Pictured: Pomme & Circumstance
Mixologist: Tony Abou-Ganim
Photography: Daemon Baizan
Recipe of this cocktail
As we come closer to the holiday season, F&B Directors and Bar Managers start thinking of what to put on their drink menus for this fun and all important time of year between Thanksgiving and New Years. With that in mind, I asked some of the top mixologists in the country, “What is one of your favorite holiday drinks?” The response varied from exotic punches to the classics. The following pages give you a chance to get to know these great mixers and hopefully give you some ideas for your own menu.
Tony Abou-Ganim is truly a modern mixologist. He has helped open many famous restaurants and bars in New York and San Francisco, including Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. It was here that Tony created his first specialty drink menu featuring several of his original cocktail recipes – the Sunsplash, the Starlight, and his signature cocktail recipe, the Cable Car. In 1998, Tony was hand-picked by Steve Wynn to create the cocktail program at his Bellagio Resort. Tony immediately implemented his philosophy of bartending and drink preparation: quality ingredients and proper technique create great drinks. He went on to develop hundreds of original cocktails for the resort’s twenty-two bars. Currently, Tony operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education, and cocktail development.
As the National Ambassador of the US Bartenders Guild, www.usbg.org, and Associate Member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org, Tony continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails, as well as lead the bar industry into continually improving the art of the cocktail. He is also an accomplished writer with articles in many national magazines including his feature in every issue of in the Mix, The Life and Times of the Modern Mixologist.
Tony lives in Las Vegas where he hones his craft daily by creating, sharing, and enjoying the very best cocktails.
8 jumbo eggs
1½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
For each drink: ¾ oz Appleton Jamaican Rum
¾ oz Hennessy V.S Cognac
Directions: Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixer, beat yolks until thin; transfer to another bowl. Clean mixer and add the egg whites and cream of tartar; beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and fold in yolks. Mix until batter is thick but light.
In a pre-heated mug, add 1 heaping ladle of batter. Add rum and cognac. Top with hot water and dust with freshly-grated nutmeg. Serve with a paddle or spoon.
Legendary bartender Dale DeGroff, aka “King Cocktail,” is universally acknowledged as the world’s premier mixologist whose innovations have globally impacted the industry. Winner of the 2009 James Beard Wine & Spirits Professional Award, DeGroff has been credited with bringing back the classic cocktail and reinventing the profession of bartending, setting off a cocktail explosion around the world. Author of the award-winning The Craft of the Cocktail and the newly-released The Essential Cocktail (Random House 2009), DeGroff is also the founding President of The Museum of the American Cocktail. This non-profit organization hosts an exhibit in New Orleans that features the 200-year history of the cocktail and offers monthly seminars in mixology. For more information visit www.Kingcocktail.com or www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org.
This recipe, which Dale created in 1999 to honor the coming of the new millennium, appears in his book, The Essential Cocktail, with this story: “In 1999, more than a hundred years after Byron published his version of the East India Cocktail and fifty years after a guy named Bill Kelly published his in a book called The Roving Bartender, I decided to reinvent the East India. I called it the Millennium Cocktail, in honor of the upcoming turn of the calendar and for the Millennium bottling by Courvoisier, who had hired me to create a drink for the special product. It was quite a bit juicier than the earlier versions, and had the additional garnishes of freshly grated nutmeg and a flamed orange peel. Soon after my genius invention, I learned of the prior versions and I sheepishly acknowledged that I was not, after all, the inventor of this exceptional drink.”
1½ oz Courvoisier Millennium Cognac
1 oz Bols Orange Curaçao
1½ oz pineapple juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Flamed orange peel for garnish
Nutmeg for grating
Directions: Combine the Cognac, Curaçao, pineapple juice, and bitters with ice, and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish by flaming the orange peel over the top of the drink and dusting with freshly grated nutmeg.
Charlotte Voisey is the Mixologist for William Grant & Sons, USA. She is one of today’s top talents in the cocktail world and has managed some of the best cocktail bars in London, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires. When Charlotte opened a classic cocktail bar, Apartment 195, on King’s Road in London in 2002, it was promptly named London’s Bar of the Year. In 2004, she was named UK’s Bartender of the Year and in 2006, she moved stateside to work with William Grant & Sons to represent Hendrick’s Gin.
This recipe has been adapted from the original 1850 recipe found in the book, Drinking with Dickens, written by Cedric Dickens, great-grandson of Charles Dickens.
3 full tea cups of Hendrick’s gin
3 full tea cups of Madeira wine
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
1 large teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
6 large lemon twists
1 small slice of orange
3 big chunks of fresh pineapple
4 large spoons of honey
The juice of a lemon
A dash of water
Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a pot; warm up to a simmer and leave to simmer for twenty minutes. Sometimes the punch will get better and as you cook it more and more. When you think it is ready, pour in the tea pot and serve with some gingerbread on the side.
This recipe is inspired by Charles Dickens’ own gin punch recipe, so etiquette requires that you repeat this quote while pouring the first cup: “Punch, my dear Copperfield, like time and tide, waits for no man.” David Copperfield, 1850.
Born in Puebla, Mexico to a family and culture rich in both tradition and flavors, Junior Merino was taught from an early age about freshness, quality, and balance. Implementing his early teachings, Junior Merino arrived in New York where he fused his creativity with passion and began his career as a mixologist, sommelier, and entrepreneur. Now with his own company, The Liquid Chef, Inc., and with The Liquid Team, Junior Merino consults with top restaurants, hotels, cruise lines, clubs, airlines, and lounges all over the world. He also has a mixology school in Mexico, a multimillion dollar project that is the first of its kind. He is a part of The Liquid Lab, a unique bartending experience for invited individuals to discuss and share techniques, ideas, and cocktails. Junior Merino has been featured in magazines, radio, newspapers, and on TV because of his unique views into the cocktail culture as well as his amazing gift of giving harmony to his potable creations.
1½ oz Siembra Azul Reposado Tequila
1½ oz Castries Peanut Rum Crème
½ oz Kahlúa
¼ oz Navan
Directions: Pour all the ingredients in a shaker/mixing glass; add ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, coffee beans, and star anis.
This cocktail will warm you up with the spice notes of the Reposado tequila combined with other flavors from the Americas: the Castries Peanut Rum Crème creates a silky blanket that wraps around your palate and Kahlúa’s coffee flavors will comfort you while the vanilla (Navan) will spice up any holiday.
photos by- Peter Pioppo – Studio P
Jennifer English is one of America’s most respected and articulate culinary personalities. She is a sought-after speaker, teacher, writer, cocktailian, trend consultant, and award winning talk show host, as well as being widely recognized as one of America’s leading tastemakers. Jennifer is a James Beard Award winner and proudly serves as Vice President for the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society Board. In 1999, Jennifer founded the Food & Wine Radio Network and is heard weekly as the host of “Sunday Brunch.” She is also seen weekly as the KVOA TV-4 Fresh@4 Food Contributor on the Tucson, Arizona NBC affiliate. In 2006, Jennifer became a partner in the Flavorbank.com spice market where she inspires mixologists, through product scholarships, to get creative with spices behind the bar. She makes her home in Tucson, enjoying her “mixologist’s garden” – a lime tree, lemon tree, orange tree, and fresh mint plants.
When I was 25 my mother took me to the legendary Lenox Hotel piano bar. It was the first week of December, Thanksgiving had just past. The Lenox had sing-along back then. The waitress came and my Mother ordered 2 Crown Royal Manhattan cocktails. Up. I asked why? She informed me that now that I was 25 I could fully appreciate this complex and sophisticated sip (she was right). But, I reminded her (though I didn’t need to) that I had turned 25 months ago in June. She informed me that not until after Thanksgiving could one fully appreciate and enjoy a Manhattan. She was right again. Now every holiday season, I have a ritual of going to the best hotel in town and having the barman make me a Crown Royal Manhattan. I toast to my mother and thank her for this wonderful gift. Then I proceed to enjoy that long missed flavor in that first sip.
Crown Royal Manhattan
1 part sweet vermouth
2 parts Crown Royal Reserve
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Directions: I like to serve it up in a classic vintage cocktail glass which, as Dale DeGroff says, holds 15 perfect sips.
Gaz Regan—the bartender formerly known as Gary Regan—is the cocktail columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of The Joy of Mixology and The Bartender’s Bible. He and co-author, Mardee Haidin Regan, also wrote The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys, The Bourbon Companion, The Martini Companion, and New Classic Cocktails. His next book, The Bartender’s Gin Compendium, will be published in the fall of 2009.
Gaz and Mardee host www.ArdentSpirits.com, publish the free Ardent Spirits eNewsletter, and manage the Worldwide Bartender Database where membership is also free. “The Manhattan is my fave holiday cocktail 365 days a year. In December, though, I add a Santa Claus garnish.”
90 ml (3 oz) bourbon or straight rye whiskey
30 ml (1 oz) Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
5 dashes Angostura bitters
Directions: Stir over ice and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass.
Cheryl Charming, aka Miss Charming™, is one of America’s top mixologists and cocktail celebrities. She is often referred to by her peers, friends, and fans as the “Rachael Ray of Cocktails.” Miss Charming™ currently has nine published books and lives in Orlando, Florida.
Honey Baked Turkey
(comes complete with cranberry!)
2 oz Wild Turkey American Honey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz cranberry juice
Directions: Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Float one cranberry or add a lemon twist if desired.
Brian Loukmas began his career in the industry over 19 years ago, with job stops along the way at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and helping open the first Bahama Breeze concept. He recently became a welcomed addition to TEAM Enterprises. Brian brings a wealth of “real world” knowledge of drinking trends and consumer taste proclivities, as well as extensive drink development and mixology experience. His customized cocktail creations have been award winning and hugely successful in many venues, from independent establishments to national chain beverage programs.
1½ oz Bacardi 8 Rum
½ oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ oz maple syrup
(100% pure Grade A dark amber)
½ oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ oz pomegranate syrup
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Garnish: freshly-grated cinnamon on top of an orange wheel.
Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly-grated cinnamon on top of an orange wheel floating in center of drink.
The Harvest Daiquiri is a holiday version of the original Bacardi daiquiri with its roots going back to 1898. Soon after the Spanish-American War, an engineer by the name of Jennings S. Cox was sent to work in the mines near the town of Daiquiri, Cuba. Because of the threat of yellow fever, a morale-boosting gallon of Bacardi Superior Rum was part of the engineers’ generous monthly compensation. One day in 1898, Mr. Cox picked a lime from a nearby tree and squeezed the juice into a glass. He then added a teaspoon of sugar to balance the sour lime taste and added a jigger of Bacardi Superior Rum, along with crushed ice to chill the liquid. Originally named the “Ron Bacardi a la Daiquiri,” it was shortened to just “daiquiri,” in honor of the town and mines of its inception.
David Alan is a true champion of the cocktail and is a great contributor of cocktail culture in Austin. David is active in promoting packed industry events, one after another, including the premier mixology competition in Austin, The Drink. He is a nationally certified mixologist and is co-owner of The Tipsy Texan, a growing empire which supplies libations with a culinary aesthetic to raved-about gatherings. He is a prominent drink blogger, with his own blog, Tipsytexan.com and also contributes to The Austin American Statesman, Rare magazine, Edible Austin and the Conde Nast travelers daily travel blog.
1½ oz Tito’s vodka
1½ oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Pear liqueur, or similar (such as Mathilde Poir)
½ oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Barspoon St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
Directions: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh pear, if available, or a lemon twist.
In French, Père Noël is Santa Claus, or Father Christmas. “Père” is pronounced almost exactly the same as “pear,” so this drink is a holiday play-on-words. I chose to use pears because the holiday season always makes me think of those boxes of fabulous pears and other fruits that come in the mail.
Philip Raimondo, National Accounts Master Mixologist for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, joined the company in the fall of 2008. Philip works closely with the sales teams for National Accounts, Luxury Accounts, and Regional Accounts, providing them with custom signature drink development and support for each customer’s beverage program.
Philip brings over 19 years of experience in the hospitality industry and beverage operations to Beam Global Spirits & Wine from a variety of locations. Most recently, he was Director of Beverage with Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc, owner operator of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurants.
The Hot Buttered Rum dates back to colonial times in America. It is said that George Washington served it to help persuade votes. It is a perfect drink for large groups and parties since it can be batched up ahead of time. It works throughout the entire fall and winter seasons, and can be used in a number of different cocktails. We are going to share with you how to make the classic Hot Buttered Rum batter and a traditional Hot Buttered Rum drink.
Hot Buttered Rum batter
Start with a sauce pan over low heat. Add to the pan: 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Directions: Stir until all ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and pour into a sealable container. It is best to wait until the next day to place it in the refrigerator, where it can then be stored up to a month.
1 Tablespoon Hot Buttered Rum batter mix
2 oz Cruzan Rum
5 oz boiling water
Directions: To make the traditional Hot Buttered Rum drink, simply add 1 tablespoon of the batter mixture to a coffee mug. Pour in 2 oz Cruzan Rum (Light, Dark or Black Strap) and fill with steeping hot water. Stir well until all is incorporated and garnish with cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves sprinkled on top.
Alternate versions: include substituting Courvoisier Exclusif Cognac or Maker’s Mark Bourbon for the Cruzan Rum. Some old recipes even call for adding ice cream, which is a nice touch.
Photo by Daemon Baizan
Versatile Nick Mautone is a restaurateur, beverage expert, and the author of the cocktail and entertaining book, Raising the Bar. Mr. Mautone, who has an exclusive agreement with GREY GOOSE, conducts training seminars in addition to making marketing appearances on behalf of the brand. Nick was the former Manager of New York’s Gotham Bar & Grill and Managing Partner of Gramercy Tavern. He currently operates a multifaceted food service, management, and consulting company, Mautone Enterprises. Additionally, Nick is partnering with TV celebrity and author Rachael Ray on a new restaurant concept, “Bar RR.”
GREY GOOSE® LA POIRE Ginger Joy
2 parts GREY GOOSE® La Poire flavored vodka
½ part premium ginger liqueur
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice
Directions: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Present with a pear slice or crystallized ginger.
Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Francesco Lafranconi works for Southern Wine & Spirits as the National Director of Mixology & Spirits Educator. Prior to joining Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, Mr. Lafranconi worked at many of the world’s leading hotels and bars, including the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, The Palace Hotel in Gstaadt, Switzerland, the InterContinental Hotel in Cologne, Germany, Harry’s Bar and Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy – with stages in Singapore and Australia as well. Mr. Lafranconi is also the Chairman and Co-founder of the United States Bartenders Guild (U.S.B.G.)-Nevada Chapter- and an active member of the International Bartenders Association (I.B.A.), recognized in more than 50 countries worldwide.
1½ oz English Harbour 5 year-old Rum
½ oz D’Aristi Xtabentun
½ oz Harveys Bristol Cream
1 oz agave nectar & fresh lime blend
¼ oz Elixir G Ginger Mix
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Directions: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.