The holidays are jam-packed with office parties, reunions with old friends in hometown bars, and days spent in the same house as members of your family. To put it lightly, if you drink, you'll be drinking extra during this time of year. But by making a special occasion out of the drinks themselves, you can elevate that boozy routine and transform it into something celebratory. We asked some of our favorite bartenders in the United States for their finest cocktails that deliver a distinctly seasonal and festive quality. From the retro-cool Amaretto Sour from Portland, Oregon to a smooth-as-silk gin punch from Manhattan to a killer Bloody Mary from New Orleans, there's a drink here that's perfect for almost every occasion you'll encounter between now and New Year's Day (when you may be needing that Bloody Mary).
Horse & Carriage Punch
Naren Young oversees the gin-rich bar menu at Madame Geneva's, a dimly-lit shrine to gin in Manhattan's East Village. Punches are the easiest way to deliver your holiday party a payload with a minimum of fuss. Historically, gin has been the the most common and versatile base for punches, and Young continues the legacy with the Horse & Carriage Punch, a deceptively delicious combination of chamomile tea, elderflower liqueur, and citrus, with a base of Beefeater 24, chosen for its special grapefruit and tea botanicals.
• 6 oz Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin
• 3 oz Combier Triple Sec
• 3 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
• 6 oz lemon juice
• 10 oz cold chamomile tea
• 4 tbsp citrus sugar (Zest rind from a grapefruit, a lemon, lime and orange into a bowl of sugar, let sit for a couple hours, stirring occasionally.)
Dissolve sugar into lemon juice. Add to other ingredients in a punchbowl. Add a block of ice and circles of lemons. Drop some pomegranate seeds onto lemons. Edible flower garnish optional.