Eggnog again? It’s a holiday classic for a reason, but the holiday season gives us wonderful occasions to get creative with your spirits. It’s time for your beverages to meet the spirit of the season. With cocktails that play with seasonal flavors from pumpkin to peppermint, there’s bound to be something here that will warm your winter. Five local bartenders have given the gift of their best seasonal cocktail recipes. Drink specialists from The Drawing Room at The Tennessean, drink. at Bistro by the Tracks, Kitchen 919, Club LeConte, and Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro offer unique takes on holiday beverages. We encourage you to give each one of them a try and raise your glass with us this season to get in the holiday spirit.
Love & Hate
In this contradictory cocktail offered by Mark Zerod of drink. at Bistro by the Tracks, subtle heat helps you embrace the contradictory elements of the chilly season.
1½ oz. Godiva Liquor
½ oz. Ancho Chili Liquor
¾ oz. Coffee Liquor
¼ oz. Creme de Coca
Combine all ingredients. Add ice and shake. Double-strain cocktail into glass. Serve the cocktail up with fresh mint.
A White Christmas Martini
This layered celebration of the season is crafted by Michele Lawson of Club Leconte as a holiday dessert drink—a sweet snowbank of peppermint to be enjoyed by the fire.
1 ¾ oz. of Absolut Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. of Crème de Menthe (clear)
½ oz. of Half & Half
2 teaspoons Grenadine
Crushed Andes Peppermint
Fill shaker with ice, vodka, crème de menthe, and half&half. Shake hard. Pour mixture into martini glass and rim with crushed peppermint. Layer by slowly pouring grenadine over a bar spoon against the edge of he glass. Garnish with a small candy cane.
This citrusy kick to the taste buds was developed by Schuyler La Rue from the Dancing Bear.
1½ oz. Johnny Walker 12 year
1 oz. Freshly squeezed Grapefruit
1 oz. Freshly squeezed Blood Orange
1 oz. Black Cherry & Thyme Simple Syrup
1 whole egg white
2 Dashes Bogart Bitters
Combine all ingredients without ice and shake (excluding bitters). Add ice and shake a second time. Strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with Thyme sprig and an orange peel. Add 2 dashes bogart bitters and create frothy design using cocktail straw.
The Great Pumpkin Sour
Step aside, pumpkin-spiced latte. Kyle Haggerty offers a uniquely Drawing Room take on the seasonal pumpkin craze.
1 egg white
½ oz. lemon
½ oz. lime
½ oz. simple syrup
1½ oz. Chattanooga Cask Strength Bourbon
¼ oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 bar spoons pumpkin pie filling
Add citrus and egg white to shaker and shake vigorously without ice for 30 seconds. Add ice and rest of ingredients and shake for 10 seconds.Fine strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon on top of cocktail.
The Autumn Gentleman
In the fall, a gentleman demands a cocktail steeped with the complexities of the season. Here, infused rye (made with star anise, a cinnamon stick, brown sugar, and a bosc pear) provides layered flavor.
2 oz. Pear and Cinnamon infused rye whiskey
¼ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
4-6 dashes black walnut bitters
Stir and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a twist.