As the year quickly comes to a close, express love and gratitude for the special people in your life with handcrafted cocktails at home.
After all, it’s where the heart is.
We caught up with Hillary Choo, Bacardi Portfolio Manager, at her home away from home, 27 Restaurant in Miami Beach. Here, she shares three party-perfect martinis for charming guests with festive flavors and elegance. The trio’s intensity ranges from low alcohol, to creatively potent, to boozy— guaranteeing a night of well-rounded imbibing.
Though Choo’s martinis may look intimidating, the drinks are easy to recreate at home so long as your bar is stocked with the required ingredients. All spirits and liqueurs listed are available at local liquor and grocery stores and gorgeous vintage cocktail glasses can be found at any vintage or antique store in town, which could give new meaning to holiday shopping.
“Mull It Over” evokes a wintery wonderland with sherry, the increasingly popular fortified wine from Southern Spain, fresh apple cider, and two spices closely linked to Christmas and the holidays, cinnamon and nutmeg. Amber-hued amontillado sherry adds complexity without the punch at just 16 – 20 percent alcohol.
2 oz. Cinnamon and nutmeg-infused Amontillado Sherry
1.5 oz. Fresh apple cider
.5 tsp. Honey
To make the cinnamon and nutmeg-infused amontillado sherry, add three whole cinnamon sticks and three whole nutmeg to a clean container with one bottle of amontillado sherry. Cover and let sit in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet for three days to one week. Remove cinnamon and nutmeg and return to original sherry bottle if desired.
Preparation: Shake first three ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.
Choo’s “Smoke N Thyme” integrates delicate fruit flavors with the smokiness of Mexico’s beloved mezcal in a stunning martini spiked with the minty and lemony delight of fresh thyme.
1.5 oz. Grey Goose La Poire
1 oz. St. Germain
.5 oz. Mezcal (such as Ilegal Mezcal Joven)
.5 oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice
2-3 Thyme sprigs
Preparation: Shake all ingredients, minus one thyme sprig in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the last sprig of thyme.
“Drink and Be Rosemary” is for the life of the party, the boozehound, the professional imbiber. Juniper-forward Bombay Sapphire gin is paired with King’s Ginger, an 80-proof (40 percent) liqueur with the vibrant and authentic kick of ginger root, along with pungent rosemary and its pine-like needles in this stirred cocktail. Fear not, for the delicate floral and vanilla notes of the vermouth will soften the martini making it dangerously drinkable.
1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
1 oz. Martini Bianco vermouth
.5 oz. King’s Ginger liqueur
Preparation: Stir first three ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist and a rosemary sprig.