Edit ModuleShow Tags

3 DIY Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Impress your guests with these seasonal drinks


Published:

Sycamore Den's version of the Twin Pines. | Photo: Lori Sokolowski

If you’re entertaining this holiday season and want to make things a little more festive, break with the usual wine and offer guests a cocktail. I asked some bartenders for holiday-appropriate beverages that will impress even the pickiest cocktail aficionado.

 

Black Friday

by Randy and Jenna Elskamp

1.5 oz Ilegal Reposado Mezcal
1 oz apple cider
.5 oz pomegranate juice
Squeeze of half a lime
.25 oz agave nectar

Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass with ice, stir, and serve — it can be served warm.

Randy and Jenna are co-owners of The Hopping Pig Gastropub, and you can also find Randy behind the bar at Cantina Mayahuel. This cocktail features Ilegal Mezcal — you’ve probably seen your favorite bartender sporting one of their clever T-shirts — that’s been barrel-aged for four months to make it a bit sweeter and softer (grab a bottle at Old Town Liquor or Handy Liquor on Adams Avenue). Jenna recommends using fresh pomegranates, since they’re in season. You can also substitute cranberry juice for pomegranate.

 

Twin Pines

by Jesse Ross

1.5 oz reposado tequila
.5 oz Averna
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 cranberry reduction simple syrup

 Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and serve straight up in coupe glass. Garnish with a few cranberries and a pinch of smoked salt.

The Twin Pines is featured on Sycamore Den’s new cocktail menu, with a piñon-infused tequila and a fancy cranberry purée syrup. For the home cocktail version, bartender Jesse Ross says it’s OK to use straight reposado tequila. The cranberry reduction simple syrup is easy to make: just purée some fresh cranberries (using the jar variety works, too). In a saucepan, combine three parts water, two parts sugar and one part cranberries and then follow the normal steps to making a cocktail syrup. As for coupe glasses, the Rescue Mission thrift shop in North Park usually has a bunch for 50 cents apiece.

 

Simply Stirred

by Andrew Larson

Andrew Larson's Simply Stirred cocktail

1 oz Lustau Fino Sherry
.5 oz Fernet
.5 oz Grind Espresso
.25 oz Demerara simple syrup
5 or 6 drops Fee Brothers whiskey barrel-aged bitters

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass and stir for about 30 seconds. Garnish with an orange twist (express it first!).

The San Diego bar scene lost some true talent when Andrew Larson (The Nolen, Proof @ The Hake) left for Seattle last month. As penance for leaving, I asked him to come up with a holiday beverage. This one — a perfect dessert cocktail — might have you adding some spirits to your home bar that you don’t already have, like Grind Espresso, a rum-based coffee liqueur. For the syrup, use Demerara sugar (available at Whole Foods) instead of regular sugar, or buy a bottle. For folks with advanced bartending skills, Larson prefers a chai tea tincture, but says the Fee Brothers bitters work just fine. If you’re in Seattle, Larson’s currently at Heartwood Provisions.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Have a Beer with Burgeon Head Brewer Anthony Tallman

Looking back on a year that brought awards, respect, and lots of new fans (and a beer made with donuts!)

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 82

Shake Shack is bringing more locations to San Diego, Japanese food is headed to Kensington, and San Diego BeerTalk Radio drops by

Where to Go for a Perfect Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing

'Cookies on Tap' comes to several San Diego breweries this weekend
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2018
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigsā€”and how we could steal them
  3. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  4. First Look: Bivouac Ciderworks
    A new craft cidery opens in North Park, designed for the outdoors person in all of us
  5. Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry
    Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?
  6. La Jolla Playhouse's 'The Cake' Tackles a Timely Topic
    The writer and producer behind hit TV show This is Us brings a sticky subject to the stage
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module