I can’t believe the holidays are HERE! I feel like my mind is still stuck somewhere in mid-July, but my tan exited my life a solid two months ago. Yesterday, while watching football at a local little dive bar, I saw a total of three Christmas commercials. Obviously, it’s official. We’re in the season, and there’s no looking back. This post is sponsored by OXO. All opinions are my own.
Luckily, I absolutely adore this time of year. (As I’m sure most everyone does.) It’s an awesome excuse to order a side of mac and cheese instead of a salad, maybe have just *one more* glass of wine with dinner, and snuggle on the couch and watch your favorite movie on repeat. I don’t know if there’s a better way to live life.
This year, we’ve decided to throw a holiday party. We’ve invited over some friends that we’ve made through work, all of whom are also a part of the food and beverage industry. Having all of your friends be in the industry is a blessing; you can bet that the wine and bourbon they bring as housewarming gifts are going to be killer, and the potluck situation is going to be equally as delicious.
Sometimes it can be intimidating to have so many experienced palates, too. We always want to impress one another, and give each other the best possible experience when it comes to wine, food, and cocktails. This year, Mark and I wanted to save ourselves from spending an ample amount of time on craft cocktails to greet everyone. We created this holiday Old Fashioned, which has just enough kick to it, but none of the fuss of a craft cocktail.
Creating a simple syrup with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg is key. Then, mixing that simple syrup with cherry bitters, fresh orange juice, and rye ties this entire cocktail together. I use my favorite OXO Steel Angled Jigger for cocktails, because it’s honestly the easiest tool to use for exact measurements. The patented angled surface of the Steel Angled Jigger allows one to see measurement markings from above for easier measuring.
We also love the OXO Steel Citrus Juicer, which is quickly becoming another one of my favorite products of all time. The juice is squeezed directly into a cylinder that is lined with measurements, so you know exactly how much citrus juice you’re starting with. It has an easy pour spout attached at the top, so you can just pour a dash of juice into the cocktails. Genius.
And I’m sure you’ve seen the professional bartenders vigorously stirring cocktails with a long bar spoon, and you’ve possibly attempted to mimic this at home. It can be tough, and handling the spoon just right can honestly be a bit tricky. But this Spinning Bar Spoon from OXO doesn’t require changing your grip to keep the back of the spoon against the edge of the glass. And you want to keep the back of the spoon against the glass, because this prevents the ice from chipping into your drink, thus diluting it quicker than you want it to. It spins on its own, making your life a thousand times easier. And it makes you look like you seriously know what you’re doing. Win win.
Making cocktails at home doesn’t have to be daunting, and if you have the right tools on your side, it can be seriously fun. Be sure to check out the entire list of OXO barware, and arm yourself with the right tools for your own bar. Having all of our friends over is intimidating enough, I don’t need to complicate things by spending my entire time behind the bar. Just making the simple syrup in advance (two or three days) will save tons of time. Then, it’s just a matter of combining my ingredients into a glass, and lovingly mixing them all together.
Do you have a favorite holiday cocktail? I know we’ve got a couple of holiday parties to attend this year, so I’m arming myself with some awesome ideas ahead of time.
This post is sponsored by OXO. All opinions are my own.
holiday old fashioneds
holiday old fashioneds
- 2.5 ounces rye
- 3/4 ounce spiced simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
- 2 dashes cherry bitters
- 1 dash original bitters
- fresh rosemary for garnish
- "dirty" cherries for garnish
holiday spiced simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 2 whole nutmeg seeds
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
for holiday spiced simple syrup
- Heat water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, and stir until just combined. Remove from heat, add all whole spices and rosemary sprigs, then allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
for holiday old fashioneds
- Combine bitters, rye, holiday spiced simple syrup, fresh orange juice, and a handful of ice in a rocks glass. Use OXO bar spoon to stir until glass is chilled, about thirty seconds.
- Garnish with skewered dirty cherries and fresh rosemary for aromatics and color pop. (If a bit of the cherry juice drips into the cocktail, this is completely fine.) Cheers!