12 Drinks of Christmas: Part 3

‘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.


I whipped up this cocktail for an acquaintance, an off-duty commercial  airline pilot -- thus the name -- who usually doesn't venture much  beyond a beer or a glass of wine. He quickly anointed it his official personal drink.

2 oz. Michter's rye whiskey
½ oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. Fever Tree tonic

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice, stir 35 times (yup, 35) with a bar spoon to release just the right amount of water from the ice, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry or fruit slice as desired.


This concoction, sort of a variant on the whiskey sour, was dreamed up in Boston at the Locke-Ober restaurant bar in 1898, according to the most persuasive version of the story. Ward 8 was the section of the city that consistently delivered a winning margin of votes to the powerful Democratic political leader Martin M. Lomasney, who reigned for a half-century. The drink supposedly was created to honor him.

There are variations on the drink, using bourbon or rye or blended whiskey, and using lemon juice or lime juice or no juice. This is the original version re-introduced to legal drinkers at the Locke-Ober after Prohibition was repealed.

2 ounces rye whiskey
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Maraschino cherry

Shake the whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine with ice. Strain over ice into a chilled Collins glass or Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry. (Originally, the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.)


This recipe is from international model/magazine writer/cookbook author/TV personality Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo television's "Top Chef." It is the second punch recipe I've selected for the "12 Drinks of Christmas" collection.

⅔ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
¾ cup fresh lime juice
2 cups dark rum
2 cups ice, plus more for serving
Lime slices, cilantro for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar and ginger to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Strain the syrup into a large pitcher, pressing hard on the ginger. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in the lime juice, rum and the 2 cups of ice. Strain into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime slices and cilantro. Makes 8 drinks.

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