There’s something about the holidays, when our homes transform into sparkly wonderlands, when streets become packed with shoppers, and people everywhere are filled with cheer and goodwill. It’s the one time each year we get to cut loose, to live a little, to indulge in food and drink without feeling guilty. Hey, they don’t call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing! It’s also time for bars to offer something special for their guests, playful and seasonal drinks meant to invoke the yuletide spirit. If you’re looking for a great holiday cocktail, here are some of best in town.
Santa’s Hot Bourbon Apple Cider, The Standard Pour
Mrs. Claus knows what Santa wants after his big night of hard work: an adult beverage! Created by bar guru Brian McCullough of the Standard Pour, Santa’s Hot Bourbon Apple Cider (pictured above) is the ultimate cider cocktail. McCullough blends Maker’s Mark bourbon with a rich, apple cider, made in-house with whole cinnamon sticks, lemon peel, star anise and thickened with chunks of red apple. Best of all is the cider’s topping, a snowy layer of house made allspice honey cider with sage garnish. A glass or two of this stuff and Santa’s case of world-class jetlag vanishes like the ghost of Christmas past.
The Grinch, Living Room Bar at W Hotel
We puzzled and puzzled till our puzzler got sore, but in the end we just had to ask bartender Dallas Mattox what made his holiday drink so spectacular. Mattox’s cocktail puts a colorful twist on traditional eggnog—it’s green! Made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, melon liqueur and pineapple, this creamy, fruity concoction will melt even the grinchiest of hearts.
The King’s Mule, LARK on the Park
It’s a little known fact there were actually four wise men. Unfortunately, the other Magi weren’t too kind to King Larry or his gift—a cross-eyed mule named Sasparilla—and Larry’s story forever disappeared into the cracks of history. Until now. Thanks to Matt Orth, King Larry’s legend lives on in this festive holiday drink. The King’s Mule is a seasonal twist on the Moscow Mule, made with Kings Ginger liquor, cassis, fresh lemon and lime juice, angostura bitters, and topped with Fever Tree ginger beer and concord grapes. Truly a beverage fit for royalty.
Elf Juice, Bolsa
Santa’s elves work hard all year round getting ready for the big night, so when the Santa takes off with his sleigh full of toys, it’s time for one serious party. Kyle Hilla created this delicious hot cocktail, which brims over with the flavors of spiced apple, ginger, lemon and honey. Time to rage, elf-style!
The Wee Foggy, Windmill Lounge
Waking to the screeching sounds of joyful children after a night of overindulgence could have you feeling out-of-sorts come Christmas morning. Thank goodness for barmeister Charlie Papaceno and his aptly titled concoction. The Wee Foggy blends Famous Grouse Scotch , fig jam, lemon and honey into a yummy libation that will perk up your spirits for hours on end.
For more info: The author of this article works afternoons at Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas, 75235; (214) 357-4375.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, please share it with your friends. Click on my Subscribe button to receive email updates when new articles are available. Can't get enough Dallas Bartender Examiner? Follow me on Twitter.