Tag Archives: Christmas cocktails

spirited holiday yule nog

As the temperature drops and with the holiday season in full swing, there is no better way to celebrate than with a traditional festive beverage. Eggnog, a spiked mixture of egg yolk and milk, has been around for centuries and is often enjoyed around Christmas time.

In the American North it is mixed with coffee or rum, a technique brought to the Northern coastal states of New England by merchants and pirates. The merchants would often trade spices for textiles like twine used for fishing nets. These spices, such as rum and coffee were mixed with the delicate smoothness of the creamy eggnog becoming a fan favorite. And of course we all know how the pirates handled their days and nights at port. ~ Wikipedia

This holiday season, Salt & Char located in Saratoga Springs, will be serving up a special eggnog cocktail—the Salt & Char Yule Nog. The cocktail includes real cream and eggs, along with, cognac, jagertee, sugar, cinnamon, and much more.  If you aren’t in the area to stop by Salt & Char and taste this dazzling delight in person, the mixologists have shared their recipe with us so you can sip this beauty at your next holiday cocktail party.

Salt & Char Yule Nog

Yields 12 glasses


  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 6 ounces cognac
  • 1 ounce jagertee
  • Orange and nutmeg to garnish


Mix egg yolks and brown sugar. Slowly add in milk and cream. Add vanilla, salt, white sugar, cinnamon, cognac and jagertee. Whip egg whites then fold into liquid mixture. Serve in chilled glass. Top with orange zest and nutmeg.

pomegranate basil martini

Although we are in the midst of the holiday party season, a night “in” is sometimes necessary for the soul. Christmas shopping, holiday decorating, nights on the town (where and when we can during Covid) and menu planning can take a toll on time with your partner or spouse.

Put the cell phones away, light the candles and create a simple evening for two with simple appetizers, a selection of cheeses, and a delicious martini or three.

“Fell in love with a beautiful blonde once. Drove me to drink. And I never had the decency to thank her.”
― W.C. Fields

Pomegranate Basil Martini


  • 1 ½  cups cranberry or pomegranate juice, with seeds or “fruit” set aside for garnish
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau liquor
  • Ice ~ for cocktail shaker
  • Splash of sparkling water (optional)
  • A bit of fresh lime juice
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Add top four ingredients to shaker with ice, shake and pour into chilled martini glasses. Top with a splash of sparkling water and lime juice if desired. Add pomegranate  fruit and basil as garnish.  How to de-seed a pomegranate

Take a look at Basil & Salt’s new online cooking classes and workshops!

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Five Festive Cocktails Your Guests Will Love



Photo Gallery below.

Christmas in Canada

  • Christmas in Canada1 oz. Ungava Gin
  • ½ oz. Amaro Montenegro
  • ½ oz. Maple Syrup
  • ½ oz. Lemon Juice
  • 5 dashes of chocolate bitters
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon stick and nutmeg

Load a shaker with egg and dry shake.  Add ice and liquid ingredients and shake again.  Strain into a glass and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick

Help From An Elf

  • Help from an Elf2 oz. CAMUS VSOP Elegance Cognac
  • 4 oz. half & half
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • ¼ oz. vanilla extract
  • Brown sugar and nutmeg for garnish

Rim a chilled martini glass with brown sugar and set aside.  In a cocktail shaker with ice add all ingredients and shake. Strain into garnished martini glass and top with nutmeg and serve.

Bunny Slope

  • Bunny Slope4 Fresh Strawberries
  • 2 oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
  • Woodchuck® Amber

Muddle 3 strawberries. Add ice and vodka and shake.  Strain over fresh ice. Top with Woodchuck Amber cider and stir.  Garnish with a fresh strawberry and serve.

Santa's Sip

  • Santa's Sip2 oz. Bonfire Cinnamon Beach Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Mint Schnapps
  • Mint sprig and cinnamon stick

In a shaker with ice add Bonfire Cinnamon Beach Whiskey and mint schnapps.  Shake and strain into a glass with ice.  Garnish with a mint sprig and cinnamon stick and serve.  

Jingle Bell On The Rocks

  • Jingle Bell On The Rocks1 ¾ oz. SIA Scotch Whisky
  • ½ oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • ½ oz. Aperol
  • ¼ oz. Walnut Liqueur
  • ¼ oz. Laphroaig 10 yr
  • 2 dashes of Amargo Chuncho Bitters

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with ice cubes and serve.

Happy Holidays!!

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Hot Nights, Intoxicating Beverages

The holiday season is in full swing, fabulous cocktail parties and family gatherings are happening every Friday and Saturday evening and it just might be time to take a deep breath, slow it down, lock the front door and spend an evening in the warm glow of candlelight.

Light the logs (or flip the switch) and start a hot fire blazing in the hearth, put on soft music, twinkle lights and shut out the noise and possibly the entire world.  It is the perfect setting for a night together, heating up the blankets and sipping on something warm and intoxicating.

Here are a few of my favorite hot beverages to heat up a cold winter’s night.

Photo: MacKenzie Smith for Saveur.com

Bourbon Chai
Photo: MacKenzie Smith for Saveur.com

Bourbon Chai ~ Savuer.com

Black tea, cardamom pods, crushed allspice berries, crushed black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla bean, almond milk, honey and bourbon.  A delicious blend for a cold night.

You can find the full recipe and more tasty concoctions here.

Photo: Rob Howard for Food & Wine

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies
Photo: Rob Howard for Food & Wine

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies ~ Food & Wine

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados
  • Eight 3 – inch cinnamon sticks

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved.  Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy.  Set a cinnamon stick in each of 8 mugs or heatproof glasses, pour in the hot liquid and serve.

Irish Coffee~Photo:  Williams-Sonoma

Irish Coffee
Photo: Williams-Sonoma

Irish Coffee ~ Williams-Sonoma

A very simple concoction for a cold winters night…

  • 8 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of whiskey
  • 2 cups hot brewed coffee or as needed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly beaten to form soft peaks

Place 2 teaspoons sugar in each of 4 mugs.  Add 2 Tablespoons of whiskey to each mug, then fill with coffee.  Hold a spoon, rounded side up, over each mug and slowly pour the cream over the spoon, floating it on top of the coffee ~ serves 4

Hot Rum CoffeePhoto:  Williams-Sonoma

Hot Rum Coffee
Photo: Williams-Sonoma

Hot Rum Coffee ~ Williams Sonoma

A delicious blend to heat up a chilly evening ~ hot coffee, half-and-half, sugar, ground cardamom, grated nutmeg, amber rum and a touch of grated chocolate for garnish.  Williams-Sonoma has a few hot holiday beverages on their site to choose from.  Poke around a bit and print a few out for your cocktail / spirits binder for future reference.

Grand CoffeeGrand Marnier for Liquor.com

Grand Coffee
Grand Marnier for Liquor.com

Grand Coffee ~ Liquor.com

I have seen this beverage floating around the internet for a few days now, but it is so gorgeous and incredibly tasty, I simply had to share with you.  When you visit their site you will be amazed at the variety of options right at your fingertips.

  • 1 oz Grand Marnier, warmed
  • 3 oz hot brewed coffee
  • .75 oz brown sugar syrup ( 1 part brown sugar, 1 part water ) if desired
  • whipped cream for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a mug or heat-proof highball glass and stir.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of whipped cream on top.

You can find me every day over on Facebook at Celebrating Home with Karie Engels.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Contributor List

Grand Coffee ~ Liquor.com, Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies ~ Food & Wine, Irish Coffee and Hot Rum Coffee ~ Williams-Sonoma, Bourbon Chai ~ Saveur.com