So it’s cuffing season and you have a date. If all goes well, she’ll likely come back to your place. And when she does, you’d better be ready with a nightcap. We’re not talking about the cab that’s been collecting dust on your shelf for ages—and no, you can’t get by calling it “aged” when you’ve already opened it. We’re talking about creative holiday cocktails women love, libations sure to warm things up. What comes next is not your grandmother’s cup of tea—pun intended. You’ll see.
1 oz. New Amsterdam Peach Vodka 1 oz. Shellback Spiced Rum 4 oz. eggnog Fresh grated nutmeg on top Pour the vodka, rum and eggnog into a mixing pint and stir it thoroughly. Allow it to chill for 30 minutes, garnish with spice and enjoy. Nothing says holiday cheer like eggnog, after all.
1 ½ oz. elit by Stolichnaya 1 ½ oz. dry red wine ½ oz. St. George spiced pear ¼ oz. maple syrup ¼ oz. lemon juice 1 oz. seltzer Build it in a glass, top it off with seltzer and garnish it with a pear fan and grated nutmeg. This dry red wine blend with a kick of spice is worlds better than that old cabernet.
1 part Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire 1 tbsp. honey 1 cinnamon stick 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice Boiling water Pour Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire into a heavy mug and add a spoonful of honey, a cinnamon stick and some lemon juice. Top it off with boiling water and stir. Pair it with cozy clothes and Elf and you’ve just won.
1 oz. Mezcal 1 oz. Ancho Reyes ½ oz. roasted red pepper syrup ½ oz. lime juice 1 oz. grapefruit juice 5 dashes of smoked chili bitters Add all ingredients of this Shane McGowan, Andaz 5th Ave. recipe into a mixing tin with ice and shake it until it’s cold. Strain it over fresh ice in a rocks glass, garnish with a lemon twist and cracked black pepper. This one sort of requires a fireplace situation, just because it’s in the name. Gas fireplaces will suffice—as will fake fireplaces with candles placed strategically by height…in fact, candles might make her actually think you have your shit together.
2 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon ¼ oz. Nocello Walnut Liqueur 2 oz. spicy hot cocoa (½ tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ tbsp. sugar, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne pepper, ¼ cup water) 2 chili peppers (for garnish) Pre-heat the mug by filling it with hot water and then discard the water after 30 seconds. Add Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Nocello Walnut Liqueur to the heated mug. Then add the spicy hot cocoa (made separately) and gently mix it all together. Garnish with chili peppers and reminisce about old sleigh riding memories, when you’d make cocoa slushies out of snow. Chicks dig stuff like that.
1 oz. cold brew or espresso ½ oz. cinnamon syrup 1 ½ oz. Laird’s Applejack (or any spirit preference) 1 float of sweetened heavy cream Grated cinnamon Served Cold: Measure cold brew, syrup and spirit into a shaker and add ice. Shake them vigorously for proper chill and dilution, and then strain into a glass mug or stemmed cocktail glass like the pictured one from HomeGoods. Garnish with a float of heavy cream slightly sweetened and grade fresh nutmeg on top. Served Hot: Measure espresso, syrup and spirit in a glass mug. Stir to mix, then top with a float of slightly sweetened heavy cream and freshly grated cinnamon. Just make sure those candles in your fireplace aren’t also cinnamon-scented. That’s overkill, dude.
5 oz. red wine 1 oz. of the Teavana Ruby Spice Cider Tea Syrup (8 oz. hot water, 8 oz. Teavana Perfectea Rock Sugar, 1 oz. Teavana Ruby Spice Cider Tea, but you're not using all of it) ¾ oz. lemon juice ½ oz. Jamaican rum ½ oz. Cognac ½ oz. Curaçao Make the Teavana Ruby Spice Cider Tea Syrup separately (stirring until the Teavana Perfectea Rock Sugar is dissolved and then letting it sit for 10 minutes before straining). Add 1 oz. of it to the rest of the ingredients in a pot. Heat it all together on the stove, garnish with some cinnamon grated on top, star anise and a clove-studded lemon wheel. This is nothing like a Long Island Iced Tea; it’s much classier, trust me.
5 oz. Hot Teavana White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Strong Tea Blend (1 tbsp. Peppermint Roobios Tea, 5 oz. water) ¼ oz. Green Chartreuse 1 oz. sweetened condensed milk 1 ½ oz. Cruzan Black Strap Rum Heat the tea blend for 5 minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk or froth together and garnish with fresh mint leaves. White chocolate and the holidays just go together, and the effort and thoughtfulness will go a long way.