Wyndham Wisdom

7 Holiday Cocktail Recipes You'll Want to Celebrate With

By Charyn Pfeuffer

Sweet Charity.JPGThe holidays are right around the corner and it's time to put some fa-la-la-la-la into your drinks.  Whether you like yours shaken, stirred or on the rocks, I've searched high and low for seven of the most spirited cocktails in the country (a tough task, I know).

Show off your mixology skills at the next holiday soiree, ease the pain of seasonal spending or raise a toast with your favorite gal pals. One thing is for sure - after one of these tasty beverages, Aunt Gertie's jingle bell sweater will look far less hideous. Now, that's something to celebrate!

Pomegranate Ginger Champagne Cocktail
Nisa Lee, the noted Thai and Beyond celebrity chef to Vanessa Williams, Hillary Clinton, Tina Fey and Halle Berry is known for her cultural culinary and cocktail mixes. Lee crafted this bubbly-based cocktail with New Year's Eve in mind.
1 cup of pomegranate juice
1 tbs. sugar
1 ¼" slice of fresh ginger
4 tbs. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
(1) 750 ml. bottle brut Champagne (well chilled)
Boil first 3 ingredients in heavy small saucepan until syrup is reduced to 1/3 cup. Stir often - about 10 minutes. Let mixture cool.  Pour 4 tsp. pomegranate syrup, 1 tbs. orange juice and ¼ tsp. Cointreau into (4) 6 oz. Champagne flutes.  Fill each flute with Champagne.

Holiday Peach Punch
Master mixologist, Ramsey Pimental wins my liquid love for patrolling The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach pool deck with a Caipirinha cart. When he's not gathering herbs, preparing fresh fruit or making his own simple syrups, Pimental concocts recipes like this sweet holiday punch.
8 oz. bourbon whiskey
6 oz. condensed milk
4 oz. white peach purée
2 oz. egg whites
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/10 tsp. vanilla extract
Put all ingredients in a blender and let it whip for seven seconds. Fill a 10 oz. wine glass with ice, and then pour the punch over the ice. Optional garnish: a sprinkle of grated dark chocolate.
Serves 6-8 people

Sparkling Cinnamon Apple
Morton's The Steakhouse serves my holy trinity of dinner decadence - a perfectly cooked rare steak, a glass of red wine and a big girl martini. From November 1 - December 31, they're wooing diners with a delicious seasonal sipper - the Sparkling Cinnamon Apple.
4 oz. Lunetta Prosecco
2 oz. Lindemans Pomme (Green Apple) Lambic
½ oz. Monin Honey Syrup
2 oz. whipped cream
Dip the rim of the Champagne flute into honey syrup and then into cinnamon sugar. Pour the honey syrup, Prosecco and lambic into a shaker over ice. Stir with a spoon 10 times, and then strain into champagne flute. Top with 2 spoonfuls of whipped cream and dust with cinnamon sugar.

Lanterns Keep's Autumn Buck
At Lantern's Keep, the swanky new cocktail salon at Triomphe Restaurant, mixologist Theo Lieberman has created an autumnal menu of liquid libations, including the Autumn Buck. This must-try drink is sure to keep you in a festive mood well through the holiday season.
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. orange juice
¾ oz. ginger syrup
2 oz. apple brandy
Soda water
Orange wedge and blackberry (garnishes)
Shake all ingredients, except for soda water. Strain into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with an orange wedge and blackberry.

Sweet Charity
It took a trio of culinary talent to create Seattle-based Tulio Ristorante's menu of Prosecco cocktails for the holidays. The Sweet Charity balances a hint of sweet with nuttiness in a festive effervescence delivery system.
3/4 oz. Nocello
3/4 oz. Crème de cassis
Pour Nocello and Crème de cassis into a Champagne flute, and then fill to the top with Prosecco.  Garnish with a piece of hazelnut brittle over the top.

(Photo credit: Jamie Vanden Bos)

Cranberry Cobbler
At Brasserie JO in Boston, mixologist and sommelier David Cicciarella has spent months of tireless (and tasty!) research perfecting his holiday martini menu. His Cranberry Cobbler is a lot like a Bardstown Sling (one of my fave cocktails) - not too strong and not too tart. 
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. cranberry-brown sugar syrup
2 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. lime juice
Fill a martini shaker with ice. Add bourbon, cranberry syrup, cranberry juice and a splash of lime juice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with fresh cranberries.

Happy Swallows
If you can snag one of the coveted seats at this tiny Nolita bar, mixologist Willy Shine will treat you to an inspired hand-crafted cocktail. The Happy Swallows is one of my favorite winter warmers, and if you have a scratchy throat, it's like medicine for grown-ups.
2 oz. Disaronno
5 oz. black tea (hot)
3 rose petals
¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
After brewing the tea, add Disaranno and lemon juice. You can either use black tea with rose petals or add a few fresh rose petals to black tea.