The Daily Valet. - 12/23/23, Saturday

✔️ Weekend Reading: Have Yourself a Merry Little Tipple

The Daily Valet.

Weekend of December 23rd

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

Our resident cocktail writer, Christopher Doell, offers up some easy drinks to make this week.

Weekend Reading

Have Yourself a Merry Little Tipple

Three festive cocktails, no matter how small the celebration

Easy holiday cocktail recipes

As singer-songwriter Matt Costa famously put it: “This time of year, without a doubt, I party hard and get martini'd out.” The holidays are here, and whether you're hosting, visiting or quarantining, serving up a good cocktail can serve you well. As noted above, Martinis are always a fine selection for a holiday party—I'll take mine dry with gin, stirred and with a lemon twist, please. But this year is different. A lot of us aren't attending parties or traveling to see friends and family. Even if you're drinking alone or merely mixing up libations for those in your bubble, here are a few offerings that will level up the memorability of any holiday occasion, no matter the size.

3 Holiday Recipes to Try

The Can’t MissChristmas Cocktail

Chef Michael Schwartz's Bulletproof Manhattan was born at his eponymous restaurant Genuine Food & Drink in Miami's Design District and is featured in his first cookbook. This cocktail, which is less Manhattan and more Whiskey Sour, to be fair, is perfect for any holiday celebration—it's stiff enough to be taken seriously but goes down easy enough to be a hit, even for non-whiskey drinkers. The inclusion of lemon allows it to lean toward refreshing, while the rosemary-infused cherry syrup bonds with the bourbon to keep things comfy. Plus, the garnish is eye-catching and easy to execute. This drink even looks like Christmas.

Something Sparkly

Skip the dubious back story of the Negroni Spagilato and toss this bitter and bubbly blend onto your holiday menu. It's attractive and festive, lower ABV, and is sure to impress your guests as unique and interesting. Feel free to prepare in advance by slicing up half orange wheels and pre-batching the Campari and Vermouth so that company can add their own Prosecco to taste, or skip measurements entirely and encourage folks to splash away somewhat sloppily, sprezzatura-style. I tend to eyeball an equal-parts sipper like this one anyway.

SomethingRich & Cozy

There's no need for a carton of cloying store bought egg nog when you can mix up a decadent, boozy batch of Coquito in about ten minutes. Born in Puerto Rico, it's a tropical twist on the more continental egg nog, and regardless of how you define or describe it, it's delicious and a real treat for the holidays. Coquito By Bori tells me that “the best recipes are the ones passed down over generations, and that stay true to its Puerto Rican roots.” She opts for Don Q rum in her own heirloom concoction and omits eggs, but those were about the only secrets she'd share about her proprietary formula. Whip up a batch, even if just for yourself, because this will keep in the fridge.

Have you tried mulled wine?

It’s an old school seasonal indulgence that’s easy to make, and because it’s only mildly alcoholic, meant to be gulped.