Tag Archives: 12 drinks of Christmas

The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 12

What we’ve all been dreaming of, a White Christmas. Our holiday interpretation of a classic White Russian.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

White Christmas

One part Kahlua

Two parts vodka

Two parts eggnog

Fill your most festive glass with ice and pour in coffee liqueur, vodka, and eggnog.  Stir and enjoy. Serves one.

A few of these, your true love and some mistletoe should keep you busy until Santa shows up. 😉

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 10

Waking up to ice on my windshield and frost on my lawn made me wish for warmer weather. I could go for a beach, 80 degrees and cocktail garnished with a tiny little umbrella right about now.  As today is the shortest (and darkest) day of the entire year, I decided to brighten it up with this tropical classic.

“Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day…” –Bing Crosby

I recently received (via snail mail) an envelope full of classic cocktail recipes from a good friend’s grandmother.  Included in the packet was the original Hurricane recipe from Pat O’Brien’s of New Orleans. After experimenting with the recipe this afternoon, I ultimately updated it a bit more to my liking. The original is made with a tablespoon of both grenadine and simple syrup. This made the cocktail much sweeter than I prefer.  I also traded out the traditional passion fruit juice for POG. Passion fruit juice is near impossible to find in Seattle in December…

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:


2 ounces Passion Fruit Juice or POG

2 ounces orange juice

1 ounce dark rum

1 ounce spiced rum

2 ounces white rum

Juice of 1/2 of a lime

1 tsp simple syrup

1 tsp grenadine

Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously.  Pour into a thistle glass full of crushed ice and garnish with a lime.  (I substituted a Pilsner glass.) Straws optional. Serves one.


This was taken at my tropical beach house… in Ballard.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 9

I never thought I’d say it, but time for a break from all that hard liquor. Don’t worry; it’s just for the next few hours. Then I’ll move on to a nice glass of scotch…

There’s 4 days until Christmas and it feels like time to celebrate. Since champagne is the quintessential method of celebration, I thought we’d roll out this holiday classic.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Champagne Cocktail 

1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate arils

6 ounces Champagne

A splash of pomegranate juice

Place pomegranate arils in champagne flute and slowly add champagne. Add a splash of pomegranate juice for color. Toast, clink, drink. Serves one.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 8

Hot Buttered Rum is the pinnacle of all holiday drinks in my family. We look forward to it every year and drink them until we’re sick.  Making this holiday classic usually involves a trip to the store to pick up several containers of Hot Buttered Rum Mix.

This year, I thought we’d highlight a mix that isn’t purchased in a plastic container.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Hot Buttered Rum

1 heaping Tbsp Mrs. Swanson’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix (recipe below)

2 ounces Spiced Rum

Hot Water

Boil water in your tea kettle. Place mix into mug and add rum.  Fill with hot water.  Stir and taste. Add additional mix or rum to your liking.  Top with a dollop of vanilla iced cream and dust with nutmeg if desired. Serves one.

Mrs. Swanson’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix

Cream together:

½ cup butter

3 ½ cups sugar

3 ½ cups brown sugar

1 cup high quality vanilla ice cream

Then add:

1 tsp ground coffee

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp nutmeg

Mix well.  Mix should be kept in sealed container in the fridge or freezer.  Keeps for 2 months.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 7

Similar to the coffee connoisseurs of Seattle, every martini lover has a particular way they like theirs made. The slightest of variation has the ability to change each martini into a whole new drink.  Gin or vodka. Dirty, dry, shaken, stirred or bruised. Olives, Gibson or with a twist.  There are so many ways to order this classic cocktail.

Whether you’re James Bond, James Brown or James that-guy-down-the-street the basics of martini creation are a must know for any home bartender. Once you have mastered the fundamentals, you will be able to make any martini with ease. This is good, because James that-guy-down-the-street has gotten in the habit of dropping by unexpectedly…

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Classic Martini

3 ounces Tanqueray Ten Gin

 ¼ ounce Noily Pratt Dry Vermouth

 Olives to garnish

Generously rinse a chilled martini glass with the dry vermouth and discard any extra.  Add the gin into a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and pour into glass.  Garnish with small, pimento stuffed green olives and enjoy. Serves one Don Draper-ish individual.

This is my favorite martini. Let us know what yours is by leaving a comment!

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 6

Morning drinking always seems most acceptable on Sunday.  First of all, it rhymes: Sunday Funday. Second of all, there really are so many ways to make Sunday fun. Sleep in, wear your sweats to brunch, watch football or go skiing. Just make sure you have a cocktail in hand suitable for whichever activity you chose.

This recipe was created by one of our favorite people in the whole world, Sarah from Roxy’s Diner in Fremont. This weekend’s Sunday Funday mission: OCCUPY ROXYS.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love poured for me the:

99% (guaranteed to get you 99% back to where you were last night)

1 ounce Disaronno

1 ounce Whiskey

1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream

1 ounce Kahlua

 4 ounces hot coffee

Add all 5 parts into a coffee mug and stir. Drink and enjoy. Serves one.


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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 5

There are so many delightful morning beverages. Today’s focus is a classic favorite, the Mimosa.

The simplicity of adding juice to champagne and drinking it at breakfast never seems to get old. Although the Mimosa is an easy cocktail to make at home, this Saturday we enjoyed them with brunch at Roxy’s Diner. They offer a zillion juice choices and never judge you for double fisting.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:


2 parts Champagne

1 part juice (Traditionally orange, but variety is the spice of life. Mix it up a bit!)

Pour into a champagne flute and enjoy. Toast, clink, drink!

Shown: Peach, Mango, Cranberry and Orange.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 4

It’s Friday!

The day when we sneak out of the office early for happy hour or never come back after that (3 martini) lunch meeting. That wouldn’t fly on a Tuesday, Friday is a special day.  What better way to welcome the weekend than with a shot or two?

Here’s to your weekend, make it a good one!

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Washington Apple

1 part Crown Royal

1 part Apple Pucker

1 part Cranberry Juice

Combine all 3 parts in a shaker full of ice.  Shake and serve in a shot glass. Toast, clink, drink.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 3

The Manhattan is one of my favorite classic cocktails. Although I’m particular about the brand of rye whiskey my bartender selects, over the years I’ve come realize that the type of vermouth is even more important.  I favor Carpano Antiqua sweet vermouth above all others. It truly makes this cocktail taste its best.

On the third day of Christmas my true love poured for me:

The Classic Manhattan 

3 ounces Rye Whiskey

1 ounce Carpano Antiqua sweet vermouth

A dash of orange bitters

1-2 Marasca Cherries

Coat a chilled martini glass with a dash of orange bitters. Discard any extra.  Pour Rye and Sweet Vermouth over ice and let sit for five minutes.  Dip a spoon in the Marasca cherry juice and stir into the mixture.  Strain into your chilled martini glass and garnish with Marasca Cherries. Serves one.

This is the way I like it, but all of the ingredients can be changed out with great success.  Feel free to use Bourbon, any bitters you like, or other brandied cherries.

A note on the cherries

Fake fruit is an easy way to ruin any good cocktail. The dreaded maraschino cherry is no exception. Demand the best.

Manhattans are traditionally served with a Marasca cherry, which are made in Italy. This delicious, booze soaked fruit and other acceptable substitutes are difficult to find locally. Don’t let this deter you.  Search online for a quality product or plan ahead and make your own.  If you decide to go with a store-bought jarred fruit, at the very least ensure your choice is made free of dyes and preservatives.

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The 12 Drinks of Christmas: Day 2

Brandy, it can be a bit scary. If you’re not familiar with the spirit it may seem daunting.  Old friends from across the pond claim to be drinking nothing else these days.  I think it’s high time we jumped in. This cocktail is an easy way to get your feet wet.

I distinctly remember attending a brandy tasting a few years ago. We left disappointed but determined to gain an appreciation for this classic liquor. The cocktail below was inspired by a martini I often order at the BalMar, a martini bar in the heart of Ballard. Not only did this cocktail encourage a new appreciation for brandy, but the pear taste is so clear and present it reminds me of being a kid and biting into the fresh, Bartlett pears grown by my Grandpa Cyphers.  I still maintain those were the best pears ever.   Raise your glass for a toast to remember, this one’s for you Grandpa.

On the second day of Christmas my true love poured for me a:

Cyphers’ Bartlett

3 ounces Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy

1 inch ginger root, thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

1 ounce of simple syrup

Combine everything in a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve up with a slice of ginger. Serves one lucky individual.

*This is a tangy cocktail. For those with a sweet tooth, we recommend adding a sugared rim. It creates the sensation of biting into a fresh, Bartlett pear.

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