Food & Wine

Get into the Spirit

By Daisy Barringer

Celebrate the holidays with a festive adult beverage from some of the city’s best bartenders. In the mood for a winter warmer? A twist on a nostalgic favorite? Look no further than these playful libations.

Jingle Bell Nog

Kevin Diedrich,
General Manager and Partner at Pacific Cocktail Haven

Of the 12 seasonal cocktails on the lineup at this Union Square bar, the drink Diedrich prefers most is the Jingle Bell Nog. “It’s one of my favorites because of the unique ingredient pandan. It makes cocktails pop and adds a nice vanilla and buttery popcorn flavor,” he says. “It’s just right for the holidays.”

Jingle Bell Nog

650 ml. Peanut butter cognac
750 ml. Amontillado sherry
56 oz. almond milk
44 oz. cream
14 oz. white sugar
10 drops almond extract
15 drops vanilla extract
20 drops orange blossom water
1.7 oz. pandan paste
0.9 oz. grated nutmeg
Using a hand blender, beat eggs on low till frothy, then add ingredients until dissolved. For the peanut butter cognac: Combine 2 oz. of creamy peanut butter with 750 ml. cognac. Stir one minute. Let sit five hours at room temp. Put in freezer. Strain out the next day.

Reindeer Hooch

Ryan Hall, General Manager
at The Treasury

Winter is Hall’s favorite time of year to make cocktails because he loves using cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, spices that are perfectly suited for the holidays. The Treasury GM also has a major sweet tooth, with milkshakes being one of his all-time favorite guilty pleasures. This boozy frozen treat is his way of combining the two, and is among his favorite drinks he’s ever created. “Although a milkshake isn’t typical for winter, the Reindeer Hooch’s baking spice flavors mixed with the rum and coconut milk (which is much lighter than traditional dairy, but still provides the silky texture of a milkshake) allude to the taste of milk and cookies, a holiday tradition.”

Reindeer Hooch

2 oz. Humboldt Distillery Organic Spiced Rum
2 oz. coconut milk
½ oz. cinnamon syrup
Serve in a vintage milk bottle, and pour over a large hand-cut ice cube with fresh nutmeg.

Suenos Dulces

Diego Pilares, Bartender
at La Mar

Pilares pays homage to traditional eggnog by adding a Peruvian twist and a Nutella and hazelnut “icing” rim. “It has the perfect mixture of sweet, comfort and booze,” he says. “All of the things you need to survive the holidays.”

Suenos Dulces

1.5 oz. Pisco
1 oz. milk
¾ oz. Frangelico
½ oz. simple syrup
1 egg
Nutella and hazelnut rim

Also of Note

Eggnog

Via Zakai Arnowitz, Bartender at Alembic: Tequila reposado, Oloroso sherry, dry curacao, egg, whole milk, nutmeg.

Piquette Caliente

Tammy Hagans, Bar Manager at Barcino: 2 oz. Torres 10 Gran Reserva Brandy, ½ oz. vanilla-clove syrup,
¼ oz. lemon juice, boiling water.

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