The temperatures are dropping, the holidays are approaching and this is a sipper that checks all the boxes for winter.
Back before the world changed temporarily, my favorite bartender used to make me a Whiskey cocktail that I used to call Christmas in a glass!
This is somewhat of a take on that.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom to get 8 more holiday cocktail recipe links from some of my favorite food bloggers.
A brown sugar simple syrup made with all those warming spices of winter do the trick.
Orange zest, dried cranberries, allspice, fresh ginger, cloves and cinnamon all swim in a pool of brown sugar and water to make a delightful addition to the bourbon of choice.
The simple syrup needs to be made ahead of time. I often make a double batch, it keeps well in the fridge and then you're ready when the spirit moves you.
There are a couple of things I'm really picky about.....
I like to use a good bourbon, the simple syrup is just gilding the lily, so use a bourbon you enjoy.
You could also use a Rye Whiskey here and it would be delicious.
Bourbon usually has a bit more sweetness and caramel qualities, while the Rye tends to be a little spicier and more savory intense flavoring.
The next thing is the cherries, once you've had the good ones, you'll never go back!
My all time favorites are Luxardo, they're a bit on the pricey side, but so delish.
Some of you know I've been spending a lot of time at my cabin, choices aren't as vast here...lol!
The internet is great for that, but sometimes I forget to order in time.
I discovered these from Stonewall kitchen. They're a good runner up and a bit more budget friendly. The other bonus is if I can get them here, you should be able to get them in most markets!
The final must is a whiskey block, not cubes. It keeps the cocktail cool and doesn't dilute it to quickly.
You can buy them now at most kitchen or home stores, I think I got mine at Home Goods.
The next time you're in the mood for an Old Fashioned, give this one a try.
Be warned, its pretty tasty!
Hope you are all doing well, and your loved ones are healthy.
Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
Makes 1 Cocktail
2 oz. Good Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Brown sugar spiced simple syrup
2 shakes of bitters (orange bitters are lovely here, but the regular are great as well)
Slice of orange or a nice piece of orange zest
Stir all ingredients in a glass with a little ice then strain into a highball glass with a whiskey block.
Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup
1 Cup brown sugar ( NOT packed)
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 -3 slices of orange zest about 4-5 inches long
1 slice of fresh ginger about 1 inch thick
1/2 of a vanilla bean
4 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tsp whole clove
1/2 tsp ground allspice
Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over med heat. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and let simmer 35-45 minutes.
Turn off heat and let cool, once cooled strain into a glass jar with a lid and store in the fridge.
Just click on the pic below and it will link to the recipe and blogger for the cocktail
Pomegranate Vodka Lemon Drop by The Perks of Being us
Cranberry Kir Royale by Uncomplicated Chef
Italian Gin and Tonic by Michelle Sips and Savors
Apple Pie Margarita by Desocio in The Kitchen
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate w/ Bourbon by White Kitchen Red Wine
After Dinner Egg Nog by Honest Foodie Blog
Apple Cider Mimosa by Hapa Home Cooking
Vodka Cape Coddler by Another Tablespoon