Your Christmas Eve cocktail is ready! It’s a Gingerbread Manhattan courtesy of @Watson’s Barrel Aged Syrup (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 cocktail.
In this case, since I knew I wanted to pair the maple syrup with a spicy, cinnamony bourbon, Willett’s Johnnie Drum, I knew I needed to make sure to balance that out with the sharpness of the St Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, one of my favorite liqueurs to add when I’m working on a cocktail with a palate close to baking.
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. The gingerbread bitters I found just before Christmas Eve paired well with the tiny bit of molasses added to the drink. Between the molasses and the allspice, you have the bulk of the flavors and scents surrounding gingerbread.
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.
- 2 oz bourbon @willettdistillery Johnnie Drum
- 0.75 oz Foro Amaro
- 0.5 oz Watson’s barrel-aged maple syrup
- 0.25 oz 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.