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Christmas Spirits

December 21, 2016, 12:00 am

Here are some festive ideas to liven up your holiday parties, keep you warm around the bonfire—and numb the pain of spending time with your “loved ones.”

Santa Fe Coffee

I’m not a fan of flavored coffee, even the piñon-flavored coffee that is so popular here. But this is a different thing altogether. Santa Fe Spirits’ Atapiño liqueur has all the positive elements of piñon flavor with no drawbacks. It’s made by steeping whiskey with freshly roasted piñon nuts for two months. And it works. Blended with fresh coffee, it’s a winner for breakfast (right?!) and as an after-dinner drink.

Makes 1

  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounces Atapiño
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Whipped cream

Pour the coffee and liqueur into a mug, add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Top with whipped cream. (If you’re lazy, just stir the cream into the coffee.)

Boxcar’s Hot Chata

Boxcar (530 S Guadalupe St., 988-7222) always has fun cocktails on the menu, and here’s another great coffee drink that will keep you toasty all winter. For the uninitiated, RumChata is a cream liqueur made with rum and horchata.

Makes 1

  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 2 ounces RumChata
  • Amaretto to taste
  • Whipped cream

Pour the coffee and RumChata into a mug, stir and then add amaretto to taste. Start with a splash and work your way up. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’d like.

Santa Fe 66

Here’s a drink I found at the Anasazi Restaurant (113 Washington Ave., 988-3236). It’s a version of my favorite drink of 2016, the French 75, made with local brandy and local bubbly. What could be better? (Notes from experience: Do not substitute bottled lemon juice and do not try the old method of sweetening with powdered sugar. Yuck and yuck.)

Makes 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces Santa Fe Spirits apple brandy
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3-4 ounces Gruet Blanc de Noir

Into a mixing glass full of ice, pour the brandy, lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir for 30 seconds, then strain into a Champagne flute. Top with bubbly and garnish with a lemon twist.

Candy Cane Cocktails

Reader Cyndi Brighton sent me this recipe for her signature holiday drink. “They are not too sweet or peppermint-y, but are so very good!” she says. Brighton finds Coole Swan at Susan’s Fine Wines and Spirits (1005 S St. Francis Drive, 984-1582) but recommends Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur as an acceptable substitute. I say go ahead and buy a big bottle of that peppermint schnapps. I love it in hot cocoa, too.

  • 1 part vanilla vodka
  • 1 part Coole Swan Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 part peppermint schnapps
  • Candy canes

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, pour the vodka, Irish cream and peppermint schnapps. Shake and then strain into sturdy glasses. Garnish with candy canes.


 

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