For us Americans the Holidays are closing in like the neck on a gaudy themed turtleneck. It’s no secret from our last MxMo theme that we’re not fans of these holidays. Even if you are you must admit people do tend to lose their minds every year around this time. Shopping, making huge meals, dealing with family squabbles and comments is enough to drive even the cheeriest to drink. Luckily drinking is what we do best, so this week we’re presenting two drinks thanks to our friends at Cathead to make your Holidays easier.

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We wanted to make a syrup from cranberries to bring abit of their unique tart flavor to our cocktails. The trick is to cook them long enough so that the pectin denatures, and they don’t bind and make cranberry sauce instead. For the Syrup take a cup of water, a cup of sugar, and a cup and a half of fresh cranberries and put them into a pot. Boil for 10 minutes and then fine strain and cool before bottling. This yields a lovely red syrup than you can use in place of pomegranate grenadine to add a twist to drinks this time of year. We’ve talked about Cathead Pecan before, but I really do love their rich smokey meaty nut flavors. We don’t normally use vodka, but it’s nice to support a small, local, craft distiller when you can. If you can’t find them in your area you might also try this with a blended scotch. I’d try to search this stuff out however, it’s worth your time. We’re also adding dimension to this with their chicory liqueur which aids in the sweetness and herbaceous nature of the cocktail.

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Holiday Headcase

2 oz Cathead Pecan Vodka

¾ oz fresh lime

¾ oz cranberry syrup

¼ oz Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur

1 tsp Benedictine

Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a spear of cranberries and pineapple.

The drink begins slightly tart and builds into a rich nuttiness. The spices follow in with sweet-tart cranberry notes. The Benedictine does a lot to dry the drink out, it and the chicory pair nicely together. The aroma starts out subtle but the pecan and benedictine play well with the chicory and make it fun to smell as the drink warms.

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If the holiday drives you nuts don’t spend it eating turkey in your local asylum. Sip a holiday headcase and enjoy some fall flavored Tiki. Join us again Wednesday and we’ll give you a way to skip the baking and drink your dessert. Until next time…

You get Hammered America!” – JFL