.Making Spirits Bright with Holiday Cocktails

Local distillers showcased in five recipes for the holiday season

Whether one is hosting a holiday Happy Hour or dinner party or just looking for inspiration to spice up winter drinks, these wintery, holiday-friendly cocktails made with local ingredients are sure to inspire. 

It’s time to polish up the cocktail shaker and stock the bar with local spirits and appropriate glassware to make one’s debut as a celebrity bartender this holiday season, as these cocktails are sure to help make one a star (or at least help get the inlaws pleasantly buzzed).

Eggnog Brandy Alexander 

Creamy eggnog paired with spiced rum and brandy makes this cocktail the perfect decadent sipper for a holiday gathering.


Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, pour the cocktail into two martini or brandy alexander glasses and fill with ice. 

4 oz Clover Eggnog

2 oz Spiced Rum

2 oz Sonoma Distilling Co. Brandy

*Optional: Add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg and cinnamon to spice things up

Here We Go A-Wassailing

A well-spiced riff on a hot-buttered rum, Spirit Works brought in some festive flavors and their own Citrus-Aromatic bitters to compliment their smooth Straight Wheat Whiskey.  This cocktail goes down so easy, one will probably want to keep a kettle of hot water ready for refills. 


1 1/2 oz Spirit Works Distillery Straight Wheat Whiskey

3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 oz Liquid Alchemist Ginger Syrup

1/2 oz Liquid Alchemist Apple Spice Syrup

1/2 Sleeve (25 drops) Spirit Works Distillery “The One” Bitters

1 1/2 oz Boiling Water

1/2 Tbsp Butter


Begin by preheating a mug with hot water (make sure to pour this water out before adding the cocktail!). Blend all ingredients until emulsified and frothy. Pour into the pre-heated mug and garnish with a bit of fresh nutmeg. Enjoy!

Link to cocktail kit: club.spiritworksdistillery.com/product/Here-We-Go-A-Wassailing-Kit

Pomegranate Gin Fizz

Light, fresh undertones of ginger balanced with the bright, fresh notes of gin botanicals and pomegranate make this Pomegranate Gin Fizz a great option for a sunny, California winter holiday gathering.


1 1/2 oz Griffo Scott Street Gin

1 oz Pomegranate Juice 

1/2 oz Lime Juice 

1/4 oz Morrison Kitchen Ginger Syrup 

2 oz Fever Tree Ginger Soda


Place Scott Street Gin, pomegranate juice, lime juice and ginger syrup together in a cocktail shaker. Give it a good shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Under the Mistletoe


2 oz. Alley 6 Harvest Gin

3/4 oz. Spiced Pomegranate Syrup (or Grenadine)

2 dashes Orange Bitters 

4 oz. Sparkling Rosé

Absinthe Rinse


Rinse a coupe with absinthe. Shake gin, syrup and bitters with ice. Strain into prepared glass, top with sparkling wine and garnish with fresh rosemary. Singe the tips of the rosemary for extra fragrance.

Spiced Pomegranate Syrup

Combine equal amounts pure pomegranate juice and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over low, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add in two cinnamon sticks, a few whole star anise and about a dozen whole cloves. Heat for about five minutes, then remove from heat and let spices steep as syrup cools. Remove solids and store cooled syrup in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. Use within three weeks.

Hanson of Sonoma Cranberry Ginger Punch

This refreshing punch is on the lighter side for a winter holiday cocktail, making it another perfect California Christmas (or Hanukkah) cocktail. The ginger and cranberries give it that Christmas season flavor profile (and look), while the blood oranges brighten things up with their lively acidity.


2 cups Hanson Organic Ginger Vodka

1 cup Cranberry Juice Cocktail

1 cup Fresh Squeezed Blood Oranges

1 cup Simple Syrup

top with Club Soda


Combine Hanson Vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice and simple syrup and chill. Just before serving, add club soda and fresh Ice.

Garnish with sliced blood oranges and fresh cranberries. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pacific Sun E-edition Pacific Sun E-edition
music in the park san jose