A holiday cocktail can go in just about any direction, depending on the occasion, the crowd, or, hell, even just how your day’s been going. Which is why for our Holiday Issue this year, we asked some of our favorite booze professionals to make us, well, whatever they wanted to make us for the holidays. And they delivered. Below, we’ve got a recipe to fit whatever vibe you’re feeling.
We use orgeat quite a bit at the restaurants. Traditionally it’s an almond syrup, but we’ve made it with everything from walnuts to pistachios. It gives a beautiful toasted nut flavor to a cocktail. Here I used pecans because they remind me of the family pecan tree at my grandparents’ house in Fayetteville, GA. Roasted pecans. Warm baking spices. Citrusy, caramelly Amaro Montenegro. A bit of spicy rye whiskey. They all work well together to create a cocktail that feels toasty. That’s what I love in a winter drink. —Joseph Stinchcomb, beverage director at Saint Leo, Oxford, MS
Everyone loves something sparkly for the holidays. And by adding absinthe—which is higher proof and packed with warm flavors—even the least fancy glass of bubbly feels special. Whatever bubbly you have on hand works: Champagne, Prosecco, cava…any of these will bring the party and leave whoever you’re toasting feeling wonderful. —Chelsea Gregoire, owner and consultant at Drinkable Genius