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Easy cocktail recipes to celebrate the holidays at home

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Dec 23, 2020 4:38 am Updated Dec 23, 2020 5:25 am

Your holiday table setting is done; holiday menu and gifts for your loved ones are set, too. Celebrate the sprit(s) of the season with a drink to amp up the revelry that, nowadays, is best held at the comforts of one’s home.

For that, PhilSTAR Life asked experts to share easy-to-make cocktail recipes for the holidays at home or for virtual hangouts with friends. Bookmark these recipes for future reference. Cheers!

Clarified Christmas Punch

Clarified Christmas Punch. Photo by Kenneth Bandivas

This Clarified Christmas Punch, crafted by Kenneth Bandivas of The Spirits Library, Kampai and Bar 10-4, only has six ingredients and is easy to make that one does not need bar tools to make it. It is good for six servings.

According to Bandivas, who is the Diageo World Class 2015 Best Bartender in the Philippines, the cocktail is inspired by a rum punch and eggnog cocktail. He added Pimento Dram liquer with distinct Christmas spices on its notes like cinnamon and cloves.

Ingredients:

270 ml. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

135 ml. Chai masala tea syrup

120 ml. Fresh lemon juice

60 ml. The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram

90 ml. Fresh pineapple juice

180 ml. Warm whole milk

Directions:

  • Put all non-dairy ingredients inside a 1 liter jar with large opening. Stir and set aside first.
  • Warm the milk to 45 to 60 degrees Celsius and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Lightly stir the mixture and allow it to rest for an hour. Allow the milk to curdle to clarify the cocktail.
  • Cover the jar using a cling wrap and store inside the fridge for about 12 to 16 hours.
  • Strain using a coffee filter or cheese cloth until the mixture becomes clear.
  • Allow the filter to separate all the liquid from the curdle.

Once strained, you may immediately serve it or store the batch cocktail inside the fridge, which can last for about a month or more.

Serving suggestions:

Pour over ice inside a rocks glass and garnish with lemon peel.

• Serve straight up using a coupe or a Nick and Nora glass and garnish with lemon peel.

‘Manila to Paris’

'Manila to Paris' cocktail. Photo by Francis Gerard Carag

Giffard West Cup 2019 finalist Francis Gerard Carag, head mixologist of Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay’s Atrium Lounge, crafted this pretty cocktail that will not just look good in holiday photos but also give the festive feel of being with family.

The cocktail’s ingredients are inspired by Carag’s Filipino roots and the drink’s color blue represents the sea between the Philippines and France, where his wife is from.

Ingredients:

30 ml. Hendricks gin

30 ml. Lambanog

20 ml. Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur

30 ml. Fresh calamansi juice infused with chili

15 ml. Sugar syrup

10 ml. Egg white

Directions:

  • Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and reverse shake (shake first over ice, strain, then re-shake without ice).
  • Double strain into chilled coupe glass rimmed with coconut sugar.
  • Use fresh rolled coconut peel for garnish (optional).

Good ‘ol Sangria

Red Sangria. Photo by Alvin Icamen

Fruits are abundant at home during the holidays, so why not use some of them to make a refreshing sangria?

There are different versions of sangria for one to choose from. Alvin Icamen, the assistant outlet manager at Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, rounded up an easy-to-make sangria recipe based on the easiest ingredients to find at home.

He says one may use white wine or sparkling wine instead of red wine, and use vodka instead of cognac. Berries and different types of citrus also go well with white sangria. This recipe serves up to four portions.

Ingredients:

1 bottle red wine (any red wine will do)

90 ml. Cognac

1 pc. Orange, halved and sliced

2 pcs. Oranges, juiced

1 Lemon, halved (one-half sliced, and the other juiced)

Fresh apple slices

2 Cinnamon sticks

2 tbsp. Brown sugar

Soda water

Rosemary or citrus peel twist for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • Throw in orange slices, apple slices, lemon juice, orange juice, cinnamon sticks, red wine and cognac in a container and let it sit for an hour or two.
  • After the flavors are incorporated, transfer the mixture in a glass and add the marinated fruits, ice and a splash of soda water.

Kampot Mulled Wine

Kampot Mulled Wine. Photo by Joma Rivera

Mulled wine is a popular holiday drink that has been enjoyed for centuries, especially throughout Europe.

Kafe UTU Singapore’s Joma Rivera, an Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Singapore 2020 champion, crafted an east-meets-west version of this well-loved drink—a spiked mulled wine with additional spice that comes from the Kampot Pepper Rum from Cambodia.

Ingredients:

Samai Kampot Pepper Rum

Mulled wine

Mulled wine ingredients:

700 ml. Red wine (any table red wine will do)

100 g. Sugar

1 pc. Orange, sliced into quarters

1 pc. Lemon, sliced into quarters

1 pc. Nutmeg, grated

6 pcs. Cloves

10 pcs. Cardamom

1 pc. Cinnamon stick

Directions:

  • Bring everything to a boil for two minutes and then simmer for five minutes.
  • Let it cool down for one hour and let the spices infuse with the wine. Reheat before serving.

'Red Christmas'

'Red Christmas' cocktail. Photo by Jason Tuazon

This cocktail’s color alone sings festive. Jason Tuazon, beverage manager at the Orchard Hotel Singapore, chose this color for his cocktail to represent the prominent color of Christmas.

Tuazon describes his creation as “full body spirituous with earthy mouthfeel and a sensation of sweet, musty and fruity aromatics.”

Ingredients:

30 ml. Dry gin

30 ml. Campari (infused with dried laurel leaves)

30 ml. Sweet vermouth

10 ml. Aperol Barbieri

2 drops Aromatic bitters

5 ml. Vanilla pomegranate syrup

Directions:

  • Stir in all ingredients in a mixing glass.
  • Pour into a rocks glass and serve.
  • Use half a slice of strawberry and orange zest for garnish (optional).