This time of year, I am frequently asked for holiday cocktail recipes. Though I have dozens of ideas, I love to come back to a simple twist on my all time favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned. You can add holiday flair to cocktails in a number of ways, from adding Champagne, making a drink red, garnishing with a sprig of rosemary, or even adding a little cocktail glitter. I certainly do lean on some of those options for some drinks, but my favorite way to imbue a drink with holiday cheer is by adding cozy, warming spices.
This Holiday Old Fashioned is super easy to make, and the syrup - a combination of whole Cardamom, Clove, and Cinnamon - really makes it sing. The drink is heightened by Liquid Gold Bitters that add depth and richness to the drink with the luxe flavors of turmeric, saffron, holy basil, Malabar peppercorn, and Himalayan sea salt. I've been enjoying a few of these over the past few weeks, and I've heard nothing but rave reviews from those who've tried it. In fact, at a class I recently taught at the Columbia Room in DC, one guest called it the best Old Fashioned they've had to date.
So infuse your syrup and pull your bitters close, and get ready to cozy up with a wonderful Old Fashioned to keep you warm throughout the holiday season. And by the way, the syrup also makes a beautiful Hot Toddy for those real cold nights!
HOLIDAY SPICE OLD FASHIONED
2 oz bonded bourbon
1/4 oz holiday spice syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Liquid Gold Bitters*
1 orange peel
Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into rocks or Old Fashioned glass. Express orange peel across top. Garnish with orange peel or cinnamon stick.
Optional: serve over large ice cube
*If you cannot locate Liquid Gold Bitters, you can substitute with one of these:
HOLIDAY SPICE SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup (200g) water
1 cup (200g) sugar
8 cardamom pods
8 cinnamon sticks
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, dissolve in sugar. Add in whole spices. Let simmer for 5 minutes and steep for 15. Let cool. Strain spices out, pour into glass container, and store in fridge.