A perfect combination of sweet and spice for every holiday happy hour
It’s been tested, and trust me, this cocktail is about to become your signature for the season. Every year mid-November, my mom and I kick of the holidays with a Christmas shopping long weekend. It’s become the perfect way to get into the spirit, and check the biggest stressor off of the list. What’s better refreshment after a day of shopping than a cocktail? And just like that, the season signature cocktail is born.
What I love about having a signature cocktail for the season is that you can stock up on ingredients and master the recipe early. Then when happy hour guests arrive, setting the seasonal mood feels effortless. I like to choose something that works well from early holiday party’s through Christmas and NYE. This year we found a deliciously spicy and sweet recipe at Half Baked Harvest. After a few tests and subtle tweaks, I’ve named this years’ cocktail The Sparkling Old Fashioned. Here’s how to make it at home:
This is an essential ingredient that you make ahead. Follow Half Baked Harvest’s recipe exactly, as they’ve mastered the spicy sweet blend! I suggest doubling the amounts so you can keep this ready in the fridge for a few events.
- 1/2 cup MAPLE SYRUP
- 2 CINNAMON STICKS
- 1 tablespoon CARDAMON PODS
- 1 STAR ANISE
- 1 inch FRESH GINGER (rough chopped)
- 1 ORANGE’S ZEST
- Combine ingredients from MAPLE SYRUP through FRESH GINGER in a medium pot.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 3 minutes to bring out the spices flavour and then take off of the heat.
- Add the orange zest and stir.
- Cool before transferring to a jar or container that you can easily store and pour from.
The Sparkling Old Fashioned
A nod to a classic cocktail, with a spicy sweet twist and a sparkling topper. All of my favourite ingredients in one glass. I recommend serving this in a double old fashioned glass or, if you have one, an oversized coupe!
- 2 ounces BOURBON
- 1/2 ounce LEMON JUICE
- 3 dashes ANGOSTURA BITTERS
- 1/2 ounce SPICY SYRUP
- 2 – 3 – 4 ounces CHAMPAGNE (topping, adjust for desired strength)
HOW – TO
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Currently coveting this one.
- Pour in BOURBON, LEMON JUICE, BITTERS and SPICY SYRUP and shake to combine.
- Use a strainer to pour into a glass. This makes one cocktail.
- Top with champagne, more to soften the cocktail or less to keep it spirit forward.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick, star anise and a dried orange slice.
Cheers to the holidays!