Holiday Craft Cocktails to Make at Home

A perfect cocktail is so much more than a drink. It can help you unwind at the end of the day, or get the party started at the beginning of the night. It can be the perfect complement to a leisurely lunch, and can make a much more interesting dinner pairing than the usual wine or beer. There is an art to creating great cocktails, and the new book, The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending with Flair by Jeremy LeBlanc and Christine Dionese shows readers how to craft these special drinks on their own, with ingredients and detailed instructions, as well as tips and advice on how to master the art of bartending.

We picked some of our favorite craft cocktail recipes from the book we thought would be perfect for the holidays. These recipes are reprinted with permission.

The Best Craft Cocktails Drink Recipes

Tanjeen Negroni

Using the more tangerine juice instead of the more traditional sweet Vermouth, the Tanjeen Negroni allows the true flavors of Cardinal Gin to fly. The Tanjeen Negroni is a crips choice to server guests before a meal that includes duck or lamb.

Yields One Aperitif

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz/60 ml gin (we like Cardinal for this recipe)
  • 1/2 oz/15 ml Campari
  • 1 oz/30 ml freshly squeezed tangerine juice
  • Ice
  • 1 thinly sliced tangerine for garnish

Directions:

In a bar tin combine gin, Campari and tangerine juice. Add 20 pieces of ice (or 1 scoop of a 16-ounce/475-milliliter shaker) and continuously stir for a count of 90. Rim a chilled glass with your tangerine slice, strain the contents of your tin into the glass and serve with the slice to garnish.

The Crawling Milan

A variation of a Classic Milanese Negroni. This stimulating combination of Whiskey and Campari is enriched with fresh-pressed Kumquat. C

Yields One Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • Ice
  • 1 oz/30 ml Campari
  • 1 oz/30 ml whiskey
  • ½ oz/15 ml sweet vermouth
  • ½ oz/15 ml kumquat juice
  • 1 splash of soda water
  • 3 kumquats for garnish

Directions:

In a bar tin, add 20 pieces of ice (or 1 scoop of a 16-ounce/475-milliliter shaker), combine Campari, whiskey, vermouth, juice and splash of soda. Shake vigorously for a count of 20. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 kumquats un-submerged. Encourage nibbling between sipping.

Basquing

Combining simple delights from both the French and Spanish Basque regions, Izarra and Pacharan are two quite obscure bottles that deserve front row spacing on your bar shelf. Sometimes forgotten spirits are the most versatile, and in this case, yes, we think so!

Yields One Small Sipper

Ingredients:

1/2 oz/15 ml yellow Izarra (almond) French Basque
1 oz/30 ml pacharan
1 cucumber for garnish

Directions:

In a chilled mixing glass, combine Izarra and pacharan and stir for 60 revolutions. Into a wide-mouthed Spanish wine glass tumbler or small jam jar, pour chilled sipper. To soak up a bit of the sugar while allowing the medicinal properties to remain, drop in two sections of hollowed-out cucumber. Shape into a flower or cone to create an aesthetic garnish.

L’Orange Rouge Boozy

This cocktail is truly a thing of beauty – everything you ever wanted in a craft cocktail, Keep an eye out for this fiery snort of Whiskey.

Yields One Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • Fresh mint
  • 3–4 slices of orange
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2–3 drops bitters (we like Fee Brothers for this recipe)
  • Ice
  • 3 oz/90 ml bourbon (we like Bulleit for this recipe)
  • 1 splash of soda water

Directions:

Muddle mint and 3 slices of orange in a Boston shaker. Add juice, bitters and shake well for a count of 30. Pour into a standard bucket glass over ice. Finish this crisp refreshment
by stirring in bourbon and top with soda water. Garnish with orange slices. Let the bourbon speak for itself.

Smithey’s Smash

Affectionately named after a bartender friend of ours, we are always delighted when watching Ms. Smithery carefully muddle her berries and then generously splash in champagne over the fruit.

Yields One Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz/60 ml cherry liqueur (we like Luxardo for this recipe)
  • 1 oz/30 ml cranberry juice
  • Ice
  • 5 blackberries
  • 2 oz/60 ml vodka (we like Death’s Door or Belvedere 100 Proof for this recipe)
  • 1/4 oz/7 ml St. Germain liqueur
  • 1/2 oz/15 ml Prosecco (we like Mionetto for this recipe)

Directions:

In a Tin Play tin, pour cherry liqueur and cranberry juice over 1 ice cube and shake vigorously for a count of 30. In another Tin Play tin, muddle blackberries and combine vodka and St. Germain. Shake vigorously for a count of 20. In a well-chilled fluted glass, pour over ice and top with Prosecco. To create an airy allure, shake your cherry and cranberry tin for yet another count of 30, strain and slowly pour over the top of the Prosecco to meet the bubbles, finishing with a fuchsia hue.

About The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair

The Best Craft Cocktails Drink Recipe BookThe The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair book features hand-crafted cocktail recipes like the Whiskey Pig, which features bacon-washed whiskey, the twist on a classic, the Rhubarb Mojito, and the refreshing berry cocktail, Smithey’s Smash. With chapters dedicated to aperitifs, classics with a twist, exotic cocktails, refreshers and punches, there is truly a drink for every person and every occasion that features fresh ingredients and homemade, wholefood mixes and syrups. Jeremy LeBlanc, lead bartender at a bar praised by Conde Nast as one of the top 10 roof top bars in the world, is sharing his signature techniques and one-of a kind recipes that define exceptional bartending. Now, with this bartending guide, experts and beginners alike will keep their friends and customers entertained, satisfied and always coming back for more of these meticulously created cocktails.

Here are more craft cocktails available in the book.

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