Five Cocktails to Help You Survive the Holidays

holidaycocktailsAs the holiday season looms closer, the idea of Grandma’s Christmas party, the office holiday party, and unending holiday celebration leads to a certain need for creative holiday cocktails to quell the urge to yell at your crazy uncle as he rants about talk radio. Here are a few suggestions to get classy with your libations in the holiday season:

Sin Town
For a simple holiday cocktail that embraces traditional fall flavors, I recommend the “Sin Town.” While the name doesn’t make it sound appetizing, this has a great flavor.

1/2 bottle of 2 Towns’ “Nice & Naughty” Cider (from 2 Towns Ciderhouse)
1 ounce SinFire Cinnamon Whisky (from Hood River Distillery)

Pour whisky over cider, stir and enjoy

Dirty Girl Scout
When the need for hot drinks comes into play, I can’t bring myself to drink hot buttered anything, but this is a quick and easy drink that makes the holidays nice and cozy.

A standard cup of hot cocoa
1 ounce Kahlua
1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Mix ingredients together, enjoy the delightful flavor, reminiscent of a Thin Mint© cookie.

Pear Sidecar
For fancier fare, I love the taste of pear in everything at the holidays. This twist on the classic sidecar is a great drink for your Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve party, or any other occasion where you want to feel classy.

2 ounces pear brandy (McMenamin’s Pear Brandy is my favorite)
2 tablespoons unsweetened pear juice or nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until your hands hurt. Serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a pear slice.

Bourbon Root Beer Float
For a unique holiday drink, try this tasty adult twist on a root beer float, which has a decidedly winter warmth.

2 ounces bourbon (4 Spirits Whiskey is a great choice)
1 ounce coffee liquor (House Spirits Series Coffee Liquor is a personal favorite)
root beer
a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Mix liquids together, top with ice cream, enjoy.

The Christmas Tree
One of the best parts of being an Oregonian is that at Christmas time our homes can be filled with the scent of our wonderful Christmas trees. When I lived on the other side of the country and was missing home, a dear friend made me a drink that tasted like Oregon. This isn’t for everyone’s palate, but it’s a holiday favorite for me.

2 ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce gin
2 ounces tonic
A splash of lime juice

Mix ingredients together in a glass with ice. Garnish with a lime and cranberries. Feel the Christmas spirit enter your heart.

by Candy Smith

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