1. Day One... The Holiday Spice
To kick off a series of 12 Days of Cocktails we have this drink that transforms the summertime colada into a wintertime comfort. The Ciroc Holiday Spice brings that creamy coconut and pineapple taste we love in a Pina Colada, amplifies it with coconut vodka, milk, and egg, then tops everything off with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. It is a fun drink, something completely different from what we normally associate with the season, and uplifting and comforting in one sip.
2. Day Two... Belle of the Ball
The new hazelnut Baileys and Bertrams Brandy make an appearance in this intriguing cocktail that will make an ideal before dinner drink this holiday season. To go along with those two spirits, choose an Italian bitter and herbal liqueur with mild profiles (suggestions in the recipe) and pull out that not-often-used bottle of mole bitters and you will have a drink with layers of depth and a soothing aroma. This is one to experiment with prior to serving to others.
3. Day Three... Hennessy Hot Coco
Two things that rarely go together are brandy and hot cocoa and that is a bit of a shame because it is drinks like this that show that the combination is one that we should see more of. The supplementary ingredients in the Hennessy Hot Coco really help the Cognac and chocolate mesh, because if it were not for the spiced syrup, vanilla, and heavy cream, this would be just another spiked hot chocolate recipe. No, this one is a real treat.
4. Day Four... Scarlett Letter
Today's celebratory holiday cocktail is as elegant looking as it is flavorful and it will be a perfect addition to this season's more sophisticated affairs. The Scarlett Letter features No. 3 Gin, a fantastic London dry, and sparkling wine, but that's not all. That stunning purple-red color comes from a special cranberry puree that mixologist Jackson Cannon created for this drink. The puree is spiced up with bay, cloves, and orange zest and is actually quite easy to make up, bottle, and have on hand when serving these cocktails.
5. Day Five... Kilbeggan Ginger Toddy
It is the season of the toddy and I have an interesting new toddy recipe to share today. Now, if you think 'ginger toddy' you may think of something like this Hot Ginger Toddy recipe that uses a ginger liqueur, not so in this case. No, this new toddy pairs Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey with ginger beer and when ginger beer gets heated up that signature spice is on a whole new level and it is amazing, especially with the Kilbeggan in the background. Give it a try, it's another option for one of the best toddy flavors you will find.
6. Day Six... Dragon's Heart
Today's celebratory drink takes a little turn from the normal holiday cocktail because the date warrants a very special drink. We find ourselves in the Year of the Dragon on a historical date that we will never see again, this triple digit match up of dates - 12/12/12 - is supposed to be a very lucky day and the drink for such a significant occasion should be equally significant.
The Dragon's Heart (created by New York City mixologist Ektoras Binikos) combines Ron Abuelo 12 Anos Rum, mezcal, Domaine de Canton, blood orange juice, lime, and your choice of either elderflower cordial or a mint-citrus syrup. Needless to say, that is a lot to put into a single glass, but for a once-in-a-lifetime day (or any other day for that matter) it is worth it because it is one very fine cocktail.
7. Day Seven... Toasted Macaroon
Tequila and coconut rum play a role in this delicious cocktail that does a fine job of liquifying the taste of the macaroon, a favorite holiday treat. The coconut is enhanced by also including coconut milk and toasted coconut flakes, and the addition of Licor 43 and Frangelico brings everything together and (along with the tequila) contrast the drink's sweetness quite nicely.
8. Day Eight... Svedka Ice Kaffe
There have been many enhancements to the White Russian over the years and I think this one is too much fun to pass up. The Ice Kaffe uses both of Svedka's vanilla and clear vodkas along with coffee liqueur and cream. However, it is that big brown block in the glass that make this rendition something very special. That block is a frozen cube of coffee and milk, otherwise called Cafe con Leche ice, and it has taken this otherwise good drink to the level of creative greatness.
9. Day Nine... Zeppole Sparkler
Today we celebrate the holidays with a sparkling wine cocktail featuring Martini Moscato d'Asti. The wine is backed up with gold rum and a splash of citrus, though it is the cinnamon sugar rimmer that takes this drink into the realm of winter greatness. Use this drink as an alternative to Champagne cocktails during the season's toasts.
10. Day Ten... Peppermint Fling
Today we have a sweet treat of a drink. This is a new peppermint cocktail that is filled with sweet and is as creamy as they come, but it is more interesting than that. It is the Citadelle Gin background that makes this candied cocktail a true delight because the gin's botanicals add another flavor profile that is needed in such a drink. The peppermint in this cocktail comes from a peppermint simple syrup made from crushed candy canes and could be used in a number of other holiday drinks as well.
11. Day Eleven... Cappuccino Cascades
Hot chocolate, hot coffee, amaretto, and a fun hazelnut and espresso vodka make up this toasty drink that is almost too good to be true. The vodka is one from Crater Lake Vodka out of Bend, Oregon, and it is a unique flavor combination that works perfectly against the coffee and chocolate. If a mocha latte is one of your favorite coffee drinks, you will fall for this winter wonderland comfort.
12. Day Twelve... Poinsettia Punch
To finish off the 12 Days of Cocktails, I have one last cocktail to reveal and this one can work just as well as a party punch as it does in the refreshing single cocktail that the recipe calls for. The Poinsettia Punch pairs Nolet's Silver Dry Gin with St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, cinnamon syrup, grenadine, lemon, and bitters. It is one of those drinks that is anything but boring and, in true punch fashion, is filled with layers of flavors that have been intricately placed together.