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)
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)
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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