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Cocktails for Christmas & New Year — and everything in between


December 7, 2019 — The party season leading up to Christmas and New Year is the best time of year to shine with glamorous and sophisticated drinks, not just for guests, but for yourself, too.  There’s so much going on with shopping and festivities that you deserve a reward when you collapse on the couch.

We’ve rounded up some outstanding cocktail recipes that will keep you covered all the way through New Year’s.  There are bottles that make great gifts, too, like New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon.  Consider this as a fabulous gift for the serious bourbon lover on your list.  Anything Single Barrel is a winner plus the bottle itself is so striking and eye-catching you will want one for your own bar.  Check out Rudolph’s New Riff punch for 24-26 generous servings. 

Two other recent introductions featured in our cocktails are Batanga Tequila and Square One Organic Cocktail Mixers.  Batanga is a premium tequila producer that was founded in 1926 by the Orendain family, one of the four founding families of the tequila industry.  We have seasonal recipes for both Blanco and Reposado.  Square One Organic Cocktail Mixers are meticulously crafted from the purest ingredients – not synthetic flavors built in laboratories. The mixers feature reduced sugar and very high real fruit juice content.  The company’s Pomegranate Royale is a simple way to ramp up pre-dinner drinks on Christmas Day or for welcoming 2020.

We’re running our very favorite martini recipe again – Shaken & Firred – because it is so darned good, and did we mention it’s our favorite vodka martini recipe?  (The vodka is made with real apples, not synthetic flavoring.) Check out Clear Creek Distillery’s brandies and liqueurs for interesting gift ideas.

No recipe collection would be complete at this time of year without a hot toddy.  Easy Rider Bourbon is the perfect foil for seasonal flavors like cinnamon, apple, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spices.

Rudolph’s New Riff

Courtesy of New Riff Distilling

Rudolphs New Riff S

Makes 24-26 servings

  • 2 – 750 ml bottles New Riff BIB bourbon
  • 2 cups Torani brown sugar cinnamon syrup
  • 2 – 12 oz cans lemonade concentrate
  • 1 – 46 oz bottle cranberry juice
  • 2 cups ginger beer

Garnish (cinnamon sticks, orange slices, cranberries) – optional

Method:  Mix first 4 ingredients in a punch bowl. Add ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish bowl cinnamon sticks, orange slices and cranberries.

Cranberry Tart

Courtesy of Hood River Distillers Tasting Room

  • 1 ½ ozBatanga Blanco Tequila
  • ½ oz Clear Creek Cranberry Liqueur
  • ½ oz Campari
  • ½ oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Method:  Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel; squeeze in the lime before drinking.

Noche Buena

Courtesy of Hood River Distillers Tasting Room

  • 1 ½ oz Batanga Reposado Tequila
  • ¼ oz Sinfire Apple Cinnamon Whiskey
  • ¾ oz Crème de Cacao (we use Monarch)
  • Cacao Bitters (we use Portland Bitters Project)

Mix of Salt, Sugar and Ground Cinnamon for Glass Rim

Method:   Wet the rim of a rocks glass with citrus juice, dip in a mix of salt, sugar and cinnamon, fill with ice and set aside. Shake the Batanga, Sinfire and Crème de Cacao with ice and strain into the rocks glass. Dash with Cacao Bitters. 

Pomegranate Royale

Courtesy of Square One Organic Mixers

  • 1 flute sparkling wine (or tonic water for a mock-tail version)
  • ½ oz Square One Organic Pink Daisy Mix

Method: Pour mix into bottom of flute, then slowly pour sparkling wine into flute. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary sprig.

Shaken and Firred

Courtesy of Hood River Distillers Tasting Room

  • 1 oz Clear Creek Vodka
  • 1 oz Clear Creek Douglas Fir Brandy
  • ¼ oz Dry Vermouth

Method: Shake with ice and serve up in a sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel float punctured with a sprig of rosemary.

Hayride Hot Toddy

Hay Ride Hot Toddy Sb
  • 1 ½ oz Easy Rider Bourbon
  • ½ oz Cinnamon Whisky
  • 1 oz Apple Juice or Cider
  • ½ oz Maple Syrup
  • ¼ oz Allspice Dram (St. Elizabeth)
  • Pinch Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 oz Water

Method:  In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water, apple juice/cider, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Just prior to boiling point, turn heat to low and add Easy Rider, Cinnamon Whisky and Allspice Dram. Simmer on low for 30 seconds to 1 minute (until thoroughly hot, do not boil). Serve in a mug or heat resistant glass and garnish with lemon and a cinnamon stick.