This is the season to be jolly, right? We think so. That’s why we’re thrilled to feature these holiday cocktail recipes from some of the top establishments in town. With inventive recipes and flavorful profiles, you’ll want to make a pit stop at one of these watering holes for libations that are sure to get you in the spirit.
Drink: Sleepy Hollow
This popular Midtown hotel welcomes you to its happening lobby bar, where the delicious Sleepy Hollow ($10) awaits. “I have a very big sweet tooth, and the Sleepy Hollow is definitely a drink that is after my own heart. It’s rich, creamy and it goes down really easy,” says Kelly Chandler, bar manager, who created the drink. Made with Corsair pumpkin spice moonshine, Godiva liqueur, cream, chocolate syrup and allspice, the toasty drink is just right for this time of the year.
“This is definitely the nightcap, if you’re going to have one,” Kelly says. “Pair it with a chocolate cake or bread pudding — something really rich and warm, so the flavors play off each other.”
Bonus beverage: Cortney’s Seasonal Black Rum Shrub
Another holiday cocktail that Kelly recommends at Saltwood is Cortney’s Seasonal Black Rum Shrub ($11). She uses blackberry shrub, Gosling’s black rum and a splash of soda to prepare it.
“This is a drink that could float in between the richer, heavier sauces at this time of year. It provides a heartwarming experience due to the nature of the dark rum,” she says, adding, “You could have this with a cobbler, or it could go with a roast. It’s a pretty diverse drink for a diverse palate.”
Drink: Home on the Range
Found at: The Southern Gentleman
3035 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. A208 • (404) 939-9845
While dropping loads of cash in Buckhead, take a few minutes to step inside this second-level hot spot for a haute holiday drink or two. Lead bartender Brian Graham says that the Home on the Range ($12), made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Dolin Rouge, Cynar, Jack Rudy bitters, black walnut bitters, smoked cherry and a flamed orange peel, will butter you up.
“All the flavors characterize the smell of burning leaves and Fraser fir. You get all that warmth and coziness inside of a cocktail. It makes you want to buy Christmas presents,” Brian says.
Bonus beverage: Every Rose Has Its Thorn
If you’re in the mood for an additional seasonal beverage, try Every Rose Has Its Thorn ($12). Brian incorporates Four Roses (Yellow label) bourbon, allspice dram, cinnamon honey syrup, black truffle sea salt, lemon juice hard cider and angostura bitters with an apple slice.
“It’s the fall, apples are in season. And you’ve got cinnamon,” Brian says. “I took the cinnamon, the honey, the allspice and everything to make one successful drink. We’re all passionate about the craft of the holiday cocktail here at The Southern Gentleman, and it shows.”
Drink: Reform Candidate
Found at: Cakes & Ale
155 Sycamore Street, Decatur • (404) 377-7994
Located in downtown Decatur, Cakes & Ale wine and beverage director Jordan Smelt says he named the drink Reform Candidate ($11) after one of his favorite movies. “I was watching a snippet of the debates the other night, and I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, which is O Brother, Where Art Thou. At one point, the character that is the existing governor of Mississippi is asking his sons why he’s losing to the other challenger. One son says, ‘The reason that people like him is that he’s the reform candidate.’ People like that ‘reform’ is what he said. It just struck me as funny, and so that’s how the name came to me,” Jordan says.
Made with Fords London Dry gin, Muscadine cider, fresh lemon, Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur, simple syrup and Fever-Tree tonic, this drink is quite refreshing. “Serve this at your holiday party,” Jordan says. “It’s got a little bit of that holiday spice character, and it’s a crowd pleaser. Garnished with rosemary, it’s a good cocktail to start the night.”
Bonus beverage: Late Transit
The restaurant also offers another seasonal libation called Late Transit ($12). The cinnamon-topped drink comes with Cazadores Tequila Reposado, Aperol Aperitivo, Giffard’s Crème de Pamplemousse Rose and lemon. “This is what you should be drinking right now,” Jordan says. “The tequila typically has a little bit of a peppery quality to it, which lends itself well here. Add the red grapefruit cordial in the Aperol, and the cinnamon on top, and you’ve got total spice box holidays.”
Drink: Bourbon Spice Rack
Found at: Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant
240 N. Highland Ave. • (404) 589-1010
It’s worth a trip to Inman Park for the Bourbon Spice Rack ($11), which Gretchen Thomas, wine and spirits director for Barteca Restaurant Group, created. “For the Bourbon Spice Rack, it was the Scrappy’s lavender bitters that first caught my attention. I really wanted to work those flavors into a cocktail,” Gretchen says. “The maple syrup was the next component. One of my culinary team members gave me a sample of a local maple syrup. So I worked from there, and, after some tinkering, created the Bourbon Spice Rack.”
Perfect for the holidays thanks to its spices, which include Scrappy’s cardamom bitters and other ingredients such as lemon juice, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Redemption High-Rye, try it with a roasted ham. Gretchen adds, “The salty sweetness from the ham will complement the cocktail nicely.”
Bonus beverage: Jekyll & Hyde
You won’t want to miss out on Gretchen’s Jekyll & Hyde, either. “This was created last year. I wanted to add a richly flavored, stirred drink to complement all the ‘shaken with citrus’ drinks on our menu,” she says. Inspired by the Sawyer, a drink from the Employees Only cocktail book, the Jekyll & Hyde ($10.50) is made with Bulleit bourbon, Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao, Carpano Antica vermouth, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and is garnished with an orange peel. Her method to the madness? “In order to balance the intensity of the bitters, I use a natural chocolate liqueur. So I think of this drink as having two personalities, being both bitter and sweet—hence the name.”
Pair this with pecan pie, and you’ll have another reason to be thankful this holiday season!
Found at: JCT. Kitchen & Bar
1198 Howell Mill Road • (404) 355-2252
Put Ford Fry’s Westside Provisions eatery on your holiday cocktail-hopping list. The Poinsettia ($9) has been a signature item for a few years now. Beverage manager Eduardo Guzman can’t get enough of this drink. “My mentor, Lara Creasy (beverage director for Rocket Farm Restaurants), is the one who came up with it. It’s a classic. We’ve been keeping it on the menu because it’s a staple during the holidays. I love it. People love it,” Eduardo says. Three simple ingredients — housemade Orangecello, four poached cranberries and sparkling wine — make this drink a hit. Eduardo says it’s the Orangecello.
“It’s a different take on the Poinsettia, mimosas, Bellinis or French 75. We make the Orangecello with vodka, sugar and orange peels. Very simple. And then we let it sit for a couple of days, so it will infuse really well with the orange oils. Also, poaching the cranberries with cloves and an orange peel will add a different dimension to the drink in flavor profile. Once you taste it, everything comes out really nicely.”
Bonus beverage: Rosebud
For something a tad more robust, try the Rosebud ($10). It’s made with fig-infused bourbon, St. George Spiced Pear liqueur, brown sugar, Fee Brother’s Aromatic bitters and Regans’ orange bitters. “Regans’ orange and the Fee Brother’s Aromatic bitters gives it those winter spices that when you taste the flavors, you remember, ‘Oh, it’s the holidays! Christmas, friends, turkey, food.’ All those notes, rosemary and pine trees start coming out,” Eduardo says.
Hopefully these Atlanta holiday cocktails will provide inspiration for your own upcoming dinner party … or perhaps somewhere to escape to after Aunt Edna starts critiquing your hosting abilities. Whether you’re looking for the perfect seasonal drink or somewhere to hang out for happy hour, StyleBlueprint always has you covered.
Cheers to a very happy holiday season!