margarita
From the book “The Wildcrafted Cocktail”
by Ellen Zachos
2 oz. smooth persimmon purée
1-1/2 oz. reposado tequila
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1 lime wedge, for garnish
Combine the persimmon purée, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, simple syrup and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until the texture is thick and smooth. Pour and enjoy.

Couples Therapy

Date night during deep winter gets the at-home DIY treatment thanks to Craft a Brew, which offers beer-, wine- and cider-making kits for hands-on boozehounds. All equipment and step-by-step instructions are included to ferment and bottle small-batch libations to quench the thirst of a crowd: Beer kits produce two growlers, wine kits yield five 750ml bottles, and hard cider kits result in three one-gallon bottles.
$45-$60, craftabrew.com.

Heavy Hitters

Christmas Day is every day of December for the lucky chap who unwraps Secret Spirits’ Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar, featuring 25 Scotch whiskies sourced and hand-selected from the top independent bottlers in Scotland.

A Robb Vices gift membership keeps on giving with monthly subscription boxes filled with samples of the good life, including fine wines, spirits, toys, tech and more.
$89.95/month, cratejoy.com.

The Premium Mixology Case from The Spice Lab lets bar-cart entertainers hone their skills with a full selection of professional tools plus a dozen botanicals like cardamom, mace and hibiscus flower to help elevate their drink-slingin’ game.
$200, shop.thespicelab.com.

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Ode to Whisky [Sour]
Created by NYC mixologist Andrey Kalinin
2 oz. Laphroaig Select Scotch Whisky
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. heather honey syrup
3 dashes cardamom bitters
1 egg white
Fresh cardamom
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (if using egg white). Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a coupe or martini glass, served up. Garnish with cardamom flakes.

Thankful Threesome

Dallas, Oregon’s Van Duzer Vineyards pleases every palate at the gracious table with its Thanksgiving Trio, featuring a 2016 Pinot Blanc, 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and 2013 Estate Syrah, all of which travel safely from your house to theirs (without clanging in the backseat) with the four-bottle-capacity StubbyStrip Vino.
$99, shop.vanduzer.com.
$24.95, stubbystrip.com.

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Holiday Road Punch
15 oz. pomegranate green tea liqueur with Everclear
(Recipe at makeityourown.com)
5 oz. vodka
5 oz. white rum
10 oz. lime juice
10 oz. champagne
Combine all ingredients except champagne in a pitcher or punch bowl. Mix and chill in refrigerator eight hours or more (overnight works best). Just before serving, add chilled champagne and stir carefully. Add ice, along with 10 lime wheels. Serve in punch glasses, ice optional. Garnish with lime wheel.

Chocolate Martini
Created by Mastro’s Steakhouse NYC
1-1/2 oz. Three Olives Cake vodka
1-1/2 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1-1/2 oz. Chopin Dorda Double Chocolate liqueur
Splash of whipped cream
Chocolate-covered strawberry
for garnish
Build ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with chocolate-covered strawberry.

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Ice Cream Social — Adult Edition

Up to 5 percent ABV in Tipsy Scoop’s booze-infused holiday pints — available in 21-and-older flavors like Santa’s Cookies & Whisky, Drunken Gingerbread Man and Blood Orange Champagne Sparkler Sorbet — replaces brain freeze with a decent buzz.
$12-$72, tipsyscoop.com.

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Frísco Hot Toddy
2 oz. Frísco
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 oz. hot water
Combine ingredients in your favorite mug. Stir until honey is dissolved. Get cozy.

Autumnal Rum
Created by The Honeywell in West Harlem NYC
3 slices Fuji apples
2 oz. Plantation 3 Stars rum
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. Suze Gentian liqueur
Cinnamon sugar
Muddle three slices of apples in a shaker. Put remaining ingredients into shaker in this order: Lime juice, simple syrup, Suze Gentian liqueur, Plantation 3 Stars rum. Shake and strain into martini glass. Dip apple slices into agave then dip into cinnamon sugar. Garnish with cinnamon sugar apples.

Wine For Them, Five For You

Red, white and mixed monthly wine plans from HelloFresh both satisfy your craving to treat yo’self around the holidays (you know you’re gonna) while providing five additional bottles to grab-and-go on your way to cheer-filled cocktail and dinner parties. Deliver the goods in Brina’s shimmering insulated wine sleeves that show you care more than liquor-store Mylar.
$89.99/month, hellofresh.com/wine.
$86-$125, brina.us.

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Matcha Hot Chocolate
1-1/2 oz. Baileys Original
1-1/2 tsp. matcha powder
1/2 cup hot soy milk
1 oz. white chocolate chips
In a saucepan, combine Baileys Original, match powder, hot soy milk and white chocolate chips. Pour into a copper mug. Top with whipped cream and a tall skewer of pink mochi balls painted with glittery luster dust.

Jingle Juice
1-1/2 oz. Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky
1 oz. cranberry sage simple syrup*
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. Cointreau
Fresh red cranberries
Orange bitters
Combine first five ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until shaker is completely frosted. Pour into a sugar-rimmed glass and top with two dashes of orange bitters. Stir and garnish with red cranberries.

*Recipe for cranberry sage simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh whole red cranberries
4 cinnamon sticks
10 fresh sage leaves.
Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Reduce over medium heat. Add cranberries, cinnamon sticks and sage leaves. Bring ingredients to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Muddle then strain syrup. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks. Yields 1-1/4 cups.

Poppin’ Bottles

Berkel champagne sabre’s 17 inches of forged stainless steel slices through bottles of bubbly with precision — when guided by expert hands, of course (don’t cut your own off in the process) — to add an element of spectacle to your New Year’s celebration.
$219, theberkelworld.com.

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Countdown to Cuvée
4 oz. Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée
1/2 oz. honey-flavored whisky liqueur
Lemon peel
Sugar
Cut a long and wide strip of lemon peel. Dip both sides of the lemon peel into sugar. Place sugared lemon peel inside champagne flute, circling the inside rim.
Pour chilled honey whisky liqueur and Bubbly Brut Cuvée into the flute through the center of the sugared lemon peel.

info: Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBTQ lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.

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