Hanukkah starts tonight, and if you’ve graciously offered to host a party for family and friends, it’s definitely crunch time. You might have the menorah out, the gifts wrapped, and your latke pan ready to go, but there’s one more thing you don’t want to forget: a cocktail fit for celebrating the Festival of Lights.
Fortunately, there’s no need to stress about what you’ll serve alongside the potato pancakes and chocolate gelt (coins). Chaim Dauermann, bar manager of The Up & Up in New York, created a flavorful Hanukkah cocktail, which is so good you’ll want to drink it all eight nights.
Dauermann, who admits he’s recently been “preoccupied with making cocktails that taste like baked goods,” didn’t have to look far for inspiration. His cocktail, the Bread & Oil, channels sufganiyot—a small, jelly-filled doughnut that’s become a Hanukkah staple all around the world. During the holiday, Jews traditionally eat foods, like donuts or latkes, that include or have been fried in oil to commemorate the retaking of the Temple from the Greeks when a small jug of lamp oil miraculously lasted eight days instead of just one.
To evoke the beloved yeasty, fruity flavor of sufganiyot, Dauermann mixed together an arsenal of unlikely ingredients. He combined brown ale and single malt Scotch to capture the taste of the puffy dough, while crème de cassis, sugar, and lemon juice mimic a jellied black currant filling.
The result is a refreshing cocktail as stuffed with fruity flavor as any donut you’ll find on the holiday table, with “enough heft to satisfy a seasonal craving for comfort,” says Dauermann.
The Bread & Oil is also appealing because it’s absurdly simple to fix. Based on the concept of a traditional whiskey highball, the recipe can be easily made in a glass and requires minimal prep work or special bartending tools. Expecting a crowd for a menorah lighting? Batch the Bread & Oil ahead of time by mixing the Scotch, cassis, simple syrup and lemon juice. Then, just top off each glass with brown ale before serving. It’s so quick, you can even get a round ready between your turns in a game of dreidel.
Hanukkah is all about spending time with friends and family, so serve the Bread & Oil and avoid getting stuck behind the bar all night. L’Chaim!
Bread & Oil
Created by Chaim Dauermann
1 oz Glenmorangie Original Single Malt Scotch
.75 oz Crème de cassis
.5 oz Simple syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)
.25 oz fresh Lemon juice
Brown ale (approx. 3 oz)
Garnish: Slice of lemon or other fruit
Add all ingredients except the brown ale to a highball glass filled with ice. Stir and top with the ale. Garnish with a slice of lemon and/or other fruit, if desired.