Three Unique Holiday Cocktails Worth Toasting To

With the scent of fresh evergreen and holiday cookies in the air, and the sounds of carolers echoing outside, what better way to usher in the holidays than with a decadent seasonal cocktail? Whether you’re the host of an extravagant party or simply looking to warm your soul, Orlando Style’s spreading cheer with three unique cocktails to toast the holiday and the start of a new year!

Spiked Holiday Eggnog for Two

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You may be wondering how this seemingly traditional holiday drink (pictured) made it on our list. While generally spiked with rum, bourbon, or brandy, we’ve added a dash of sherry to add a swift kick to Grandma’s favorite seasonal indulgence. Here’s what you’ll need:

2 eggs | 3 oz sugar | ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg | 2 oz pisco | 6 oz whole milk | 4 oz heavy cream | freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

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To avoid scrambling your eggs, you’ll want to use a slow speed blender to create the perfect consistency. Blending the eggs first, follow by slowly combining the sugar and nutmeg before adding the pisco, sherry, milk and cream. Once your concoction is thoroughly combined, seal it and place it in the refrigerator to set overnight. With a little bit of patience and a touch of holiday cheer, serve your eggnog in a chilled glass garnished with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

Looking to order a non-traditional eggnog? Highball & Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes offers a “Southern Oats” Cocktail that’s worthy of a bro-date or a girls’ night out.

Fig Thyme for One

I’d consider this cocktail the grown up version of that famous line from “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Forget the Figgy Pudding, I’ll take this cocktail with a sprig of fresh thyme, please and thank you.

For the cocktail:
1 ½ oz pisco | ¼ oz Cointreau | ½ oz thyme simple syrup* | ½ oz lime juice | 1 fig (quartered) | sprig of thyme and ½ fig for garnish

For the *syrup:
½ cup sugar | ½ cup water | 5 sprigs of thyme

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This drink may have a few more steps to it, but once you’re enveloped in the aromatic dance of fig and thyme, you’ll be in the mood for some midnight caroling and online holiday shopping. Let’s begin with the syrup. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. At this point, you’ll want to add the thyme and allow your syrup to simmer for 10 minutes. Cool the syrup before pouring it in your drink. The cocktail is a simpler feat. Place your ripe fig and fresh thyme in a mixing glass and muddle before adding ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake and double strain your drink into a decadent cocktail glass before garnishing with your thyme sprig and remaining fig.

In the mood for a thyme of fig infused drink but not ready to break out the barware? Slate on Sandlake Road makes an incredible thyme cocktail called “The Thyme Traveler” with a delicious citrus vodka, plum bitters and fresh thyme. Their “(Rye)teous Fig” cocktail, made with fig jam, is a sweet alternative to a classic cocktail.

Single Holiday Pop Cocktail

barfly1215-2Perhaps the most visually festive cocktail of the three, this fancy drink is the perfect companion for ringing in the New Year. Homemade grenadine and seasonal lemons are the key to this simple work of art.

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4 oz pomegranate juice | 4 oz fine granulated sugar

For the cocktail:
1 ½ oz vodka of your choice | ¼ oz homemade grenadine | ½ oz lemon juice | 2 oz sparkling apple cider | lemon twist or pomegranate seeds for garnish

While I’ve chosen fresh pomegranate for the grenadine, fresh pomegranate juice is an acceptable substitute. Juice the pomegranate and pour the entire contents (yes, even the seeds) through a strainer. Now add fine granulated sugar to the juice until you reach your desired consistency and stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow your fresh grenadine to chill in the refrigerator. After the grenadine is chilled to your liking, pour it into a highball glass and fill the glass halfway with ice. Now, carefully focus on pouring the vodka over the ice and not directly into the grenadine so that the alcohol creates a distinct second layer on top of the syrup. After juicing the lemon for the drink, take the shell and squeeze it face down into your glass – you’ll want the shell to sit snugly in order to create a seal for the remaining liquids. Finally, add the lemon juice and the sparkling cider and garnish with a twist of lemon or pomegranate seeds. After admiring your craftsmanship and before drinking, use a straw or spoon to release the lemon and mix the layers for a delicious party worthy alternative to sparkling wine or Champagne.

Please, drink responsibly this holiday season. May you spend your days with close friends and family, may your nights be warm, and may your holidays be merry and bright.