Festive decor? Check. Glam outfit? Check. Major accessories? Check. Next up on the holiday party prep list: cocktails. Lots of cocktails. This season why not skip the part where you painstakingly mix individual drinks for every lady and gent on your invite list and instead whip up a few concoctions in batches large enough for all to enjoy. Serve the pre-made cocktails in a few glam carafes when the soiree begins and voila! insta-cheer for the hostess and partygoers alike.
The Experts: Pistola, Los Angeles
One of LA's most anticipated restaurant openings of 2014, this moody West Hollywood spot specializes in two things we love almost as much as party dressing: quality steaks and strong cocktails.
Herein, Pistola's beverage director, Aaron Melendrez shares his top cocktail recipes for the holiday season.
The Must-Buy: A Crowd-Friendly Carafe
Give your triceps a break by pre-making cocktails in large batches and serving them up in this to-die-for carafe, an exclusive design from our limited edition collaboration with Oscar de la Renta.
Cocktail Idea: Caramel Apple Whiskey
“This cocktail is like a holiday party in a glass with its rich, creamy, apple cinnamon flavors.”
Ingredients 7 ½ oz. Brown butter washed Clyde May Whiskey* 2 ½ oz. Amaro Montenegro 2 ½ Cinnamon syrup* 4 oz. Fresh lemon juice Cinnamon sticks (for garnish)
Directions Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice & shake Pour into carafe Garnish glasses with cinnamon sticks
*Directions for brown butter whiskey: Heat a stick of butter in a pan over a burner. Bring to a boil. Fine strain remnants.
*Directions for cinnamon syrup: Bring water and several cinnamon sticks to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Cocktail Idea: Mezcal Negroni
“This mescal negroni will have you and your friends singing Feliz Navidad in no time.”
Ingredients 7 ½ oz. El Silencio Mezcal 4 oz. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino 4 oz. Gran Classico ½ oz. Black Walnut Bitters Orange zest (for garnish)
Directions Stir ingredients with ice Pour into carafe Garnish glasses with an orange zest
Cocktail Idea: Mint Toddy
“This frosty play on a hot toddy is perfect for LA's not-so-cozy weather.”
Ingredients 10 oz. Jameson Black 3/4 oz. Allspice Dram 4 oz. Honey syrup 5 oz. Lemon juice ½ oz. of Angostura Bitters 15 oz. Fresh mint tea (cold) Lemon (for garnish)
Directions Shake all ingredients together Pour into carafe Garnish glasses with lemon wheels
Cocktail Idea: Holiday Julep
“With strong notes of pine and forest this cocktail conjures Christmas in the Alps.”
Ingredients 5 oz. Amaro Braulio 10 oz. Lustau Oloroso Sherry 1 ¼ oz. simple syrup Fresh mint
Directions Combine all ingredients Pour into glasses Swizzle with a few ounces of crushed ice and fresh mint Once mix is chilled, top with crushed ice Garnish with mint sprigs or cherries