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Holiday parties are not complete without a delicious cocktail. Or three. We’ve rounded up recipes for DIY drinks from three of the city’s top beverage experts that are perfect for cold weather soirees or a quiet evening at home in front of the fireplace.
Sarah Arel, Cofounder, Chefmade
At Chefmade, we make fresh cold-pressed juices each week. Pear has been a recent favorite with some fantastic local pears from Seedling Farms. For this cocktail, we use fresh pear juice as the base. We add a seasonal local gin made by Leatherbee, a bit of fresh cranberry juice for tartness, Allspice Dram for sweetness and spice, and a rosemary garnish for a whiff of herbaceousness. This cocktail complements any Thanksgiving dinner. It’s packed with Fall flavors and it’s not too heavy with a large feast.
Every busy woman knows what a challenge it can be to eat healthfully—enter Chefmade, a healthy catering company that handles weekly a la carte service. “While working as a personal chef, I got an enormous amount of requests from my customers to cook healthy meals for them to eat throughout the week,” said co-founder Sarah Arel. “My husband and I decided there was a real need for consumers to access healthy chef-prepared meals without the hassle.”Partnered with, Elite Personal Chefs, top toques, like Austin Yancy (formerly of Alinea) and Eric Clark (formerly of Peninsula), do everything from working in the kitchen to assisting with menu and recipe writing. The menu changes weekly and is the 100 percent farm-to-table meal, which incorporates dishes made with only local, in-season ingredients. The average dinner entrée is $9.99 per meal. For more information, visit eatchefmade.com.
Spiced Pear and Cranberry Collins
2 1/2 oz. gin
(we used Leatherbee Autumnal Gin)
1 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
6 oz. fresh pear juice
Fresh unsweetened cranberry juice
Rosemary sprigs and juniper berries for garnish
Stir gin, allspice dram, pear juice, and cranberry juice together with ice. Strain over fresh ice into 2 glasses. Garnish with rosemary and juniper berries. Add an extra 1/2 ounce of gin if it’s ‘just one of those days”. We understand. This could also be multiplied and made ahead in a pitcher for easy serving. Enjoy!
Lisa Fosler Kelly, Coowner and Wine Director, Bread & Wine
I sip on these in the kitchen while preparing the last few steps of Thanksgiving dinner to ease the pre-service stress. I also give them to guests with their appetizers. The cranberry reduction is made ahead of time and adds a beautiful depth to the drink. This recipe can be multiplied and batched in a blender if serving a crowd —just wait until just before serving to add the ice.
2 to 3 oz.
(We use Valentine Vodka from Detroit)
1/2 oz. good quality orange liqueur such as Cointreau
1 T Cranberry Reduction*
1 1/2 tsp
fresh lemon juice
Dash dry vermouth such as Dolin
Stir together vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry reduction (see recipe, below), fresh lemon juice, and a dash of dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
Before filling each glass, moisten the rim of the martini glass with a piece of lemon, and then rim the edge of the glass with sugar by placing the glass upside down on a plate that has been dusted with sugar. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
2 cups cranberry juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 (3inch) rosemary sprig
Boil first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until smooth. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Add rosemary; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard rosemary. Cool mixture 30 minutes. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Amy Starr, Beverage Director, Brindille and Naha
This cocktail is rich and delicious, and you are able to taste each of the ingredients. Wonderful for after dinner... or even brunch!
The Alabama Flip
2 oz. Clyde May’s Alabama Whiskey
*1/2 oz. apple cider syrup
**1/2 oz. maple syrup
1/4 oz. lemon juice
*For apple cider syrup, we reduce cider from the local farmer’s market with a whole vanilla bean until it reaches a consistency similar to maple syrup.
** We use a beautiful locally made (Medora, Indiana) syrup from Maplewood Farm. Grade A, all-natural syrup is the best quality for the cocktail.
Combine apple syrup, maple syrup, lemon juice and egg in Boston shaker and “dry shake” vigorously for ten seconds to combine ingredients and emulsify egg. Add Clyde May’s and ice, then shake again vigorously for 10 more seconds.
Double strain into old fashioned glass, then grate fresh nutmeg over the top of the cocktail.
The cocktail is rich and delicious, and you are able to taste each of the ingredients. Wonderful for after dinner... or even brunch!