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Best Holiday Drinks (from Michael Voltaggio himself!)

The holiday season is in full throttle. It’s not too late to make drinks that will knock the socks off of your merry visitors (and yourself too, why lie?). I’ve been enamored with Chef Michael Voltaggio since he made his debut on Top Chef with his equally endearing brother. His restaurant in LA, ink, is beyond delectable. He and his merry elves (in this case the talented women beyond the bar, Gabriella Mlyncarczyk and Brittini Rae) have created pure winter wonderment. Plus, I got them to share some super secret recipes. Now we’re talking.

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  • 1. Bourbon Cognac 1 of 8
    1. Bourbon Cognac
    What were you thinking when you created this drink? Brittini says "The bourbon cognac drink was inspired by the good ol' old fashioned. I wanted to create something that was just a simple and just as delicious, but that had a little more depth for the winter, so I replaced half of the whisky with cognac, a traditional sipping spirit. It gives the cocktail body and an extra element than just 2 straight ounces of bourbon. Then I replaced the sugar cube with a house made maple liqueur. I feel that the body of the cognac pairs well with the thickness of traditional maple syrup, also the maple gives the cocktail an extra savory element. It's a well balanced sipping cocktail without being too overpowering. Plus, it's easy to make during this hectic season :) Here is what you need: 1 oz cognac, 1 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz maple liqueur, 4 dashes miracle mile yuzu bitters, lemon twist
  • 2. Spiced Rum 2 of 8
    2. Spiced Rum
    Brittini: I think the spiced rum is a great choice for the winter months; as it is based off a ramos gin fizz, it is served without ice. so it can be enjoyed without being "too cold." The trio of orange (orange juice, orange flower water, and orange bitters) give the cocktail a fresh brightness on the palate, while at the same time being juxtaposed against the silky smoothness of the cream, egg, and vanilla. An alcoholic orange cream soda if you will :) Recipe: 1 oz heavy cream, 1 oz vanilla syrup, 1 oz orange juice, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz egg white, 2 oz spiced rum, 4-5 dashes orange flower water, 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 3. Panettone Egg Nog 3 of 8
    3. Panettone Egg Nog
    Gabriella: Panettone Egg Nog is a no brainer! Two holiday staples put together. See below for exclusive recipe!
  • 4. Rye Applejack 4 of 8
    4. Rye Applejack
    Brittini: One of my favorite cocktails is called an American Trilogy, a stirred boozy cocktail. This is a variation on that but with some extra elements to give it spice and body. The applejack brandy cuts the heated element of the rye whiskey and then the maple and lemon to create more body. What makes it perfect for the winter is the addition of angostura bitters and pumpkin ale (any seasonal ale can be used as well). On the palate you get the warm heated sensation that whiskey naturally brings, but in addition to that there is the bubbly effervescence of maple and pumpkin. Topped with grated nutmeg, its fall in a glass! Recipe: Rye Applejack: 1 oz rye, 1 oz applejack, 3/4 oz lemon, 3/4 oz maple syrup, 1/2 oz egg white, 4 dashes angostura bitters, 2 oz seasonal ale, grated nutmeg.
  • 5. White Rum 5 of 8
    5. White Rum
    Gabriella: Brown butter rum, was thinking about hot buttered rum wanted a tropical element so banana being an all year fruit seemed the right choice and yes was inspired by my banana bread making and had brown bananas to use up. Ingredients: white rum banana brown butter, curaçao, lime
  • 6. Red Wine Bourbon 6 of 8
    6. Red Wine Bourbon
    Gabriella: Red wine bourbon is a combined inspiration of mulled red wine punch , has allspice and ginger in there for heat and the Spanish pop culture drink the Calimocho which is not xmassy at all but i liked the idea of doing a classic Xmas drink but mixing it with pop culture to give it an update. Ingredients: allspice, lemon, orange flower, Mexican soda
  • 7. White Whiskey 7 of 8
    7. White Whiskey
    Gabriella: I wanted to do a whole series on traditional Xmas tree decorations, as kids we used to make popcorn garlands for the tree and gingerbread men as well as hanging candy canes, I ran out if time on the last two but popcorn whiskey is result of that thought process, plus I was tormenting myself trying to figure out how to use cornmilk horchata in a cocktail and it came together. Ingredients: Popcorn, Cornmilk, lemon, and liquorice bitters.
  • 8. Be Merry! 8 of 8
    8. Be Merry!
    Love. Love. Love. Can't decide? Have them ALL.


Exclusive Panettone Egg Nog Recipe (Thank you, Gabriella!!!)

1 large pannetone cake

1 bottle brandy

6 large eggs separated

1/2 cup cream

1 1/2 cups milk

Powdered sugar to taste or simple syrup ( 1:1 ratio sugar to hot water)

1 cup fermented Apple cider

1/4 teaspoon clove

Nutmeg to garnish

Soak pannetone in brandy for 24 hours. Strain off.

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks put aside

Throw everything else in bowl including brandy and whisk together. Sweeten to taste. Fold in egg whites gently. Pour into glass and garnish with fresh nutmeg

Makes about 12 depending on how u portion it.


Let me know how if you are able to replicate this ridiculously awesome drink. Catch me on twitter @SkateMamas

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