Sugar cookies and sugar cane martinis are at the top of the Roosevelt’s drink menu. Hot todies and mulled wine are the drinks of choice in vacation movies. And polls rank good old-fashioned eggnog as the most popular drink of the holiday season.
I agree that homemade eggnog – topped with a fine whiskey, topped with meringue and sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg – is Christmas personified. Having said that, I recently added gallons of the store-bought variety. However, no matter how much Woodford’s, Maker’s Mark, or Basil Hayden consumed via the nog, sometimes this girl needs a real cocktail, minus the cream.
This year, due to the heat of the holidays, I whipped up a citrus bourbon cocktail as my 2021 holiday signature drink: the Ginger Luxardo Grapefruit Holiday Old-Fashioned. It’s Christmas, strong, spicy and refreshing – for those days when you’re pruning the tree with the air conditioning on. Good luck finding the candied ginger used to garnish the rim.
Ginger Luxardo Grapefruit Holiday Old-Fashioned
Good quality bourbon (like Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark)
Slices or chunks of fresh grapefruit
Reed’s Ginger Beer
Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
- Crush a grapefruit quarter and add a shot and a half of bourbon.
- Top with ginger beer and a generous shake of bitter oranges and stir, then drop two cherries in the cocktail and add ice cubes.
- Use candied ginger to garnish the rim of the glass or place it in the cocktail. Adjust to taste.
- Add a cinnamon stick as a stirrer. A lemon wedge can also be added to brighten up the flavors. Ginger syrup is another addition that works well.
If you like creamier drinks, another all-time favorite for the holidays is brandy milk punch or, better yet, Dickie Brennan’s popular Bourbon house nod to the original: Frozen Bourbon. Milk Punch. I admit that I regularly break traffic and parking rules to double the parking lot and get one. It is so good.
Christmas Iced Bourbon Milk Punch (at Bourbon House)
4 cups of all-natural vanilla ice cream
1 cup of quality bourbon
½ teaspoon of real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of simple syrup
- Soften the ice cream a little then mix all the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend in five second increments until it reaches the consistency of a thin milkshake.
- Top with freshly grated nutmeg, candy cane, cinnamon stick or holiday cookie chips before serving.
Kristine Froeba is a fourth generation Uptown girl whose varied backgrounds include food and travel writing, celebrity ghost writing, public relations, social media management, fundraising, preservation, hacking. reluctant tabloid and litigation specialist. She describes herself as partly greedy, partly writer, partly historian, fanatic of historical renovation and full-time amateur.