The Christmas Eve cocktail is ready, courtesy of @watsonsbarrelagedsyrup (they generously sent me some samples to play with) and the richness of the maple syrup was an incredible asset to the mouthfeel and smoothness of the cocktails. I'm not a huge fan of overly sweet drinks and amaro is an ingredient I love to add because of the bitterness and complexity. I started with the idea of a black Manhattan and did a gingerbread twist.
2 oz bourbon @willettdistillery Johnnie Drum
0.75 Foro Amaro
0.5 Watson's barrel-aged maple syrup
0.25 Allspice Dram
0.25 barspoon molasses
8 drops gingerbread bitters
Garnish: dried orange slice or a piece of candied ginger
Combine bourbon, amaro, maple syrup, allspice dram, molasses and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a dried orange or candied ginger.
You can set one out for Santa if you like, or just sip on that second one while you finish last minute preparation before gifts, whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, the Solstice or any of the hundred other winter festivals. Stay warm and Happy Holidays to you all.
Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching cocktails, making cocktails and drinking cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location. For more information about her favorite whiskey group, head over to Bourbon Women and join the women's whiskey revolution!