Holiday spirits: Five fancy seasonal cocktails you can make at home

For the holidays, we asked mixologists at several local hotels and bars to share their recipes for special, festive cocktails, so you can get stirring and mixing at home.

The bartenders at Pebble Beach Resorts offered up their new holiday cocktail, the Getting Figgy With It, which features mezcal and fig syrup. Resort spokesperson Julie Thomas called it a “great addition to any holiday gatherings and easy to make.”

A classic egg nog recipe with a twist comes from Carlos Cruz, bar manager and co-owner of Churchill, a San Francisco cocktail bar. It’s made with bourbon, allspice liqueur, plus egg, sugar and cream and combines to make a “drink that tastes just like the holidays!” he says.

Made with whiskey and walnut liqueur, this toasty Fireplace cocktail comes from Spoonbar, a Healdsburg bar located on the ground floor of the H2Hotel that draws its name from “Spoonfall,” a nearby outdoor sculpture made from 3,500 espresso spoons. Just note that you’ll need to plan ahead a bit: The cocktail is at its best when aged in a barrel for two weeks.

The Naughty List cocktail — made with whiskey, cream, spiced syrup and amaretto — hails from San Francisco’s Dirty Habit, a bar led by executive chef Thomas Weibull who offers seasonal bites, as well as cocktails and small batch whiskeys.

Then there’s the Aprés Hot Cocoa, featuring hot chocolate and whipped cream blended with whiskey and Chartreuse, served at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley this winter.

Getting Figgy with It


1.5 ounce Mezcal Amaras Cupreata

1 ounce fig syrup

3 dashes whiskey barrel bitters

2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters

Flamed orange twist to garnish

Directions: Add the mezcal, fig syrup and both bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled and diluted. Strain over a large ice cube in a craft rocks glass. Garnish with flamed orange twist.

Where to find it: Pebble Beach Resorts, 1700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach;

This egg nog recipe comes from Churchill, a San Francisco cocktail bar, and is made with bourbon and allspice dram. (Courtesy Carlos Cruz) 

Egg Nog


1.5 ounces Old Barton Kentucky Bourbon

.25 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

1 whole egg

.5 ounce brown sugar

1.5 ounces cream

Grated nutmeg, to garnish.

Directions: Combine the bourbon, allspice dram, egg, sugar and cream in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice. Then add ice and shake until ice cold. Fine strain into a glass. Add grated nutmeg on top.

Where to find it: Churchill Cocktail Bar at 198 Church St. in San Francisco;

This holiday cocktail, called the “Fireplace,” is made with whiskey, amaro, walnut liqueur, orange bitters and absinthe spray. Heads up: It includes a two-week barrel-aging process. (Courtesy Spoonbar) 



2 parts Woodinville rye whiskey

1 part Amaro

1 part walnut liqueur

Orange bitters

Absinthe spray

Dehydrated orange or orange peel, to garnish

Directions: Combine the whiskey, amaro and walnut liqueur in a 2:1:1 ratio. For best results, age this mixture in a barrel for a minimum of 2 weeks.

To make the cocktail, add one large ice cube to a rocks glass, spray the glass with absinthe, add a few dashes of orange bitters and 2 ounces of the whiskey mixture. Stir slightly. Garnish with dehydrated orange or orange peel.

Where to find it: Spoonbar, located at H2Hotel at 219 Healdsburg Ave. in Healdsburg;

The Naughty List

This cocktail recipe is made with whiskey, cream, spiced syrup and amaretto and can be found at Dirty Habit, a bar in San Francisco. (Courtesy Dirty Habit) 



2 ounces Savage and Cooke Bad Sweater Whiskey

1 ounce cream

.75 ounce spiced demerara syrup (spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, star anise and cardamom)

.75 ounce Disaronno amaretto

Directions: Combine the whiskey, cream, demerara syrup and amaretto  and serve in a rocks glass or coupe.

Where to find it: Dirty Habit, located inside Hotel Zelos at 12 Fourth St. in San Francisco;

Après Hot Cocoa

This wintry cocoa cocktail is made with whiskey, chartreuse, hot chocolate and whipped cream and is served at Aprés Village, a pop-up at Four Seasons Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto. (Courtesy Michael Lopez) 


1 1/2 ounces Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Green Chartreuse

hot chocolate

Vanilla whipped cream

Directions: Prepare the hot chocolate, then add the whiskey and Chartreuse. Top with whipped cream.

Where to find it: Après Village, a winter pop-up open through Jan. 28 at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley at 2050 University Ave. in East Palo Alto;

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Author: Kate Bradshaw