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.
Heart Etched Wine Carafe Set
Oscar de la Renta
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.
Brass Heart Julep Cup
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