What I’m Drinking Now: Holiday Cocktails

Mount Gay's Rum Spice Night and Hot Buttered Rum

If you are strictly a spirit person and not interested in wine or beer, but may want to spice up your traditional drinks, there are handful of yummy holiday cocktails that will keep you warm as our nights get colder.

Mount Gay Rum has been produced on the island of Barbados for over 300 years.  17th Century sailors brought Mount Gay back to Europe with them as proof that they completed their tasks to travel to the new world.  And, today it is as good as when it was first created with creamy vanilla, banana and baking spice flavors.

Mount Gay Rum Spice Night
1½ oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
1½ oz scented apple juice (see below)
½ oz fresh carrot juice
¼ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz maple syrup
1 tsp fresh ginger juice
Place all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass. Garnish with whole allspice pods-they will float atop the cocktail.
*Make the scented apple juice the day before, by combining 3 to 4 whole allspice pods with one cracked cinnamon stick per 2 cups of apple juice. (I tried this without the carrot juice and it was just as tasty, though the carrot juice will give you a few extra nutrients in your cocktail.)

If you need to warm up try Mount Gay’s Hot Buttered Rum.  We had this on the porch the other night just as it turned chilly.  Such a great way to warm up!

Mount Gay Hot Buttered Rum
1½ Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
1 lb light brown sugar
½ lb unsalted butter (softened)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl beat together softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and spices until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight reusable container for up to a month, or place in your freezer until ready to use. In a pre-heated coffee mug combine 2 heaping tablespoons batter with 1½ oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. Top with boiling water and stir well to mix. Serve with a spoon

Van Gogh Blue Rosemary Sings The Blues

Van Gogh BLUE Vodka is made French, German and Holland wheat sources, and distilled three times in the Holland based distillery.  I love fresh herbs and this one with rosemary adds subtle herbal flavors to the clean vodka.  Don’t worry, you won’t end up channeling the iconic artists blue period at Auvers with this vodka.

Rosemary Sings the Blues
1-1/2 oz  Van Gogh BLUE Vodka
1 oz  Elderflower syrup
3 oz  Soda
2  Rosemary sprigs (one for garnish)
Add Van Gogh BLUE, elderflower syrup and rosemary sprig into a mixing glass with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh crushed ice. Top with soda and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur is an ideal addition to many classic cocktails, especially this one that adds a little extra flair to a simple champagne cocktail.

The St-Germain Cocktail
1 ½ parts St-Germain
2 parts Champagne*
or Dry White Wine**
2 parts Club Soda
or Sparkling Water
Stir ingredients in a tall , ice-filled Collins glass, mixing completely. Garnish with lemon twist.

Wild Turkey Smashed Pumpkin

Bourbon can warm anyone on a cold night, and Wild Turkey is one of the oldest, and still the best, from the heart of Kentuky.  Though a little untraditional the recipe below tastes just like a pumpkin pie, without all the baking.

Smashed Pumpkin
1 oz Wild Turkey 101
1/4 oz almond liqueur
1/4 oz cinnamon schnapps
2 oz pumpkin pie filling
1/2 oz heavy cream
Puree  pumpkin pie filling with heavy cream.  Mix with other ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake well and strain into a martini glass. Rim with crumbled graham crackers and a cinnamon stick; top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.

If you aren’t a pumpkin pie fan but want a little something sweet at the end of your turkey day meal try Amarula Cream.  It may be one of the best liqueurs I have had in a while.  Created from the sacred Marula tree in South Africa the flavors remind me of strawberry milk, with a kick.  Enjoy Amarula on its own, over ice, after dinner.  Amazing!

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