Holiday Spirits

Posted: Dec 23 2011

holiday cocktails, cocktail recipes, cocktail party, men's styleJoy to the world! Christmas is here, and this time of year is all about indulging. The gifts, the food, the parties, and who could forget the holiday spirits (you know, those delicious alcoholic beverages that seem to flow generously around the holidays?)

I’ll admit, ever since the late nineties invasion of the cosmopolitan, whipping up a cocktail has felt less than manly. But sticking to the old “scotch on the rocks” is not exactly festive. James Bond was a cocktail man, and you can be too. We’ve scoured our resources for the best holiday cocktail recipes of 2011. Here are our top picks that even 007 would approve of.


The 'Vesper' Martini Courtesy of Ian Fleming's 1953 novel Casino Royale


  • 3 measures Gordon's Gin
  • 1 measure vodka
  • 1 measure Lillet Blonde


Shaken, not stirred.

Garnish with a slice of lemon peel.



King's Cider Courtesy of


  • 1-1/2 oz Crown Royale
  • 2 oz heated cider
  • 1/4 oz honey
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Cinnamon sprinkle garnish


Combine all ingredients in a mug. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir with a cinnamon stick. Serve.



The Gibraltar, a custom cocktail Courtesy of Jaret Pena, The Drink Whisperer, voted Best Bartender SA Magazine 2011


  • 3-1/2 oz calvados
  • 3-1/4 oz pear brandy
  • 1/2 oz lemon
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • Mescal


Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain. Serve in a mescal laced coupe glass.



Mulled Wine Courtesy of Ina Garten


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
  • 1/4-cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish


Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.



Egg Nog Courtesy of Alton Brown


  •     4 egg whites
  •     1/3-cup sugar
  •     1-pint whole milk
  •     1-cup heavy cream
  •     3 oz bourbon
  •     1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  •     4 egg whites


Beat egg yokes until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3-cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Beat egg whites. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1-tablespoon of sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into mixture. Chill and serve.

*Note: Always proceed with caution when consuming raw eggs. Food Network and Alton Brown suggest using only fresh properly refrigerated eggs with this recipe.

*Note from Built For Man: Spike with spiced rum for a delicious and festive twist!


Contributed by M. Humphrey

Photo Credit: Pierce Bronson as, "Agent 007" in Die Another Day 2002




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