Ah, the holidays. A time where all is merry and bright. Where friends and family gather and bond in laughter. For some, this time of year means cooking or caroling. For others, it's sipping seasonal classics like hot cocoa and eggnog. And for many 21-and-up, it means finding some hard cider.
Let's face it, as lovely as this time of year is, it's usually also immensely stressful. Aside from the usual daily pressures, the holidays means hour-long lines at checkout, or coming up with a last-minute gift for that relative you forgot about. Don't even get me started on New Year's, that's an entirely different beast.
So relax with some playful cocktails. There's something about holiday drinks that sets them apart from your average rum and Coke.
Cocktails are "festive … they bring back a lot of flavors for the holidays that you don't normally think of year round," said Beauty and the Feast's bartender, Steve Lyons and Best of South Florida bartender finalist.
So without further ado, here are five holiday cocktails you can go out and try through the month of December, then make at home.
DECK sixteen, 1600 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-428-4200, SouthFlorida.com/DeckSixteen
For each $12 cocktail purchased, $1 of the proceeds benefits the Voices of Children Foundation's Guardian ad Litem Program, which supports children in Miami-Dade's foster care system. (Read about the restaurant.)
- 1/2 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
- 1/2 ounce Meyers Rum
- 1 ounce Peche de Vigne (peach liquor)
- 1 ounce half-and-half
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Combine ingredients and shake
- Pour into a martini glass
- Garnish with cinnamon stick, mint, and one raspberry
Chocolate Covered Cherry Drop
Beauty and the Feast, 601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-567-8070, SouthFlorida.com/BeautyFeast
Sip this $12 martini while enjoying the ocean view. (Read the restaurant's review.)
- 1/2 ounce vanilla vodka
- 1/2 ounce Godiva dark chocolate
- 1/2 ounce Kahlua
- 1/2 ounce Crème de Cocoa Dark
- Hershey's chocolate syrup
- cherry juice
- chocolate covered strawberries
Grab your martini glass and drizzle the inside with Hershey's chocolate sauce. Next, grab your shaker tin and combine the four listed ingredients. Shake, shake, shake, then strain into a martini glass. Once in the glass, pour some fresh cherry juice down the center of the beverage. Then, garnish with a bit of chocolate covered strawberries.
Hudson at Waterway East, 900 E Atlantic Ave. #22, Delray Beach, 561-303-1343, HudsonDelray.com
A new twist on a classic drink, just keep this one away from the kids. (Read about the restaurant.)
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces of Bacardi Oakheart
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Keep both.
- Beat four egg yolks until they lighten
- Add 1/3 cup sugar until dissolved
- Bring one pint of whole milk and one cup of heavy cream to a boil
- Mix three ounces of Bacardi Oakheart and one teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- Temper hot mixture to egg mixture. Return heat to 160 degrees and remove from heat, add bourbon and chill
- Whip four egg whites with one tablespoon sugar and whisk with chilled mixture
- Serve and enjoy
ROK:BRGR Burger Bar and Gastropub, 600 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach, 954-367-3970, RokBrgr.com
Enjoy this $13 happy hour special at the indoor-outdoor bar, Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-12 a.m. through the month of December. (Read the restaurant's review.)
- 1 ounce Tito’s vodka
- 1/4 ounce Pama Pomegranate Liquor
- 1 mint leaf
- 5 or 6 pomegranate seeds
- club soda
- pomegranate seeds
- mini candy cane
- sugar to rim a highball glass
In a shaker tin, add pomegranate seeds, mint leaf, vodka, Pama liquor, and ice. Shake well. Pour into a sugar-rimmed highball glass. Top with a splash of club soda, then garnish with a few more pomegranate seeds mint leaf and mini candy cane.
White Maple Martini
Brimstone Woodfire Grill, 14575 SW 5th St, Pembroke Pines, 954-430-2333, BrimstoneWoodfireGrill.com
The $14 cocktail will be available at the upscale Brimstone until the end of December.
- 2 ounces of Sortilége Maple Whiskey
- 1 ounce of Butterscotch Liquor
- 1 ounce of half-and-half
Combine the three ingredients listed, add ice and shake. Pour through a strainer into a frosted martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.