Well it’s that time of year again, yes Christmas, one of my favorite times of the year. The decorations, the window shopping in NYC, holiday parties, the general good will and generosity of people, and all of the great bottles of liquor I get as gifts and add to my collection. I get to drink the best spirits, wines and beer this time of year. I love it. This also the time of year when we all seem to imbibe just a little bit more, and some more than others. One of my great laments however is the lack of some great Christmas time cocktails. It seems that the go to standards, eggnog, mulled cider, and spiked hot chocolate just exist and never change or improve. Hopefully these few choices will fill you with cheer and take their rightful place as the new standards of the holiday season!

The Kentucky Prom Night (Santa’s Little Helper) was created by Ryan Brinster, a mixologist for The End of Elm in Morristown NJ. Fair warning however, they had a naming contest for the drink and I don’t like the winning name, so another friend of mine, Steve Hogan and I re-named it The Kentucky Prom Night. They all love the name but feel it is somewhat inappropriate. The one thing we all agree upon… it is a great cocktail. Try it…you just may love it as much as I do!

2oz. Makers Mark Bourbon

4 Maraschino Cherries

.5oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

.5oz. cinnamon infused simple syrup

In a rocks glass muddle 3 maraschino cherries. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and the lemon juice, cinnamon infused simple and bourbon. Shake vigorously. Let sit while you add ice to the rocks glass with the muddled cherries and then stain the drink from the shaker over the ice. Spear the remaining cherry and garnish.

The Kentucky Christmas is a cocktail that was introduced to me about a year and a half ago and I instantly thought of this time of year. The tartness of the cranberries the sweetness of the bourbon and the rich and festive look make this the perfect Christmas time cocktail.

Handful of organic cranberries, picked over and rinsed

4 ounces organic cranberry juice

2 ounces bourbon

In a pint glass, muddle the cranberries until crushed (make sure not to pulverize the cranberries so much that you release the seeds' bitter taste). Add a large handful of cracked ice, the cranberry juice, and bourbon, and stir.

La Vie En Rouge translates to "Life in Red" and this is not only a fitting name for the color of the cocktail but appropriate for its flavor profile and festive feel. The drink is a refreshing and simple mix of cranberry and Grand Marnier, enhanced with the sweet aroma and flavor of rosemary. These three flavors come together for a delightful holiday cocktail that is sure to be a favorite at any Christmas gathering.

1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

1 1/2 oz. fresh pressed cranberry juice (can substitute with bottled cranberry juice)

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

Fresh rosemary needles and rosemary sprig

In a tall mixing glass, muddle 1http://1b4http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgd7834cd36cb17272-d318e241556db478f2443eab8244ec1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.r48.cf2.rackcdn.com/aabd9b275f115ed9http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg3c8fd6d47a17d1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgcbc9e3c8_6http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpghttp://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.jpg-12 rosemary needles lightly with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients then add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

The Original Cocktail the word "cock-tail" first appeared in a 1798 London newspaper where it was "vulgarly called ginger". What better way to celebrate the holiday season in style than with the Original Cocktail!

1.5 oz. London dry gin

.5 oz. Triple sec

.5 oz. King's Ginger Liqueur

Angostura Bitters

Orange peel

In a cocktail shaker with ice add gin, Triple sec and King’s ginger liqueur and stir. Strain into a coupe glass add, 2 dashes of bitters and garnish with an orange peel.

This is the time of year that brings out the best in all of us. We all seem to become more courteous, just a bit kinder and our generosity is at its highest. As we are now fully into the holiday season and the year is winding down we should reflect on why this is and try to extend these attitudes just a little further into the new year. Let me take a moment to wish everyone a happy holiday whether it has passed or is yet to come. I hope that you will try and enjoy the above selections as much as I do. Please remember to enjoy your cocktails responsibly and yes, it is 5:http://1b4http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgd7834cd36cb17272-d318e241556db478f2443eab8244ec1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.r48.cf2.rackcdn.com/aabd9b275f115ed9http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg3c8fd6d47a17d1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgcbc9e3c8_6http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpghttp://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.jpghttp://1b4http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgd7834cd36cb17272-d318e241556db478f2443eab8244ec1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.r48.cf2.rackcdn.com/aabd9b275f115ed9http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg3c8fd6d47a17d1http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpgcbc9e3c8_6http://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpghttp://cdna.tid.al/aabd9b275f115ed903c8fd6d47a17d10cbc9e3c8_600.jpg.jpg pm somewhere!