By Andrea Bosco
Special thanks to Express Cabinet & Granite

Shown above, from left to right:

Crabapple Martini

Prepared with a mix of juiced and simmered crabapples, sugar, and hibiscus flowers, Restaurant ECHO’s Crabapple Martini is light and refreshing, says Brian Hammond, owner and executive chef. The “sophisticated and seasonal” cocktail is served using Boyd and Blair vodka, and is garnished with crabapples over the rim.

Get the recipe here.

Hot Buttered Rum

Warm up with Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie’s Hot Buttered Rum — a traditional cocktail with a special spin. Made with Sailor Jerry rum; hot water; English butter; brown sugar; a blend of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and clove; and salt, this drink has all the amenities to keep you toasty.

Nog Mark III

A Pennsylvania native, Hammond kept his homesickness at bay while living in Southern California with his conception of “Nog Nights,” a tradition that he’s continued at Restaurant ECHO. With that, came delicious variations of an eggnog cocktail. This one in particular, Nog Mark III, is a blend of egg yolks and whites; sugar; whole milk; heavy cream; “delicious, dark, sexy rum;” ground coriander seeds; an orange; orange blossom water; and “a fine dust of cinnamon.” Hammond reserves a touch of the whipped sugar and egg whites “to give it a holiday afro.” He then torches the froth, and garnishes it with cinnamon and an orange rind.

Recipe here.

Braddock’s Revenge

Executive Chef Jason Shaffer says this cool libation is ideal for escaping the chilly winter weather because of its spice. Concocted of muddled jalapeño, cilantro, and raspberries, Braddock’s Revenge is finished with Milagros tequila, Licor 43, lime juice, and a cinnamon-sugar-cayenne rim.

White Chocolate Mint Martini

Go green with this bold-colored brew by Walnut Grill mixologist Erica Rodriguez. The White Chocolate Mint Martini is prepared with green creme de menthe, vanilla vodka, and white creme de cacao, and poured into a glass that’s been drizzled with a creamy white chocolate sauce.

Peppermint Mocha Martini

Rodriguez says she was feeling festive when she mixed up this Peppermint Mocha Martini — a drink she knew would surely put everyone in the spirit, she says. Paying homage to one of Starbucks’ most popular holiday drinks, the seasonal bar staple at Walnut Grill is made with Kahlúa, peppermint schnapps, vanilla vodka, whipped cream, and is served in a chocolate-lined glass.

Cranberry Smash

This spin on a classic American cocktail is done right for the holidays at Perlé, says Managing Partner Pete Landis. The Cranberry Smash is made with Nolet’s gin; Sugar De Mure, or brown sugar; muddled cranberries and rosemary; and fresh lemon juice. Landis and his bartenders shake it and strain it over an ice rock for the perfect pour. A garnish of cranberries and rosemary completes the look.

Champagne Wonderland

The blue-sugar rimmed Champagne flute tops off this festive Champagne Wonderland cocktail of cognac, fig sugar, simple syrup, orange bitters, and sparkling wine. A holiday special at Perlé, Landis suggests if you’re making something similar in the comforts of home, fig preserves work just as well. Cue the sounds of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” this is what holiday cocktails should bring to the table.

Claus and Effect

Cheers to this clever play on the Cosmopolitan. Monterey Bay Fish Grotto Beverage Director Nick Hayes mixes up the Claus and Effect with hibiscus flower, pomegranate-infused Absolut vodka, fresh blood oranges, SOLERNO blood orange liqueur, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and cranberry juice. “It’s not heavy, and has a comforting warmth to it for the frigid winter months,” says Hayes. The sugar-crusted rosemary sprig and cranberry garnish make for a savory stir with one twirl.

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