Looking to cozy up this Christmas season with something special and spiked? We gathered a list of custom cocktails to make your holiday even more cheerful. The following recipes were provided by mixologists at Cool Beanz Coffee House in Rock Island, Cru in downtown Davenport and Mississippi River Distilling Co. in LeClaire.
If you don't want to prepare these libations at home, no worries. Hotel BlackHawk, Bix Bistro, UP Skybar and Viva (the latter two are part of the Current Iowa hotel) have partnered with Mississippi River Distilling Company to host the "12 Drinks of Christmas." Through the end of December, you can try special holiday beverages at these establishments. Plus, patrons will receive an entry with drink purchase for a prize drawing to be conducted at the end of month.
1. Earl Grey Hot Toddy
- 1.5 oz Bourbon
- 10 oz Hot Earl Grey Tea
- 1 tblspoon Honey
Combine ingredients and serve with a slice of lemon in a 12 oz mug
2. Irish Coffee
- 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 12 oz brewed coffee
- Whipped cream for topping
3. Winter's Kiss Martini
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 4 oz Dry Rose Wine
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Barb's Garden Pantry Raspberry Chipotle Jam
With a spoon, stir ingredients well in shaker with ice to break up jam. Strain ice and pour into martini glass.
*The three recipes above were submitted by Cool Beanz Coffee House, 1325 30th St., Rock Island.
4. WinteRYE Night
Alex Nagel, the bar manager at Cru, a wine bar in downtown Davenport, says this "fairly simple cocktail evokes thoughts of being surrounded by friends and family and warming up with a great drink."
- 2 oz Mississippi River Distilling Co. Iowish Creme liqueur
- 1 oz Mississippi River Distilling Co. Cody Road Rye
- ½ oz honey brown sugar Syrup
Can be served warm or chilled. To make the honey brown sugar syrup, combine 8 oz organic honey, 8 oz boiling water and 4 tablespoon brown sugar plus a dash of nutmeg. Mix ingredients and stir until well combined.
5. Holiday Mule
This drink is a "fun twist on the beloved Moscow Mule," Nagel said. He recommends extrapolating the single serving to make a batch cocktail for larger groups.
- 1½ oz vodka
- ¼ oz fresh pressed lime juice
- ½ oz cranberry syrup
- ½ oz rosemary ginger syrup
Combine ingredients and shake, strain over ice and top with ginger beer. To make your own cranberry syrup, mash 1 ½ cups of fresh cranberries and set aside. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 ½ cups of sugar and cranberries. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain and chill. To make your own rosemary ginger syrup, peel and slice 2 medium ginger roots. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 1 ½ cups of sugar, prepared ginger and 4 large sprigs of rosemary. Simmer and steep for 20-25 minutes. Strain and chill.
*The two above cocktail recipes were provided by Cru, 221 Brady St., Davenport. For more info, visit facebook.com/cru221.
6. Cody's Bourbon Sour
- 1½ oz Cody Road Bourbon
- ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
- ½ of an egg white
- ¾ oz Cranberry/Rosemary simple syrup
- Ginger ale to taste
Shake bourbon, lemon and egg for 30 seconds. Add cranberry/rosemary simple syrup and ice, strain into a rocks glass and top with ginger ale, rosemary sprig and two cranberries. To make the cranberry/rosemary simple syrup, combine 2 cups unsweetened cranberry juice and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in 1 sprig of rosemary and let cool. Store in refrigerator for up to one month.
7. Cranberry Rose
- 1 ½ oz River Rose
- ½ oz Very Cherry Liqueur
- ½ oz fresh lemon
- ½ oz cranberry rosemary simple syrup
- ½ oz egg white
Shake gin, lemon and egg white for 15 seconds. Add cranberry rosemary simple syrup and ice, shake to chill. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
8. Cody Road Float
- 1 oz Cody Road Rye
- 1 oz Iowa Coffee Company Liqueur
- 1 oz Iowish Cream
- Root beer to taste
Shake until frothy. Use plenty of ice. Top with root beer.
- 2 oz Cody Road Rye
- ½ oz amaro
- ½ oz dry vermouth
- 2 dashes plumb bitters
- 1 barspoon luxardo cherry
Garnish with a lemon twist.
10. Black Forest
- 1 oz Cody Road Bourbon
- 1 oz Very Cherry Liqueur
- 1 oz grenadine
- 8 oz Hot chocolate
Mix in a coffee mug. Garnish with a torched marshmallow.
11. Sip Me I'm Iowish
- 1 ½ oz Iowish Cream
- 1 ½ oz River Baron Artisan Spirit
- ½ oz Hazelnut simple syrup
- 2 sprays atomized coffee extract
Shake until frothy. Garnish with cinnamon.
*The above six recipes were provided by Mississippi River Distilling Co. For more info, visit mrdistilling.com.