We put together our favorite holiday cocktail recipes to share with you for the upcoming festivities.
What makes a great “holiday” cocktail? Well, it’s really up to you and what your personal preferences. Traditionally, since the holiday season occurs during wintertime, drinks that have baking spices and other warming ingredients, like aged spirits or hot drinks tend to be more popular. Some of these traditional cocktails include Mulled Wine, Tom & Jerry, the popular Puerto Rican Coquito, Hot Toddies, Peppermint Patty, and Hot-Buttered Rum.
In Phoenix, December usually isn’t too cold (65-70 degrees during the daytime) so hot drinks aren’t made too often, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love a good holiday-style cocktail and in our mind, these drinks can be enjoyed year-round if desired. At UnderTow and Century Grand, we especially love using ingredients like Sherry or other aromatized or fortified wines to enhance flavors in our cocktails, but it’s also never a bad idea to just enjoy a neat pour of good whiskey or aged rum this time of year.
The Flip Cocktail
Although, the drink category’s history and the term “Flip” exist far longer than that. First mentioned in the 1600s, flips were originally a hot mixture of ale, rum, molasses, and egg for nearly two centuries. This drink underwent some modifications once it made it to the New World. It wasn’t until 1862 in Jerry Thomas’s How to Mix Drinks that the drink was modified to a shaken drink with spirit, sugar, and egg, the canon version we now know and love.
There are two flip cocktails that we have on our P18 and Grey Hen Rx menus: The Gripe’s Egg and Honest Day’s Wage. Both are inspired by the traditional Sherry Flip but include other ingredients to make these drinks our own.
There are a few defining qualities that make it a Flip:
- A Whole Egg
- NO Citrus
- Sweetener (Liqueur, Cordial, or Syrup)used
1 Whole Egg
0.5 oz. Housemade syrup
*Your choice, think outside the box. We make a Spiced Carrot Cake Cordial with similar ingredients that you’d find in the actual cake, like carrot, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
2 oz. Mixture of Spirit & Sherry
The sky is the limit. You can split these two ounces into equal parts of sherry, whiskey, cognac, or aged rum. We recommend a slightly sweeter sherry, like Oloroso or East India Sherry. We use Lustau or Don Zoilo brands.
Need whiskey, cognac, or aged rum? Check out our selection available on greyhenrx.com!
The Tom & Jerry Cocktail
I first had heard about this hot milk-based cocktail from Tony Abou-Ganim and my husband, Jason Asher. Tony, a famed and successful mixologist and mentor, who now resides in my hometown of Las Vegas, is originally from Port Huron, Michigan. And as mentioned in Imbibe Magazine’s article, this cocktail is typically only made on nights when it’s snowing outside in parts of the coldest areas of the country (it’s pretty popular in Michigan). Tony mentioned to us that this is an extremely nostalgic drink in his family and brings back fond memories. It’s not something we make or feature at any of our bars, but it is mentioned every year during the holidays as a must-make cocktail in our home.
There are a couple of key rules to follow:
- You must prepare the Tom & Jerry Batter
- In the batter, the egg whites must be separated and whipped into stiff peaks
- You score bonus points if you have a vintage Tom & Jerry bowl and glasses
The Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
In line with Tom & Jerry, a Hot Buttered Rum is another batter-based cocktail. I have to admit, I LOVE these drinks and have made them at many events and often find myself having zero self-control to enjoy one myself. The batter isn’t difficult to make, although I know many people might stray from these recipes because of that. I assure you, if you can make a chocolate chip cookie recipe, you can make cocktail batters. Easy peezy!
Here’s my pro-tip: If you don’t want rum, then swap out the base spirit for something more your style. I used to make these with Azuñia Añejo Tequila and it was equally as delicious! Still want rum for this drink? Check out our rum selection in our online shop. We’ve got plenty of aged rums that will fit the fill and can offer varying flavors in this cocktail.
As for the batter recipe, I found that I love Emeril Lagasse’s HBR recipe. To make it my own, I would often add other spices, like cardamom, which his recipe doesn’t call for. You can also make this drink in single servings and freeze the rest of the batter to save it for later!
The Whiskey & Spiced Apple Cider Cocktail
I love this drink. It’s simple and is easy to make at home during the winter season. Full disclosure, my best friend (who is the furthest thing from a bartender) introduced me to her version of this cocktail. It’s straight-forward and brings back fond memories of my time living in Park City, Utah with her and bringing this with us for activities like selecting the Christmas Tree and going sledding at night. It’s 3 simple ingredients: Whiskey, fresh apple cider, and Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea.
We would add the apple cider into a large pot with a few tea bags and let it come to a slow rolling boil. Then we’d add 1.5 ounces of whiskey to it in a glass. Since we lived in Park City we preferred High West whiskey, but you can use one of your favorite Bourbons or Rye whiskeys.
By: Kailee Asher