8 perfect cocktails for ringing in 2023

FeaturedFood & Drink

Written by:


Santa will appreciate our naughty version of milk and cookies, while your friends and family will welcome the tastes and scents of holidays past. Rituals make the season bright, as do pantry staples such as peppermint, ginger, cloves, rosemary, and dried fruit.

 No partridge and no pear tree, but pears join the party, as does man-o-Manischewitz.

Cheers to cocktails and wishes for a holiday (whichever you choose to celebrate) filled with love and light!

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

Espresso Milk Punch

This is a riff on a New Orleans milk punch but decked out for the holidays. Rather than the standard milk or half and half with bourbon or brandy, this drink features the newly released Luxardo Espresso Liqueur, Tequila Severo and a crushed candy cane rim.

With the resurgence of the espresso martini, adding espresso liqueur to milk punch is a tasty fit. Punches are great for holiday gatherings because they can be made in big batches ahead of time and milk punch specifically can be served at any time of day. New Orleanians are fond of enjoying it with breakfast or brunch, especially when a little pick me up is needed after a busy night.

Espresso Milk Punch

Recipe courtesy of Kit Wohl, author of New Orleans Classic Cocktails and the newly released Secrets of a Tastemaker: Al Copeland The Cookbook 

3 ounces half and half

1 ½ ounce Luxardo Espresso Liqueur

1 ounce Severo Tequila Plata –

1 ounce simple syrup

Related: Ode to the milk punch

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Pinoli Sour

The Pignoli Sour is designed to be reminiscent of a traditional Italian holiday cookie, the Pignoli cookie. It features amaretto, Amburana aged cachaca, pine nut syrup, lemon and egg whites. With notes of nuts and spice, it gets anyone in the holiday mood.

Recipe courtesy of Esther’s Kitchen | Seasonal Italian Cooking in Las Vegas, NV 

1 ½ ounce Laz Amaretto

½ ounce Avua Amburana

1 ounce lemon juice

¾ ounce roasted pine nut syrup

1 egg white

Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Reverse dry shake, then double strain into a large coupe. Garnish with a line of crushed, roasted pine nuts.

Pine Nut Syrup

300 g pine nuts (approximately 1 1/3 cup)

1500 g sugar (approximately 6 1/3 cup)

1500g water (approximately 6 1/3 cup)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet. Roast 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Add cooled pine nuts, sugar and water to a heat-safe, airtight container and give it a stir to incorporate.

Place in a sous vide bath at 165 degrees for four hours. Stir occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves. (no sous vide? Check out How to Sous Vide Without the Fancy Machine)

After 4 hours remove from syrup from the bath and let cool. Transfer to squeeze bottle for use.

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Rita’ White Christmas

Besides being gorgeous, the Rita’ White Christmas features Cutwater Tequila Blanco and Ojo De Tigre Mezcal. Both spirits were both medal winners in the 2022 New York International Spirits Competition. A youth run jazz super club, Old Skool Café is the definition of a “feel good” spot with international soul food and creative cocktails.

 Rita’ White Christmas

 Recipe courtesy of Francisco Mendoza of Old Skool Cafe

1 oz of Ojo De Tigre Mezcal

1 oz of Cutwater Tequila Blanco

1 oz of lime juice

3/4 of oz of Triple Sec

Egg white

Agave syrup to taste

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, a cranberry and chocolate shavings.

Related: The worst thing I tasted this week


Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Manischewitz Spritz

Maybeck’s co-owners, chefs and long time friends, Aaron Toensing, Jeff Banker and Lori Baker are going big for the holidays this year. The festivities kick-off with a special Hanukkah menu available December 20 through December 23rd . Holiday cocktails will also be available, including the following Manischewitz Spritz, which was inspired by Chef Jeff’s mom.


Manischewitz Spritz

1 ounce Manischewitz Concord Wine

1 ounce Santa Maria al Monte Amaro

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Soda water

Lemon twist

Mix Manischewitz, Santa Maria, lemon juice and bitters in an ice-filled shaker and shake. Strain into the glass of your choosing and top with soda water and lemon twist.

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Vodka And Spiced Pear

Seth Corr, beverage director of Greens Restaurant says that this Vodka and Spiced Pear is, “An easy Warm Spice forward cocktail for the Fall/Winter months. We use incredible liqueurs from St. George Spirits in Alameda and the Tsutsumi Distillery in the Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan to build flavor around Woody Creek’s Vodka made from local Colorado Potatoes. Tastes like a mulled Apple Cider in cold Cocktail Form.”

Vodka and Spiced Pear

Recipe courtesy of Seth Corr, beverage director Greens Restaurant 

1 ½ ounce Woody Creek Potato Vodka

½ ounce St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur

½ ounce Oka Kura Yuzu Liqueur

½ ounce triple syrup

 ¾ ounce lemon juice

 Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Double-strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Related: Why it’s time to stop hating on vodka

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Lydda Tree

The Lydda Tree is made with infused Angel’s Envy Bourbon with dried fruit (dates, apricots), crystallized ginger and mint. Finish it with clove Elixir and ginger beer. This idea is inspired by Israel, looking at the Mediterranean connection with Bourbon and Toast-the-Tree campaign by Angel’s Envy to preserve and increase the White Oak population that ages Bourbon.

Lydda Tree 

Recipe courtesy of TUR Kitchen

2 ounces Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon

2 ounces ginger beer

Dried fruit (dates, apricots)

Crystallized ginger


Infuse Angel’s Envy with apricots, Medjool dates, crystallized ginger, mint and clove nectar for approximately 2 hours.

Pour the bourbon into a double old-fashioned glass over a single ice cube. Add ginger beer and garnish with a fresh fig.

Clove Elixir 


The Clove Elixir is basically a Clove Simple Syrup. It is very easy to make at home and it is an important element of the cocktail profile.

1 cup demerara sugar

1 cup water

2 tbsp whole cloves

Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the syrup to a strong simmer (don’t boil). Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and refrigerate with the cloves to infuse overnight. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve. The syrup will keep for up to a month if refrigerated.

 If you wish to get a more delicate clove flavor, you can add the whole cloves after you make the simple syrup and let it cool to room temperature (approximately 1 hour); then you can remove the cloves and strain the syrup. This is how they do it at TUR Kitchen so the clove syrup still provides the sweetness necessary in the drink but without overwhelming the other flavors.

Bar manager, Tucker St. John says, “With notes of nuts and spice, the Pignoli Sour gets anyone in the holiday mood.”

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Snow Day Martini

The family of lounges and bars at the Graton Casino & Resort will be offering a seasonal martini based on our favorite kind of day as kids, the snow day.

Snow Day Martini


Recipe courtesy of Jessica Christensen, mixologist Graton Casino & Resort


1 ounce Mozart White Chocolate Liqueur

Shaker filled half-way with whipped cream

Add all ingredients to the shaker. Add ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass with a sugared rim.

Related: Elegant vermouth substitutes for martinis

Image Credit: alcoholprofessor.com.

Spiced Appletini

For a spicy spin on appletinis, consider making them with vodka that has been filtered through layers of Herkimer diamonds. Crystal Head not only makes that claim but comes in a gorgeous giftable bottle shaped like a crystal head. Crystal Head Original was a gold medal winner in the 2022 NY International Spirits Competition.

Spiced Appletini

2 ounces Crystal Head Aurora

½ ounce Calvados Boulard

1 ½ ounce premium apple juice

½ ounce dark sugar spiced syrup (clove, anise, cinnamon)

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a paper-thin apple fan, grated cinnamon and a star anise pod.

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a paper-thin apple fan, grated cinnamon and a star anise pod.

This article originally appeared on AlcoholProfessor.com


and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

More from MediaFeed

Playful Christmas cocktails for your next holiday party

Image Credit: Loew’s Hotels.