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11.19.10

Celeb Chefs' Holiday Cocktails

'Tis the season to be merry—sometimes very. Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, and four other star chefs share recipes for their favorite holiday libations.

Mario Batali
Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author

"In Italy the aperitivo moment is almost as deliberately pondered as the first course. It sets the tone for the evening and this colorful, festive and seasonal cocktail is all about celebrating and enjoying life."

Tangerine, Campari and Soda

14 tangerines
1 quart soda water
8 ounces Campari

Juice 12 of the tangerines and chill the juice. Cut the remaining 2 tangerines into 1/8-inch slices. Fill 8 highball glasses with ice and place 2 tangerine slices in each glass and fill the glass to 2/3 full with soda water. Pour in Campari to fill the glass and float one more tangerine slice.


Emeril Lagasse
Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author

"This is one of my favorite cocktails, which my family really enjoys during the holidays. The cranberry and orange is tart and refreshing and it can easily be made ahead and served in a pitcher or punch bowl. I happen to think it's just perfect for impromptu holiday gatherings. It's easy to drink, so be careful!"

Red Rooster

1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
One 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
2 cups vodka

Combine all of the ingredients in a large plastic container. Freeze for several hours. It will not freeze solid, but rather achieve the consistency of a slushy. Scoop into punch cups or wine glasses and serve.


John DeLucie
Executive Chef/Proprietor The Lion, New York City; The Royal, Miami

"My Holiday cocktails begin and end with champagne. Honestly, what is more festive than champagne?"

Champagne Royale

Take the most delicious fruit in season, such as blood orange, ripe pears or mandarins. Any of these are usually great around the holidays. Choose your favorite fruit and blend them in a food processor or juicer and add a little sugar or honey if it needs some sweetness. Fill champagne flute about 1/4 the way up with puree and top off with great champagne.


Katie Lee
Food and lifestyle expert; cookbook author

"During the holidays, I always keep a few bottles of champagne in my refrigerator at all times. I make this Ginger Royale for parties or drop-in guests. The ginger liqueur tastes and smells like the flavors of the season, and the pop of the champagne cork instantly makes things festive."

Ginger Royale

1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
3 ounces Moet Chandon Imperial champagne
Candied ginger

Pour ginger liqueur into a champagne glass. Top with Moet. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.


Alain Ducasse
Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author

"This drink was made for my restaurant miX on the Beach at the W Retreat and Spa in Puerto Rico. This coconut cream-based drink is Puerto Rico's delicious variation of eggnog. This Coquit, or little coconut, is usually served on Christmas Eve. It's a favorite for holiday parties."

Coquito Cocktail

6 oz. Condensed milk
8 oz. Evaporated milk
10 oz. Cream of Coconut
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ bottle Barrilito Rum
1 pinch of salt
1 dash of cinnamon

In a blender, mix the first four ingredients. Then add the salt, cinnamon and rum last. Chill overnight. Serve in a cordial or shot glass and garnish with shredded coconut or cinnamon.


Michael Lomanaco
Executive Chef and Partner, Porter House New York

"This is a heart-warming cocktail. Rye is the perfect winter mixer, and the spiced sugar rim provides the whole cocktail with holiday flavors and aromas."

Jim Beam Rye Manhattan

2 ounces Jim Beam Rye
3/4 ounce of Noilly Pratt sweet vermouth
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Combine all three ingredients in a mixing glass filled with large ice cubes. Stir 30 times and let rest.

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1 brandied cherry

Combine the sugar, cloves, cinnamon and all spice together is a dish. Wipe the outside edge of a chilled martini glass with a brandied cherry, and then roll the glass through the spice mixture, taking care to spice only the outside of the glass.

Carefully strain the cocktail into the prepared glass and garnish with the brandied cherry.


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Jacquelynn D. Powers is a writer based in Miami Beach. Her work has appeared in the Miami New Times and slashfood.com. Prior to that, she was the Senior Editor of Ocean Drive magazine for over a decade.