Favorite Christmas Cocktails - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at Allrecipes.com - 146157

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

favorite christmas cocktails 
Dec. 22, 2009 4:13 pm 
Updated: Dec. 22, 2009 4:18 pm
Has anyone noticed a shortage of rye in this country? Or maybe it’s just Washington. There is no bonded Rittenhouse Rye to be found anywhere. Also, I was hoping to gift a bottle of Hudson Manhattan Rye to an extremely special (and particularly deserving) someone. But no one around here’s seen any of that stuff in 6 months. So I’m coming up empty handed this holiday.

Rye seems to be catching on. And the demand is seriously infringing upon my supply.

Oh well, maybe I’ll branch out this Christmas. I turn to rye in the wintery months, but particularly at Christmas; I like the warm, spicy quality of rye. Among my favorites for the holidays are Cocktail a la Louisiane, McKinley’s Delight, Sherman Cocktail, and Vieux Carre. They’re all of a theme, as you’ll see (recipes below). Each of these cocktails is mixed over ice and then strained neat into the glass. No ice. It makes for a warm, cozy feeling. It's like an extra blanket on a cold, cold night.

But this year, maybe I’ll go for the Negroni, an Italian gin cocktail that’s pleasantly, refreshingly bitter. The Negroni's Santa’s PJ’s color is perfect for Christmas, and the recipe couldn’t be simpler: it’s equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. (I’ll break out the good Antica sweet vermouth for the holidays.)

Or else, there’s always the Champagne Cocktail. My favorite is just a cube of sugar, a couple splashes of Angostura bitters, and the sparkling wine. Here are some other ideas. Who can wait for New Year's?

However, for those of you who’ve broken the rye blockade, here are some favorite rye whiskey cocktails. Enjoy! And have a very Merry Christmas!

Vieux Carre
1 ounce rye whiskey
1 ounce cognac
1 ounce sweet vermouth
½ teaspoon Benedictine
Dash Angostura bitters
Dash Peychaud’s bitters
Twist of lemon peel
Pour rye, cognac, vermouth, and Benedictine into a tall glass. Shake in Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters. Stir, then strain into a short cocktail glass, and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Cocktail a la Louisiane
1 oz rye whiskey
¾ ounce Benedictine
¾ ounce sweet vermouth
1/8 teaspoon Pernod or absinthe (Herbsaint if you can find it)
Several dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Add whiskey, Benedictine, sweet vermouth, and Pernod to a pitcher/shaker. Shake in bitters. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

McKinley’s Delight
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 teaspoon cherry brandy
¼ teaspoon absinthe or Pernod
Pour whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry brandy, and absinthe into shaker or pitcher. Shake or stir to mix.  Strain into a martini glass.

Sherman Cocktail
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
½ teaspoon absinthe
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Twist of lemon for garnish
Pour whiskey, sweet vermouth, and absinthe into shaker or pitcher. Shake in Angostura and orange bitters.  Shake or stir to mix.  Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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