With the holidays moving into full swing, Baltimore’s mixologists are celebrating with cocktails. They use flavors of the season, including sweet apple ciders and nutmeg. Classics like eggnog and brandy crusta are updated with contemporary twists to surprise and delight customers. Head out to the bars or make these at home for the perfect flavors of the holidays this year.
Brendan Dorr, B&O American Brasserie
2 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Brendan Dorr, one of Baltimore’s best-known mixologists, offers two of his favorites, which are twists on holiday classics. “Flip Ya The Bird” is his interpretation of eggnog. Garnished with fresh, grated nutmeg, this cocktail is the perfect way to welcome the holidays.
Flip Ya The Bird
1 ¼ oz Wild Turkey bourbon
¼ oz Nux Alpina
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz chamomile syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Combine all of the ingredients, dry shake and then shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish the drink with fresh nutmeg.
Dorr also brings his adaptation of the classic cocktail, “Corn ‘n Oil,” which consists of only dark, aged rum, falenum and bitters. Dorr says his version, the “Cane ‘n Peel,” reminds him of a holiday spice cookie.
Cane ‘n Peel
1¼ oz Ron Zacapa 23-year Solera rum
¾ oz Pierre Ferrand dry Curacao
A barspoon of Laphroig
2 dashes falernum
1 dash Bitter Truth old-time aromatic bitters
Stir the ingredients with ice, and then strain into a dessert wine glass or a whiskey glass.
Tim Riley, TEN, TEN
1010 Fleet St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
Tim Riley, beverage director at one of Baltimore’s newest restaurants, TEN TEN, created an apple-flavored scotch drink for his team to serve throughout the holiday season. “How About Them Apples?” is mixed and rinsed with a spiced Czech liquer to give it an intense winter spice flavor.
How About Them Apples
2 oz Pig’s Nose scotch
¾ oz cider syrup*
¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash Bar Keep organic apple bitters
1 dash Fee Brothers barrel-aged bitters
Prepare a chilled cocktail glass by adding a small dash of Becherovka and Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau de Vie. Twirl the mix to coat glass and then discard it. Shake the above ingredients with ice and strain into the prepared glass. The result is a smoky drink that has hints of spices and holiday flora with balance.
*To make the cider syrup, add equal parts cider and demerara sugar to a pot. Simmer just until the sugar is dissolved. Strain the mix and allow it to cool.
Elizabeth Williams, Vino Rosina
507 S. Exeter St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Elizabeth Williams, bar manager at Vino Rosina, shares the “Manzana Martini,” a rum drink infused with honey crisp apples. Williams created a similar cocktail last year and modified it for this holiday season.
“It’s the perfect winter cocktail,” Williams said. “It pairs well with Vino Rosina’s caramel apple bread pudding and will surely warm you up.”
2 oz honey crisp apple-infused rum
1 oz apple cider
1 oz champagne
Chill a martini glass, and then shake the apple-infused rum and cider vigorously. Strain the contents into the chilled martini glass and top with champagne.
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Jamaal Green, Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks
1843 Light St.
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks is sticking with a classic cocktail this holiday season: the brandy crusta. Bartender Jamaal Green adapted the recipe from Jerry Thomas, who is considered the father of American mixology. Green added his own updates, substituting the house-made lemon cordial, a simple syrup infused with lemon zest, for the traditional lemon juice.
2 oz Germain Robin
1 tsp Grand Marnier
1 tsp Luxardo maraschino liqueur
½ oz lemon cordial
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine the ingredients and serve in glass with a sugared rim and a lemon peel twist. Green promises the perfect holiday drink with this one, explaining “Brandy reeks of winter.”