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).
Vail 50 (Jim Lay, Elway's, Vail, CO)
Vail, Colorado has been the epicenter of American ski culture since the first plans were hatched to develop a alpine style resort high in the Rockies in 1962. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Vail's debut on the snowbunny scene, sommelier Jim Lay of Elway's (situated in The Lodge at Vail) created a luxe après-ski cocktail that employs Perrier Jouet champagne, pear nectar, muscatel, and fresh raspberries. A seriously soigné way way to undwind after hitting the slopes.
• 5 oz Perrier Jouet champagne
• 1 oz Pear Nectar
• 1 oz Jorge Ordonez Moscatel
Stir, serve up in a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries and Chambord caviar.*
*The "caviar" is optional and isn't really caviar in the fishy sense, but, rather, it's the famed French black raspberry liqueur encapsulated in small gelatin capsules. For the ambitious home mixologist who wants to try making it, the Caviar Dropper Kit for Sodium Alginate is the way to go.
Credit: Photograph by Jason Rowan