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December 20, 2018

These 7 holiday cocktail recipes from Philly mixologists are easy enough to make at home

Holiday Cocktails
holiday cocktail hot toddy George Dolgikh/Pexels

Find the perfect cocktail recipe to make at home this holiday.

Whether you're trying to survive family time, playing host to your friends, or simply wanting some spirits to get in the spirit (heh), festive holiday cocktails are an imminent need for the next week or two. 

And while we all love the ambiance of shelling out 15-plus bucks for a single well-made cocktail, there is joy to be had in concocting a good drink at home -- not to mention an easy way to impress your guests.

In the spirit of the holidays, we asked seven Philly-area bartenders and mixologists to give us the easiest festive cocktail that we, lowly non-mixology experts, can create at home. Keep in mind that what is "simple" for many experts may seem a little outside the box for others -- egg whites and owning your own cocktail shaker, for example, are required for a good number of these. A couple will also suggest specific simple syrups, which you can either make at home or find in the store. 

No matter your skill level, try your hand at one of the following drinks and you just may never want to buy pre-made spiked eggnog ever again.

SOMO Eggnog

From John Doherty at SOMO Manayunk

SOMO Manayunk holidayMike Prince/Peter Breslow PR

Jon Doherty behind the bar at SOMO Manayunk.

1 oz rye whiskey
.5 oz scotch whiskey
1 oz hazelnut liqueur (suggested: Frangelico)
1 oz egg white
.5 oz cinnamon simple syrup (see below for a cinnamon syrup recipe you can modify)

Directions: Dry shake, then add ice and shake again. Can be garnished with nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

RELATED: Pennsylvanians' favorite holiday treat is eggnog, so here's how to make it at home

Merry Mule

From Steven Gullo at The Bercy

The Bercy in ArdmoreCourtesy of/Aversa PR

Inside The Bercy in Ardmore.

2 oz pear-flavored vodka
1 oz cranberry juice
2 oz ginger beer
1/4 oz lime juice

Directions: Combine vodka, juice, and lime in a shaker with ice. Pour into a highball glass and top with ginger beer. Can be garnished with cranberries and rosemary.

Fumoir de Noel

From Michael Bryant at The Olde Bar

frumoir de noel drink olde barShana Saddic/Cashman & Associates

The Fumoir de Noel cocktail at The Olde Bar.

1.5 oz Cognac
1 oz vanilla cinnamon syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
1 egg white

Directions: Dry shake, then add ice and shake again. Bryant suggests rinsing the glass with a smokey scotch before serving.

When it comes to the syrup, you can typically find different flavors anywhere from a wine store to Target. If you want to make yours from scratch, however, Bryant says to let a simple syrup stew overnight with cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean. Strain the next day. Omit the vanilla bean if you just need cinnamon simple syrup for other cocktails. 

Caramello Selato

From Anwar Morgan at Bar Amis

bar amis upstairsBrittany Connor/URBN

Upstairs at Bar Amis.

.5 oz caramel-flavored vodka
.5 oz Bailey's
1 shot espresso

Directions: Shake ingredients with ice, strain, and pour. Can be garnished with espresso powder.

The Merry Mint

From Renae Dinerman at The Trestle Inn

trestle inn merry mintRenae Dinerman/PhillyVoice

The Merry Mint cocktail, from The Trestle Inn's GM Renae Dinerman.

3/4 oz. Brandy (suggested: Western Grace)
1/2 oz. mint syrup (or make your own pink peppercorn mint, recipe below)
Founders Porter or any other chocolate-y, porter-style beer

Directions: Fill goblet or other drinking glass with ice, then measure brandy and syrup into glass. Add porter and gently stir. Can be garnished with mint.

Want to take the extra step and make your own perfect Merry Mint syrup? Dinerman was nice enough to share her recipe, and it looks pretty simple if you have a couple extra hours for your prep.

Syrup Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Bunch of Mint
1 Tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

Syrup directions: Bring water and sugar to a boil. Steep mint and pepper for 2-3 hours, then strain.

Gingerbread Man

From Stephen Yaegar at Tinsel

tinsel bar interiorTinsel/Facebook

The interior of Tinsel, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar at 116 S. 12th Street.

1 part whiskey (suggested: Northbound Rye)
.25 part gingerbread simple syrup
Angostura bitters

Directions: Combine whiskey and simple syrup in glass and dash with bitters. Can be garnished with orange peel and gingerbread cookie crumbs.

RELATED: Keep the Christmas spirit at Tinsel's first New Year's Eve party

Use Your Noggin

From Alexis Alman at Tradesman's

Tradesman's insideCourtesy of/Society Hill Films

Tradesman's features a sweeping main bar, a secondary bar, kitchen, dining room and bathrooms on the first floor, with additional dining, bar and restrooms on the mezzanine.

1.5 oz. Rum (suggested: Social Still)
6 oz. Eggnog
2 star anise
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg

Directions: Spice eggnog with anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Combine with rum and garnish with whipped cream and candy cane. Drink it in a glass Irish coffee mug for the full effect.

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