Planning on grabbing a bucket of eggnog to get you through all the holiday cheer?
“Well, how about a peppermint martini?” you ask.
I’m offended you would even suggest that.
Let me help you out this season. If you follow my instructions for my Molasses Cookie Cocktail, you’ll not only impress your adult loved ones with an original drink that’s sweet yet sophisticated but also drown out all their nonsense with each bracing sip.
But in all seriousness, we’ve actually got two yummy recipes for you that are fun to make around the holidays. One is a really versatile holiday spice simple syrup, and the other is a take on a whiskey sour utilizing said syrup that tastes like a molasses cookie. The syrup is a mix of classic baking spices and sorghum or molasses that’ll bring that dream of a white Christmas even closer to reality. While you can use the spiced syrup in any cocktail, we really like it in simpler classic cocktails, like an old fashioned or sour.
Holiday Spice Syrup
- 1 cup molasses or sorghum (we liked the flavor and nose of the Sorghum we had on hand best)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 cinnamon sticks, crushed up
- 1″ knob of ginger, sliced
- 20 whole cloves
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 1 star anise
- 1 cardamom pod
Combine everything in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let cool.
Once it’s cooled down, strain out the solid ingredients. Now you’ve got a holiday spice simple syrup.
Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own tastes. For instance, Sarah doesn’t like a strong ginger flavor, so I made one version omitting ginger. You could even create a separate ginger syrup that you mix in as needed on an individual cocktail basis.
So now you’ve got this syrup, but what are you supposed to do with it? Well, add it to any drink that needs a little dash of Christmas. Take any classic cocktail that calls for sugar, and give it a wallop of Christmas cheer. At Haus Westervin, we’re pretty fond of whiskey sours, which seemed like a perfect application for this syrup. We don’t always make whiskey sours up with egg whites, but it feels like the Christmas thing to do.
Molasses Cookie Sour
- 2oz Old Weller Antique (or bourbon of your choice)
- 1oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz holiday spice syrup
- 1 egg white, optional
Dry shake all ingredients to get the egg white nice and foamy. Add ice, shake again, and strain into a coupe. Add a few drops of bitters (I used some chicory pecan bitters Sarah picked up for me on a trip to Nashville) and some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon. Top with a star anise for extra pizzazz.