5 Seasonal Cocktail Recipes for Guaranteed Good Cheer

Local mixologists share their secrets to seasonal soiree success — craft cocktails of course. These easy recipes are guaranteed to raise your spirits.


With family festivities, office shindigs, and friendly gatherings galore, your December calendar is sure to be filled with celebrations of all sorts. If you’re hosting your own event and looking for an easy way to set your adult party apart, it’s time to turn to fancy libations, of course! 

Don’t worry, crafting the perfect holiday cocktail doesn’t have to be hard: here’s how to toast your wintertime tidings with easy, spirited sips from our area’s brightest mixologists.

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Shiraz Hot Chocolate

Courtesy of Rinny Shah, owner of Oak Vino Wine Bar
389 Main St, Beacon


½ c red wine (Shiraz or any full-bodied red wine would work)
3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 
1 c whole milk, warmed
sugar, to taste

In a saucepan, simmer wine over low heat.
Mix in chopped chocolate, and whisk until all the chocolate is melted.
Slowly add warm milk to the mixture.
Whisk until everything is blended.
Sweeten with sugar to taste.

“Santa’s Up All Night” Spiked Cappuccino

Courtesy Chef Matthew Karp at Plates Restaurant
121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont


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1 double shot of espresso
steamed milk
1.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
whipped cream, cocoa powder, peppermint flakes (try crushed candy cane) & 1 cinnamon stick (for garnish)

Prepare a cappuccino by brewing a double shot of espresso and adding steamed milk.
Drizzle peppermint schnapps around interior edge of the glass.
Top with whipped cream and garnish with crushed candy cane or peppermint flakes, cocoa and a cinnamon stick.

Spirit of Malus

Courtesy of bartender Brendan Heady at Phoenicia Diner
5681 Rte 28, Phoenicia

2 oz Black Dirt Distillery Applejack
1 oz fresh local cider
.5 oz local maple syrup
.5 oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
3 drops of apple cider vinegar
1 paper-thin wheel of Macintosh Apple (for garnish)

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In a shaker, combine Applejack, cider, syrup, lemon juice and ice. 
Shake hard for 20 seconds, until ice cold. 
Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with three drops of high quality apple cider vinegar and the whole Macintosh apple wheel.

White Chocolate Martini

Courtesy of bartender Liz Gorgone at Augie’s Prime Cut
3436 Lexington Ave, Mohegan Lake


2 oz white chocolate Godiva liqueur
3 oz Ketel One Vanilla Vodka
3 oz white crème de cacao
chocolate syrup (for garnish)

Mix vodka, chocolate liqueur and crème de cacao. 
Prepare martini glass with a chocolate rim and a chocolate syrup swirl, and pour mix slowly into glass.

Bourban Fig Smash 

Courtesy of Jesse Camac, owner of Heritage Food and Drink
1379 Rte 9, Wappingers Falls

fig jam
simple syrup 


Related: 6 Cozy Drinks to Sip Through Hudson Valley Winters

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