The holiday season is a time to celebrate, gather together, and share delicious memories with friends and family. This year, our team looked to provide our readers with both destinations to visit, and recipes that can be served to entertain guests at your next holiday party.
For this reason, our editors gathered cocktail inspiration and recipes from some of the best bars in New York City.
Historically, New York City is one of the most sought out destinations during the holidays, from the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, to New Years at Time Square. As one would expect, their food and drink selection is nothing less than top notch.
Below is a list of some of our favorite venues, along with a sample of the drinks on the menu this season.
Recently opened Tiltz’ Bar in Brooklyn knows how to do the holidays right, with this twist on traditional gin fizz. Inspired by the Sega game of the same name, Kris Bakey’s (aka Mr. Tiltz) the Frogger Gin Fizz is made with Modagor gin, lemon rosemary simple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, brewed matcha green tea, and Tussock Jumper Prosecco. The matcha tea adds just a bit of caffeine-a nice ‘pick-me-up’ after all of that holiday shopping!
Frogger Gin Fizz
By Kris Bakey, Tiltz Sports Bar & Arcade
- 1.5 oz Modagor gin
- .5 oz elderflower liqueur
- .5 oz lemon rosemary simple syrup
- .5 oz matcha tea, brewed
- .5 ox lemon juice
- Top Tussock Jumper Prosecco
Shake all ingredients (except the Prosecco) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over ice in a high ball glass, top with Prosecco, stir gently. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
After getting the party started in Brooklyn, head to the Upper West Side’s latest seafood gastropub, The Flying Fisherman, to try new seasonal cocktails designed by General Manager Tracy Bayne.
The Sea Bubbly
- Paul de Cast Brut
- Angostura bitters
- 1 Sugar cube
The Blue Jellyfish
- Muddled fresh blueberries
- Tito’s vodka
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- Topped with Pinot Noir to create a red wine “float”
- Served in a rocks glass
If you’re in charge of the holiday celebration, DaDong NY’s Mandarin Wind cocktail is perfect for the occasion! Created by Thomas Mathe, the drink blends Hangar One Mandarin Blossom with Prosecco, offering an aroma of freshly peeled mandarin oranges. With additional ingredients like hibiscus syrup, lime, and Seedlip Garden 108, this fizzy, citrus-y cocktail will ensure you start your feast off in great spirits!
Brooklyn Chop House, located on the Manhattan side of the bridge, has the perfect holiday cocktail for toasting in the New Year, and it’s dressed in style with bright blood orange juice and cranberry.
The Red Bubble
- Cîroc Berry Vodka
- Blood Orange Liqueur
- Cranberry Juice
- Topped with Prosecco.
At The Barn at Bedford Post Inn, General Manager and Sommelier George Thomas, created the beverage list with seasonal ingredients in mind.
The Rosemary’s Revenge
- Cranberry juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Rosemary simple syrup
- Lemon juice
- Topped with prosecco.
Head downtown to the bustling 2nd Avenue area to try newly opened Dia restaurant, and their white wine based cocktail-a great low ABV option for sessionable sipping!
- White wine
- Ginger cordial
This holiday season, the Green Fig’s sparkling cocktail will be all the rage at any party. Executive Chef Yuval Litmanovich created this cocktail for a perfectly fruity beverage to sip on all night long.
- Acai liqueur
- Passion fruit
The Carmine’s Aperol Fizz is a great party starter that will transport you to Italy for every party. For this drink, Beverage Director of Alicart Restaurant Group Erin Ward, combines the following:
- Blood orange
Beverage Director, Zachary Gross of Sen Sakana always enjoys his creation called Junipepper. The spice will warm you up, and keep you glowing this holiday season!
- Cilantro-infused gin
- Bell pepper
- 1991 Dalva Port
Scotch & Bubbles
from George Krpeyan at Butcher & Banker
- 0.75 ounce Glenlivet 12 Year Scotch
- ½ ounce fresh apple juice
- 1 ounce honey syrup
- Prosecco to finish
Shake ingredients (except the bubbly) over ice and strain into a fluted glass. Top with chilled champagne or prosecco.
If you’re traveling outside of New York, be sure to check out the new addition to Chicago’s famed Restaurant Row is an elegant speakeasy accessed through a flower shop entrance, and characterized by classic English manor interiors.
The Darling’s robust cocktail menu consists of original creations and familiar classics composed of a plethora of spirits, flavors and artful presentations, inspired by the concept’s English botanical theme and literary traditions.
The highlighted cocktail, Mary Poppins, is bright, effervescent, and fruit-forward made with Carletto Vino Frizzante Prosecco, Raspberry Puree, St. George Raspberry Brandy, and St. George Raspberry Liqueur. Bar Director May Lee Lockhart wanted to create something bubbly that pops for the holiday season that guests can toast in celebration. If anyone is nervous to imbibe, like Mary Poppins, Lockhart ensures this drink will “help the medicine go down.”
Mary Poppins Cocktail
- ¼ oz Mathilde Framboise liqueur
- ¼ oz St. George Raspberry liqueur
- Top with Prosecco
- Garnish with strawberry boba popping pearls
The fall take on Margeaux’s house cocktail, The Lovable Trixter, is plum driven and packed with fall spices. Made with Niesson Rhum Agricole, Genepy des Alpes, plum based syrup, egg whites and sparkling rosé, the cocktail is approachable and balanced with a hint of herbaceousness.
Bartender Chas Fogelstrom wanted to make the cocktail feel as festive as the season by using cinnamon and clove spices. He strayed away from standard seasonal ingredients (ie. apple, pumpkin) using plum as a flavor instead. The rum makes the drink warm and full, and the sparkling rosé adds more depth to the cocktail than a sparkling wine.
The Lovable Trixter
- 1 ½ oz. Neisson Rhum Agricole
- 1 ½ oz. Trixter Syrup (plum-based)
- ½ oz. Genepy des Alpes
- ½ oz. Egg Whites
- Sparkling Rosé
Wherever you are this holiday season, take a peek at the cocktail menu. You might just find something extra special to make your celebrations all the more merry and bright!