Whether you’re toasting with ghouls and goblins this Halloween or gathering with loved ones over the holidays, some of our favorite Chicago-area partners are sharing recipes for their best holiday cocktails to make sure your concoctions are delicious!
Beguiled and Bewildered
- 1½ oz gin
- ½ oz honey sage syrup
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 1 oz apple cider
- Sage leaf & apple slice for garnish
(If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, replace gin with tonic water)
- Make the honey sage syrup by combining 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup water and 4 sage sprigs in a small saucepan and bring to boil.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.
- In your shaker, add the gin, honey sage syrup, lemon juice and apple cider. (Don’t have a shaker? Use a mason jar instead!)
- Add ice to your shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain your cocktail over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
- Garnish with an apple slice and sage leaf.
The Cursed Apple
- 2 oz mezcal or reposado tequila
- 1 oz apple cider
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz rosemary maple syrup*
- sea salt and cinnamon sugar
- Rosemary sprig & apple slice
(If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, omit spirit and increase amount of cider)
- Mix equal parts cinnamon sugar and sea salt. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a double old fashioned glass and coat in salted cinnamon sugar
- Combine the mezcal or tequila, apple cider, lime juice, and rosemary maple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake to combine. (No shaker? Use a mason jar instead!)
- Strain your cocktail over fresh ice in the prepared glass. Garnish with apple slices and rosemary sprig. If desired, light the rosemary sprig on fire for a more smoky flavor
*Rosemary Maple Syrup recipe
- Combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup water and 4 rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan and bring to boil.
- Remove heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain out rosemary and cool to room temperature before using
Orange Thyme Old Fashioned
- 2 oz Bourbon (of your choice)
- 0.5 oz Orange Thyme Simple Syrup*
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Place bourbon, Orange Thyme Simple Syrup and Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker; top with ice.
- Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
- Strain into glass with large round or square ice cube.
- Serve with a strip of orange zest and a thyme sprig.
*Orange Thyme Simple Syrup:
- 4 strips orange zest
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool; strain. *Serves 1.
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 2 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon (could be substituted for other red wine of your choice)
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
- 24 oz Club Soda, chilled
- 2 Oranges Thinly Sliced
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- Bring sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Combine sugar mixture, red wine, orange juice, and liqueur in a large container or pitcher; cover and chill for 4 hours.
- Stir in club soda, oranges, and blackberries. just before serving. Serve over ice.
*Makes 12 cups (enough for a pitcher).
Caramel Apple Sangria
- 1 Litre bottle white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio recommended)
- 8 cups fresh apple cider
- 1 cup vodka (unflavoured or caramel)
- 4-5 apples, chopped
- 1/4 cup caramel syrup, plus enough for garnish
- Place chopped apples in bottom of pitcher.
- Then drizzle caramel syrup over apples liberally.
- Add in bottle of white wine, apple cider, vodka and stir well.
- Place pitcher in refrigerator and chill for at least four hours before serving.
- When ready to serve drizzle caramel sauce around the inside of the glass.
- Fill with sangria, along with some of the apples.
The smoke in this cocktail tells a story– a glass full of smoke is presented on a tray, as Churchill received his breakfast. When the glass is flipped, it releases a puff of smoke representative of Churchill’s cigar and smoky flavors of bacon and maple syrup thanks to a blend of Palo Santo, cinnamon, and pistachio shells. Top the glass with a smoked amarena cherry to keep the smokey sensation going.
- 2 oz blended scotch
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes coffee-infused Angostura bitters
- Pinch of pistachio shell, Palo Santo and cinnamon to smoke and capture in glass
- Smoked Amarena Cherry with Celtic Salt for garnish
Lost Somewhere at Sea
Made famous for its smoky chest bearer, the Lost Somewhere at Sea is a rum lover’s cocktail incorporating three types: aged, spiced and fruity. Sweet vermouth and coffee bean-infused orange liqueur add a special FireLake twist.
- 1 oz DonQ Spice
- 0.5 oz Diplomatico 12
- 0.5 oz Plantation Pineapple
- 0.5 oz Espresso Bean Infused Cointreau
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stirred and hot box smoked in treasure chest
Smoke and Cure
The Smoke and Cure cocktail incorporates the flavors of the grill house with local rye from Few spirits based in Evanston, peaty scotch, French Amer with lots of spices, cinnamon syrup and lemon. To tie it all together, its wooden base is charred and glass is smoked to allow the smoky flavors to permeate prior to pouring.
- 1.5 oz Few Rye
- 0.25 Laphroaig 10
- 0.5 oz China China Amer
- 0.75 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
Shaken then served in smoked glass
Note: For the smoky cocktails, you’ll want to follow these instructions:
- Small piece of wood (pine is suggested; larger than diameter of glass)
- Glass of choice
- Light the center of the pinewood until it begins to burn and create smoke
- Place the glass upside down on the wood until it fills with smoke (the flames will go out once the glass is placed over it)