Holiday Cocktails as mixed by Expert Bartender John Jacob
Nuts & Berries
1 ounces Frangelico (Hazelnut liqueur)
1 ounces Chambord (Black Raspberry liqueur)
Half and Half or milk to fill
Pour Frangelico and Chambord in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir to mix. Float cream on top. Garnish with berries on a cocktail sword.
Notes from John Jacob: A drink that I love to serve around the holidays. The hazelnut of the Frangelico and the lush black raspberry of the Chambord complement each other well. The half and half adds a creamy richness to it. This drink is lower in alcohol than most so it can be enjoyed without worry or guilt. That is of course if you're not worried about the sugar and cream.
1 ounces Ciroc Berry vodka
.75 ounces Crème de Cocoa
Champagne to fill
Pour the berry vodka and crème de cocoa in a champagne flute. Stir gently to mix. Pour champagne over the top. Garnish with raspberries.
Notes from John Jacob: A featured holiday drink at Mancy's Italian during the holiday months. It is easy to prepare and great sipper for your guests on New Year's Eve! With the Razzle Dazzle you get the berry flavors from the vodka and the rich, silky chocolate from the crème de cocoa. The bubbly adds a light, celebratory dimension that is sure to please.
2 ounces Rye Whiskey
2-3 dashes of bitters (Angostura or Fee Brothers)
1 sugar cube (1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar)
2 drops of soda water
Place a sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Wet the cube down with a few dashes of bitters. Add a splash of soda water and muddle until the sugar is dissolved. Rotate the glass so the sugar coats it. Drop in a large ice cube and add the rye whiskey. Garnish with a wide lemon or orange peel.
Notes from John Jacob: This *square-jawed, assertive drink has been abused by bartenders over the years. For decades it was customary to add a cherry and orange slice along with the sugar, bitters and soda water and muddle them together. To make matters worse, rye all but disappeared after Prohibition and the much sweeter bourbon was often substituted. Unfortunately this mixture turns an American classic into an awful, gooey mess in the glass. The practice began during Prohibition when the quality of the "hooch" was bad. Bartenders had to mask the whiskey's hash flavors. Even after the "Noble Experiment" ended, bartenders trained other bartenders how to make the Old Fashioned this way. The practice persisted until the end of the century. That is not to say that you won't find bartenders making it this way. They still do. However, for many the original recipe has been rediscovered and reclaimed. Now it is being introduced to a whole new generation of cocktail aficionados.
*Dave Wondrich, Esquire's drink historian, once referred to the Old Fashioned as square-jawed in his description of the Old-Fashioned. I've always liked and used that.
1.5 ounces cognac
.75 ounces Cointreau
.75 ounces lemon juice
Combine the cognac and Cointreau in a shaker. Cut a lemon in half and use a hand held citrus press to squeeze out the required amount of lemon juice. Add it to the shaker. Place ice in the shaker until you can see both liquid and ice. Cap it and shake vigorously. Pour in a martini glass that has been rimmed with a lemon and sugar. Garnish with an orange peel.
Notes from John Jacob: The Sidecar is one of the few worthy drinks to come out of the Prohibition era. Driven by the brandy, the drink is well balanced between the interplay of the sweet orange Cointreau and the tart lemon juice. It is a soft but beautiful golden hue and packs a sneaky wallop to the unsuspecting. There are two schools of thought about preparing the drink. The French opt for equal parts of the ingredients while the English insist on going heavy on the cognac. I'll bow politely to France, but I'm going to have to side with her Majesty on this one.