Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Holiday Cocktails

Delicious ingredients and surprising mixes

Thomas Chen (Executive Chef/Owner Tuome) “My favorite winter cocktail is a Manhattan. I spend most of my time at the restaurant and have a cocktail at the bar after service. We make a modified version in-house with Sherry, Kina L’Aéro d’Or and Five Spice.” Toume - New York, NYPHOTO: Noah Fecks
Robert Stauning (Executive Chef of Gran Electrica) “I tend to stick to beer when I drink but when I sip on the occasional cocktail it’s always a Negroni with a preference toward Greenhook gin.”PHOTO: Patrick James Miller
Chef Paras Shah (Executive Chef of Kat & Theo) At Kat & Theo, a neighborhood destination for seasonal, New American fare recently opened in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, executive chef Paras Shah’s favorite cocktail is a Rye Sazerac. “When properly made with great ingredients,” he says, “it represents what my flavors are: simple, clean and delicious.” Mr. Shah muddles one sugar cube with a couple of dashes of bitters and stirs it with the rye. He then strains it neat into a rocks glass, prepared with just a spritz of absinthe, and lemon peel rubbed along the edge, then flamed and dropped into the glass. PHOTO: Courtesy Kat & Theo
Ken Oringer (Chef/Owner of Toro NYC) “My favorite winter cocktail is mescal on the rocks with an orange slice and worm salt.” NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Chef Ken Oringer at Girl And The Bull: A Dinner hosted by Stephanie Izard and Ken Oringer as a part of the Bank of America Dinner Series during the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Haven's Kitchen on October 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
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Jamie Bissonnette (Chef/Owner of Toro NYC) “I love a Champs-Élysées. I use cognac or brandy. I also always make sure to use yellow chartreuse in the fall or winter to make the drink, as it is light and warming—perfect for colder weather.”  TORO - New York, NYPHOTO: Noah Fecks
Eduard Frauneder (Executive Chef of Edi and the Wolf) “Come holiday season, I love a good mulled wine. It’s a popular tradition at the holiday markets throughout Germany and Austria and always brings me back home. I’ll do a version with apple cider, spiced rum, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, orange zest and juice, star anise and cloves and a bit of turmeric juice to mix it up. The turmeric has some great health benefits, to boot!”Edi Frauneder - New York, NYPHOTO: Noah Fecks
Anita Lo (Chef/ Owner of Annisa) “I love a Hot Rum Toddy. I had a great version at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Fla. I was a little under the weather (as was the actual weather—it was in the 60s) and it was made with good dark rum, spices and a slice of orange. It’s probably my favorite winter cocktail.” Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)
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Chef Andrew Whitcomb (Executive Chef of Colonie) “I usually drink basic gin and tonics, but our beverage director Brian Smith makes one of my favorite winter cocktails, called Coffee & Cigarettes, which is made with mescal, Cynar, Punt e Mes and topped with Nitro Cold Brew, garnished with a orange twist.” PHOTO: Noah Fecks
Amanda Cohen (Chef/Owner of Dirt Candy) “I’m usually depressed by holiday drinks because they’re just glasses full of cinnamon and nutmeg with a kick of caffeine or booze poured in at the end (Pumpkin Spice Latte, I’m looking at you). So this year, I made my own. The Great Pumpkin is a brandy cocktail based on the Fog Cutter, but less Tiki and more autumn leaves. It’s brandy, fresh butternut squash juice and a little fresh orange juice. Instead of being heavy and sweet, it’s a super-fresh, super-alive jolt of New England energy.” PHOTO: Stephen Elledge
Erin Shambura (Executive Chef at L’Artusi) “My favorite winter cocktail is a Vieux Carré. It’s a classic New Orleans cocktail named after the French Quarter where it was created. The Vieux Carré hits all the right notes: boozy, nutty, spicy and balanced. I like mine with Pierre Ferrand cognac, Rittenhouse rye, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and an extra dash of both Peychaud’s and Angostura Bitter PHOTO: Melissa Hom

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