Share with your friends!

Clif Holt, co-owner and chef of Little Savannah, shares with us today a special holiday cocktail recipe and a scrumptious looking appetizer to get your next party started off right!

The perfect holiday kick off!

Thanksgiving brings warmth to the soul and hopefully a lifted sense of purpose of giving thanks for all of our blessings. Record just got scratched…reverse…Sounds World Wisely, eh? But the real truth is that when you are around your family, extended or not, everyone doesn’t always feel the same way about each other. The warm fuzzy here in the Cherry Poppins is about you, and this stout libation will make you warm, and possibly fuzzy, but very comfortable in your own home. Served properly, you will get kisses from the potential sister-in-law you thought hated your guts! Here’s the uncut version of how to make a Cherry Poppins. Keep the recipe and ingredients handy, and be sure the liquor cabinet is stocked.

Cherry Poppins

  • 1.75 oz Rye Whisky
  • .75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Splash of Spiced Brandy (recipe follows below)
  • 4 dashes of Cherry Bitters

Spiced Brandy:  a specialty of Little Savannah

To make this at home, infuse 750 ml of your favorite Brandy/Cognac with ½ split vanilla bean, 1 whole star anise, and 6 whole cloves. Place in a glass jar and let infuse for 3 days.

Strain out the cloves after 3 days.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts Canapés


  • 2 dozen Brussels sprouts, vibrant green
  • 2 slices smoked hickory bacon
  • 1 leek
  • ¼ cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 3 ounces Robiola (or a soft Brie)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350°

Trim wash and half (lengthwise) the sprouts and toss in a mixing bowl with EVOO, salt, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Spread on cookie sheet, cut side down and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and allow to cool thoroughly. Render bacon in sauté pan over medium heat until crisp, yet pliable.  Remove bacon and reserve fat in pan. Crumble bacon coarsely. Remove green tops from leek and slice white portion into rings as thinly as possible. Rinse in cool water to remove any sand or dirt then sauté in bacon fat, over medium heat for two minutes. Do not brown.

For assembly, turn sprouts over cut side up and place a few pieces of the leek on top of the sprout. If the sprout is too wobbly, cut a flat spot on the bottom to stabilize. Follow with the crumbled bacon, toasted pecans and a dab of the cheese. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Drizzle with sherry glaze (recipe below) and serve warm.

Sherry Glaze

Pour 1 cup of good quality sherry vinegar into a stainless saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce by two thirds until thickened resembling the consistency of molasses.


Clif Holt. Photo credit:


Little Savannah, located in Historic Forest Park at 3811 Clairmont Avenue South, is a neighborhood restaurant and bar that dishes out fresh, local, fine southern cuisine. Owners Clif and Maureen Holt offer the utmost in hospitality at this southern bistro, ensuring a memorable dining experience all the way around. For more information visit or call 205-591-1119.










Thanks for sharing this cocktail recipe and appetizer with us, Clif! If it’s half as good as your Spicy Peach Margarita Mix we featured in our October Finds, then we just might be in for some trouble! Gobble ’til you wobble, friends!

Share with your friends!