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Holiday Cocktails

Posted by Josh Childs  December 11, 2012 10:14 AM

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Twelve drinks of Christmas would be logical and probably one can find similar posts all over the internet. So how about 17? Terrific bartenders from all over Boston and as far as Providence have been kind enough to help me out with quintessential and esoteric holiday drinks, I encourage you to visit these great spots and try one. If nothing else, one of these cocktails will be a welcomed remedy for a stressful over-commercialized holiday season.

Max Toste and Dave Cagle have been running one of the best bars around, period. Hugely underrated, I'm telling you, make a trip to Alston either at Deep Ellum or their new delicious sister spot, Lone Star Taco Bar. Max is starting off my cold weather holiday revelry with:
The Cricket .75 oz Cognac, .75 oz Fair coffee liqueur, .5 oz Branca Menta, 3 oz heavy cream, garnished with Mexican chocolate and a mint sprig.
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Sam Treadway Backbar
A lot of amazing accolades have come Sam's way, and they are completely accurate. He'd probably rather be at one of his cocktail competitions (preferably South Beach) but for a creative holiday libation it doesn't get better than with this gentleman right here in Somerville. If you haven't been, head to Union Square and backbar asap.
Mexican Gin 1 oz smoked juiper infused blanco Tequila, 1 oz Aveze, 1 oz Cocchi Americano, juniper garnish.
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Will Quackenbush Highland Kitchen
Will is terrific and Highland one of my all time favorites- plus his description is so fitting for the season: "While I never really intended it to be a holiday cocktail per se, I really love recommending it during Festivus because it hits all the right notes. Spicy, warming, evocative, curative, a bit inebriating....the name comes from the town in Vermont that my dad did his pharmacy residency in 1966. It's kind of what I was after...a tonic that some druidic or early Enlightenment chemist would devise as a tonic for the winter solstice blues. A tribute to a guy standing behind the counter for the last 50 years listening to people's comlaints about their aches and pains and doing his best to dispense cures that might abate them. Same church, different pew. Hope you like it."
The Bristol 2.25 oz Bulleit Rye, .75 oz yellow Chartreuse, .25 St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, 3 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters, orange peel garnish.
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Fanny Katz Belly
Check out the new wine and cocktail bar adjacent to The Blue Room in Kendall, they even have a fire going outside- really!
Cedric Street Sour 1.5 oz Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey. .5 oz Amaro Montenegro, .5 oz Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth, .5 oz honey syrup, .5 oz lemon juice, barspoon Allspice Dram.
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Joy Richard Citizen, Franklin Group
Magazine covers, nationwide cocktail competitions, superstar. I really don't need to say more here than I've said before, but who better to share a holiday cocktail with?
Stinger Snowcone 1.5 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840, .25 oz Branca Menta, 1.5 oz Fresh Cream of coconut, over crushed ice.
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Josh Taylor Westbridge
I simply love his drinks, and the warm inviting service and beautiful room here make the season even more festive. Plus, rumor has it they're doing a brunch New Year's day- I'm crashing. Here's his take: "a classic cocktail that already features seasonal ingredients, it gets a boost in flavor from warming spices."
Spiced Jack Rose 2 oz spiced Applejack brandy, .75 oz house grenadine, .5 oz lemon juice, dash of Pechaud's bitters. No garnish.
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Bryce Mack Canary Square
JP's neighborhood hotspot is known for a great beer selection, but their cocktails are not to be missed- here's Bryce's take on the classic.
Canary Square's Spiked Egg Nog 12 large eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, 4 cups whole milk, 1 liter Bourbon, 1/2 cup dark rum, 1 cup cognac, nutmeg
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Ran Duan, 'The Baldwin' at Sichuan Garden II
A great story: Ran went away to school, returned to his family's Chinese restaurant (in the old Baldwin mansion by the way) and created a killer cocktail program. This spot is worth a trip, or a least a New Year's resolution for one.
Father's Advice 1 oz Bacardi 8, 1 oz Amontillado sherry, .75 oz Cynar, dash of Black Strap bitters. Dry stir with no ice, orange twist zest and discard.
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Sahill Mehta Estragon
Sahill is a tremendous guy who puts his heart and soul into his drinks. He still flies under the radar, but make no mistake, he's one of the top bartenders in town. My New Year's resolution is to see him more.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1oz Averell Damson Plum Gin, .25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Cava, lemon twist garnish.
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Nate Hayden Beehive
Don't let the popularity and size of the Beehive fool you, they are serious about their beverages- check out the Champagne list for example. Nate makes my kind of cocktails and this one is no exception. Go hang out with great drinks and jazz when in the South End over the holidays.
Kentucky Orchard 2 oz brown butter infused Bourbon, .5 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, 3 oz apple cider.
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Lou Saban Oak Long Bar + Kitchen
Copley during Christmas- yes, and the newly revamped Oak Room with Lou behind the stick. An ideal time-out from holiday shopping, or in my case, it is holiday shopping.
Vulgar Bittered Sling 3 oz Maker's Mark, .75 oz apple cinnamon simple syrup, one dash each of Regan's orange bitters, Fee Brothers whiskey barrel aged bitters, apples with cinnamon garnish.
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Manny Gonzales Saloon
Cold weather, holiday revelry, this room is ideal for the season feeling like an elegant club from a century ago. For me, two added bonuses- the cocktails are top notch and I live nearby.
Spiced Old Fashioned muddled raw sugar cube with muddled lemon and maraschino cherry, .25 oz Allspice Dram, 2 dashes Peychauds Bitters, 2 oz Sons of Liberty Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey
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David Mangiantine Farmstead
Farm to table in Providence, RI with owner and James Beard finalist Matt Jennings? Can't use the sleigh, but sounds like a roadtrip is in order. The reward being amazing food with a delicious holiday spiced cocktail? Sounds like a new tradition.
The Augustus 1 oz Bulleit Rye, .75 oz Canton Ginger liqueur, .25 oz Allspice Dram, soda, lemon twist.
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Natalie Wentworth JM Curley
Beautiful, funny, talented- man, she can make me anything she wants. A delicious Cognac drink- yes, please!
Christmas in Hollis 1.5 oz Hennessy VSOP, .5 oz King's Ginger liqueur, .5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, apple ginger garnish.
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John Henderson Scholar's
Believe me, I have seen it all downtown, and patiently waited. There is a lot happening now in the area including John and the terrific cocktail program at Scholar's. A hot drink after an afternoon on the Frog Pond's ice rink sounds seasonally ideal.
Mez-Cafe 1.5 oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal, 1oz coffee liqueur, 4 oz hot coffee, layer with whipped cream and dust with chili powder.
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Bob Mccoy Eastern Standard
Ok, they have quite literally set the standard. Bob kills it, with his holiday take on a classic a Sex Pistols reference? Awesome. Instead of carols I'm listening to 'Submission' right now. Bob says:
"Inspired by the traditional holiday beverage Tom and Jerry, this drink is named after the legendary couple Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.  Iconic symbols of the punk rock movement; they represent a style that, like this drink, is stripped-down, fast-paced, and effective.  The drink itself is rich with the oak-aged flavors of vanilla and honey and enhanced by sweet cream and winter spice."
Sid and Nancy .75 oz Plantation Grande Réserve 5yr. Rum, .75 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, .75 oz spiced syrup, steamed half and half.
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The Ashmont Grill has been a neighborhood staple in Dorchester's Peabody Square since opening in 2005. I'm thinking of having the 'train wreck fries' and a great cocktail- awesome. Here, a winter take on a classic summer libation- I can keep pretending it's warm outside, right?
Winter Warmer Daquiri by Heath Davis 2 oz Bacardi 8, .75 oz lime juice, 1 oz pepper/cinnamon syrup, dash of Bitterman's Hellfire bitters, lime garnish.
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