12 Cocktails of Christmas Upselling

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There’s nothing more festive than a holiday toast when New Orleans is done up in its holiday finery, and most bars around town strut out seasonal libation specials guaranteed to put customers in the holiday spirit. We’ve reached to the bartenders there for cocktail inspiration, as well as snowy Colorado Springs, and lit-up D.C. Here’s what they came up with along with the respective recipes and methods. If you haven’t already put some holiday cocktails on your bar menu to upsell patrons, then you should certainly start. You can use this article as a shortcut.

Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, New Orleans

Tableau recently added a smoking cocktail, “Old Hickory,” to the menu. The inspiration was two-fold – Manager/Sommelier Tyler Cox wanted a drink that represented both New Orleans as well as an evening cozied up to the fire. This drink checks both those boxes and has a flavor profile that screams fall, making it work nicely for Thanksgiving. Tableau uses a smoking gun, which is readily available (amazon has many options to choose from) and is easy to use. The result is a delicious cocktail that creates a bit of a stir with its smoking theatrics.

Old Hickory

  • 2 ounces Redemption bourbon
  • .5 ounces HooDoo Chicory liqueur
  • .5 ounces simple syrup,
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • finished with hickory smoke

Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

The Chai Crusta

2 oz chai-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon (see recipe below)

  • 1 bottle Buffalo Trace bourbon
    • 4 Chai tea bags
    • 1 orange spice tea bag
    • Carefully add all of the tea bags to the bottle of bourbon. Cover and let infuse for 36 hours. If sitting longer than 3 days, pour the bourbon into another bottle so it does not over infuse.
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • Sugar for rim
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  • Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a sugar-rimmed coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

The Broadmoor Cocktail

This original recipe created by Broadmoor Lead Bartender Dennis Schuler is inspired by all the grand cocktails served at the resort from 100 years ago (2018 is the resort’s 100th anniversary — these walls have lots of drinking stories to tell, Prohibition-era included.) Whiskey + a healing bit of honey makes this cocktail a sure bet for thriving this holiday season.

  • 1 ½ oz. – Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
  • ¾ oz. – Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz. – Honey Simple Syrup (Equal parts honey and hot water shaken or stirred until dissolved, then chilled)
  • ¼ oz. – Benedictine
  • 1 Dash – Angostura bitters
  • Combine all ingredients with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with lemon twist.

Zeppelin Station’s Big Trouble and Kiss + Ride, Denver

Nobre Rosa ($11)

(wintery riff on the classic Jack Rose)

  • 2oz Aged Cachaca
  • 1/2oz Grenadine
  • 1/2oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4oz Chai Syrup .
  • 4-6 drops 50/50 bitters

Deciduous Sour ($11)

(play on the classic cocktail Delicious Sour)

  • 1oz Lairds 7yr Apple
  • 1oz St George Spiced Pear Liqueur
  • 1/2oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2oz Cinnamon Syrup
  • dash Creole Bitters
  • egg white
  • top w soda

Priority Sipping ($11)

(Spanish Style G&T with Seasonal Garnish – sachet of pure hibiscus infuses into the cocktail as it is consumed)

  • 2oz Leopold Bros Gin
  • 4oz Q Indian Tonic
  • Garnish: Cracked Green Cardamom, Ceylon Cinnamon, Rosemary, Grapefruit Peel, Dried Pure Hibiscus

Cocktails by Carolyn Pascual, The Social Sipper, San Diego

Malabar Spiced Liqueur

Fall Apple Sangria

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup Malabar Spiced Liqueur
  • 1 small Gala apple, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pear, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pear, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1 small pomegranate, seeded
  • Ice, to serve
  • Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Take off heat, add cinnamon sticks, and let cool. In a large pitcher, combine wine, apple cider, Malabar Spiced Liqueur, fruits, and cinnamon/sugar syrup mixture. Stir well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 72 hours. Serve in glasses, over ice!

Apple Cider Mimosas

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup champagne
  • 2 shots Malabar Spiced Liqueur
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture
  • Lightly wet the rim of your champagne glass and press into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Equally divide the apple cider, champagne and Malabar Spiced Liqueur between two glasses.


Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 shot Malabar Spiced Liqueur
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Mint, as garnish
  • Combine the pomegranate juice, seltzer water, vodka, Malabar Spiced Liqueur, and lime juice over a glass with plenty of ice. Garnish with mint and pomegranate seeds.


Chai Tea Latte

  • 2 individual Chai tea bags
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp refrigerated French vanilla creamer
  • 2 shots Malabar Spiced Liqueur
  • Whipped cream, as garnish
  • Cinnamon, as garnish
  • Make tea using tea bags and water. While tea is steeping, combine milk, brown sugar, and creamer in a small saucepan. Heat and stir over medium heat until heated through and sugar is dissolved. Pour milk mixture into mugs; stir in tea. Add one shot of Malabar Spiced Liqueur to each mug. Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.


Spiced Apple Cider Moscow Mule

  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Malabar Spiced Liqueur
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup ginger beer
  • Fill a copper mug halfway with ice. Add apple cider, vodka, Malabar Spiced Liqueur, the juice from half a lime, and ginger beer. Stir and enjoy!


Gingerbread Man Flip

with Malabar Spiced Liqueur courtesy of Carolyn Pascual from The Social Sipper


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