Holiday Cocktails

It’s Christmas! For some that means presents. For some that means spending time with family, which can range from good to nightmarish. For Booze Nerds it means drinking! Which certainly helps in all situations. For this holiday, our gift to you is a couple of original recipes to either help you get through the holidays, or to help you enjoy them even more.

The War on Christmas

For this drink we started with the name. Then we thought “hey, cranberry is a nice festive and seasonal ingredient, plus it is bloody red”, so we wanted to include that. Then Christa thought of rum for a base spirit, because the richness and sweetness of it would counterbalance the tartness and astringency of the cranberry. Then she felt a vermouth or vin apertif would add some sweetness to help balance the drink as well as some bitter notes to add interest. To finish it off, Shaun thought it could use some bitters to add a little more herbaceousness.


  • 2 oz Plantation Trinidad rum. (Substitute any gold rum with nice petrol-y notes)
  • 1 oz El Dorado 15 yr (Substitute an aged rum)
  • 1 oz cranberry syrup (see below)
  • 1/2 oz Kina L’ Avion d’ Or (If you can’t find this, substitute Lillet Blanc and a splash of Angostura bitters)
  • 1 dropper full of Urban Moonshine bitters
  • 1/4 oz 151 rum float, or as much as you want depending on how much you enjoy your family 😉

Combine 1st 5 ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into glass and add a 151 rum float. Garnish with a cherry.


  • Vanilla notes from the rum, light orange notes. More of an orange candy or cream, not fresh orange.


  • Strong petrol-y notes of the Trinidad, plus a little bit of fruit at the front. Then the rum flavors surface in the middle, caramel barrel notes with some funk. Followed by bitterness and tannin from the cranberry. Finishes with the bitters, a notable herbal/dandelion note at the very end. Very spirit forward. Quite drinkable given how strong it is.  

This goes down very easily. It should certainly help you smooth off any rough edges to your holidays.

Cranberry syrup

Pick through fresh cranberries removing any bad ones. Place in a small sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover. Cook over medium low heat until all of the berries pop. Strain out large berries and use a fine strainer to remove as many seeds as possible. Then reduce over medium high heat until reduced by a third to a half.

The Rainier Summit – a riff on the foam from the Rainier Sunset. We tried it as a drink unto itself and found it to be very tasty, so we felt it could stand on its own. The fir, lime, and orange flavors combine in a very delicious (and festive!) manner.


Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with a cherry and a lime twist.


  • Fir and lime with a hint of orange


  • Starts with the sourness of the lime, then moves into resin-y, fir-y notes, which mellows into rich orange brandy flavors from the Grand Marnier. Strong orange notes on the mid-palate. A lot of brightness from the lime and the citrus elements of the mixers. Doug fir throughout, but not overpowering. Nice sweetness on the finish. This should make a very nice aperitif cocktail, the lime zestiness is a good palate opener.  

We here at Booze Nerds hope you have a lovely and booze-y holiday, and that both of these drinks help make the day that much more festive.

Looking for more approachable sparkling wine cocktails for the holidays? Check out some of our sparkling wine drinks.

Looking for other holiday themed cocktails? Check out some of our more spirit forward drinks.

This entry was posted in Original Cocktail and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s