behind the bar: christmas party cocktails (best of)

A friend of mine hosts a Christmas cocktail party for his staff and their families at his home each year, with his son as the bartender.   He is in the throes of organizing this year’s party, and as we talked about how the event would all come together, it gave me the idea for this Friday’s Behind the Bar.  Each year I say I’m going to do this, then realize I’ve thought about it too late to make a post.  This year, I’m right on time (I hope!) to offer you a round up of some of my favorite cocktails from the column which I think would be great if served at whatever party you’re hosting or helping to host this month (and next).  Most of these are quite unique, and would have people talking about your cocktails well into 2014!  If you don’t have the fresh fruit for some of these, frozen fruit and high quality juices will stand in perfectly.  Let us know how it goes! -Kristina

Jen Altman’s Black-Spiced Rum Eggnog (above)

What’s Christmas without eggnog??  Have you ever seen a more inviting glass of eggnog than this black-spiced rum eggnogg than the one that Jen Altman, photographer and founder of online boutique Cisthene, made for us??  I haven’t!

See the rest of my favorite cocktails after the jump!


If I won the lottery and could hire household staff, I would probably have one of Pharmacie’s 1966 Cosmopolitans every day when I came home from work.  OK, maybe not every day, but you get the point.  I loved this, and think it has been my absolute favorite cocktail of all.


One of my next favorite cocktails was the blood orange and basil gimlet that stylist Annette Joseph shared with us.  I loved the basil syrup even on its own, but combined with the blood orange juice, it was magic.


Kevin Buckley’s lemon chilli marmalade was a truly impressive and tasty surprise, with an interesting story to boot.  This should be served at every party.


Who doesn’t have gin, lemons, and sparkling water always on hand?  You could even have an impromptu holiday party featuring just this cocktail!  Photographer Leela Cyd’s gin swizzle should be standard fare at your party.


I know that a bloody mary doesn’t sound too Christmas-y, but I think it’s coming back into style.  At least that’s what I’m saying this year.  Tom Ross, drinks manager at London restaurant Spuntino, shared his own take on the hallmark 20th century cocktail, which he called the Bloody Gary.  Have it ready to go!  Your guests will love it.


Apple pie, cinnamon, cider, yes all those things say winter to me.  And so does photographer Lara Ferroni’s apple pie cocktail with cinnamon meringue!   Who could ask for more?


What’s a party without a margarita?  A ginger lime margarita to be precise, based on one of Enjoy Cupcakes best-selling cupcakes, the ginger lime chardonnay cupcake!   If you happen to be in LA, you can serve the cupcakes alongside this cocktail.


When Teri and Jenny, the women behind Spoon Fork Bacon, make something, I sit up and take notice.  This Honey Rum Fizz uses egg whites which add a nice fluffy foam to the top.


Last but not least, a classic.  Author and restaurateur Molly Wizenberg, also known as Orangette, shared her Americano with us.  Yes, it’s soooo 20th century, and that’s exactly why I love it.



  1. Kat says:

    Wow + yum x 1,000 I am going to try these!!! Lara Ferronis apple pie… c’mon :)

  2. Oh my! Those all look so yummy. Love a good holiday cocktail!

  3. DNA says:

    It’s freezing where I live (-30 degrees C) so I’m thinking hot rum toddies! The drinks above look delicious but all those ice cubes are making me cold!


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