12 Drinks of Christmas: Part 2

‘Tis the season for entertaining and being entertained. No need to limit yourself or your guests to beer, wine and the standard martinis, Manhattans and Cosmos when serving up cocktails. Not when there is such a rich heritage of cocktails in the American archives of mixology. I'm now offering four days of three-recipes-at-a-time, with enough time after the final installment for you to be sure you have the ingredients on hand for the Christmas-New Year’s party crush.


Cuddling up with a good book and a good drink is a pasttime to be savored. Here’s a cocktail that serves the purpose perfectly. It was created by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck in honor of steamy-novel writer Jackie Collins’ 25th book, “Drop Dead Beautiful.”

7 raspberries
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces lemonade
One-half fresh lime
1½ ounces club soda
Simple syrup
1 fresh mint leaf

Muddle raspberries in a shaker with a splash of simple syrup. Add ice then the vodka and the lemonade. Squeeze juice of half a lime. Shake all ingredients vigorously. Add the club soda, then shake once more. Strain into a highball glass and garnish with a raspberry and the mint leaf.


I hate the overuse of the word "ultimate," but I do like like "The Ultimate Book of Cocktails," Stuart Walton's 256-page tome first published in the UK by Hermes House in 2003. Here is a particularly simple and tasty drink. But, beware. As with virtually any cocktail using a soft drink as a main component, one can down too many of these too easily.

1½ parts vodka
1 part brown creme de cacao
1 part ice-cold Coca-Cola or other cola

Pour the alcohol into a rocks glass containing plenty of cracked fresh ice and stir vigorously before adding the cola.


The borough of Manhattan, on Manhattan island, is the center of the universe for most people. So, they like to think of that area when they drink their Manhattans. However, after attending a seminar on New York State's emerging craft-distilling scene, it occurred to me to jump on the "Pride of New York" bandwagon that promotes state-produced food and drink to come up with my own cocktail using only Upstate ingredients.

3 parts McKenzie Rye Whiskey or Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon
1 part Warwick Valley Sour Cherry Cordial
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
1 Montmorency cherry

Put whiskey, sour cherry cordial and fresh ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Stir several times, then add bitters. Stir vigorously to chill the mixture, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Montmorency cherry. If not in season, you may use a traditional maraschino cherry. (For a tangier cocktail, substitute Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters.)

To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Tasting Notes latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

No comments: