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Dec 11, 2013 10:35 AM

What are you drinking these days? Fall/Winter Cocktails 2013-2014

Didn't see a recent thread on this, so thought I'd start one.

Last night I made up an interesting twist on the Manhattan that went down way too smoothly:

2 oz. rye (I used Old Overholt)
1/2 oz. sweet red vermouth (I used Noilly Pratt)
1/2 oz. Belle de Brillet (pear and cognac liqueur)
2-3 dashes Scrappy's cardamom bitters

Stir and strain over a (large) cube of ice. I was too lazy to dig out a garnish but a pear slice or cherry would be nice.

How about you? Any new recipes or old favorites for the holiday season?

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  1. With an onion stuffed olive. It's my antifreeze, been really cold.

    1. Best cocktail I've made recently is called "Equinox" (seems to be one of many), apparently created at Eastern Standard in Boston[1]:

      Spiced syrup:

      2 c water
      2 c sugar
      1 tbsp whole cloves
      1 tbsp whole star anise
      3 cinnamon sticks

      Heat up until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15m. Remove from heat. Pour into a container, allow to rest in the refrigerator for 24h. Strain and use.


      1.5oz calvados
      3/4oz lemon juice
      3/4oz syrup
      1d Angostura

      Shake/strain/garnish with a lemon twist.

      The syrup is really awesome. I made Peking Duck for Thanksgiving, to which I added a bit of Five Spice for additional aroma, and the spices in the syrup matched it perfectly.

      [1] Reference:


      Another drink I'm really interested in, but have not tried yet, is "Chancleta Vieja," created by Danny Valdez of The Regent Cocktail Club, in Miami. (Found in this month's issue of Imbibe):

      2oz rye
      1/2oz sweet vermouth
      3/4oz unsweetened coconut milk
      2d Angostura
      1d chocolate bitters

      Stir, strain into a coupe (even though the photo above the recipe shows it in a rocks glass, with a cube of ice?), orange twist.

      5 Replies
      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        The coconut milk cocktail intrigues me. I may try it, but I need to get some chocolate bitters. Any brand you favor?

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          The one I have right now is the Bittermen's Xocolatl, which I like a lot. It's not 100% chocolate-focused but I like the balance of flavors. If you want something a bit more one-note, the Fee Bros Aztec Chocolate is supposed to fit that bill.

          1. re: ChristinaMason

            Well I made the coconut milk drink just now. It is ABSOLUTELY GHASTLY.

            The result, after stirring, is something that looks rather lumpy and disgusting in the glass. Maybe shaking would help there. But there are deeper problems, like the fact that the drink has not nearly enough sweetness to balance. My first sip left me with a lingering flavor of disgusting in my mouth. The drink tastes a little bit better now that I've dashed in some simple, but I think I'll toss it down the drain and make a Negroni instead.

            1. re: davis_sq_pro

              haha, OK. Thanks for taking that bullet.

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                Yah, I saw coconut and Rye and my first reaction was blech.

          2. Electronic rotten tomatoes probably headed my way, but I really enjoy and "appletini" in December. The colors are just so festive. It makes me happy when I'm wrapping gifts.

            Otherwise, I've been putting a dent in our red wine collection to make room for the annual wine sale that happens in January. Just finished a better than expected California Cab.

            1 Reply
            1. re: autumm

              Me too, back when the family was nearby it was a bowl of eggnog, now I just do individual Brandy Alexanders for the few that stop by.

            2. I've had fun creating Old Fashioneds for the new bar I work with. Some on menu, some off menu specials. They are not too sweet and nicely balanced. The Gin Quince OF has been written up locally twice so far.

              Gin Quince - Tuthilltown Half Moon Orchard gin, long simmered quince syrup, house pomegranate/orange blossom grenadine, Ango bitters.

              Rum Spice - El Dorado 12 yr. demerara rum, spice syrup- cinnamon, cassia, vanilla, clove, allspice, nutmeg, cardomom, mace, and my original Colonial bitters.

              Gin Five Peppercorn - New Holland Knickerbocker gin, peppercorn syrup- black, white, green, pink, szechuan, and Ango.

              Bourbon Spiced Fruitcake - Redemption bourbon, fruitcake syrup- figs, dates, dried apricots and pineapple, rasins, above spice syrup, and Ango.

              4 Replies
              1. re: JMF

                JMF: Your gin quince sounds lovely ....

                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                  Folks are going nuts over the Gin Quince OF, and the others almost as much.

                  1. re: JMF

                    I'd post the recipe for my quince syrup, but you need a lab centrifuge to extract the syrup from the puree. I think you could make it by letting the puree strain through a filter in a fridge overnight. Lots less syrup, but it actually might end up very clear. I'll come back later with a home version.

                    Gin Quince Old Fashioned- JMForester
                    2 oz. Tuthilltown Half Moon Orchard gin (Bombay Sapphire East works well too)
                    .75 oz. House Quince syrup
                    .25 oz. House Grenadine
                    .25 oz. Rothman & Winters Apricot liqueur
                    2 dashes Angostura bitters

                    Stir on ice and strain over 1 large cube in a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

                    House Grenadine: 1 cup POM, 1 cup sugar, .5-.75 oz. Lemon juice, .25 Orange Blossom. Cold mixed.

                    1. re: JMF

                      I tried to make rose hip jam this summer but it turned out like syrup; so I've been using it in place of cranberry juice in mixed cocktails. I didn't strain at all, there are some seeds in the bottom but very well received, regardless.

                      I do quince too but you're right, it will always come out thicker than expected. I'll be watching for your home version.

              2. I'm a little lazy, I pour some tequila over ice and fill the glass with Pom pomegranate juice. Sometimes I'll add some tart cherry concentrate, or substitute Korean plum vinegar (more of a drinking vinegar, you couldn't pickle anything with it).

                1 Reply