During the holidays, people like to have parties with cocktails having a holiday theme. When I am looking to make cocktails I always start with the Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book and Joy Perrine. I published some of her cocktails last year, but there are a few more to look at. A couple of her easiest and quickest to make call for candy cane-infused Bourbon.

Candy cane-infused Bourbon

1 Liter Bourbon

12 red and white striped candy canes (green ones will color the whiskey green) broken into small pieces.

Pour bourbon into a jar with a lid. Add candy canes and seal the jar. Place in the jar aside to steep one day or so. Strain infused Bourbon back into the liter bottle and label. You can serve this in a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a small candy cane.

Candy Cane Eggnog

1 ounce candy cane-infused Bourbon

3 ounces eggnog

Combine and shake (no ice) and pour into a white wine glass. Top with whipped cream, grated nutmeg and a miniature candy cane.

For New Year’s Eve Parties, try this one:

Kentucky Bourbon Sparkler

1 ounce Bourbon

½ ounce brown sugar syrup

½ ounce Tuaca

4 ounces sparkling wine

Combine Bourbon, syrup and Tuaca in a champagne flute. Stir and add sparkling wine. Stir again and garnish with an orange twist.

I next turned to Molly Wellmann’s Book, Handcrafted Cocktails for some recipes. There are a couple that would work with a holiday theme.

St. Mary’s Bell-Ringer

2 ½ ounces Bulleit Bourbon

½ ounce Dolin dry vermouth

2 dashes apricot brandy

Dash of aromatic bitters

Coat a cocktail glass with the apricot brandy and set aside. In a mixing glass add the Bourbon, vermouth and bitters. Add ice, stir and strain into the coated glass.

Apple Butter Toddy

2 ounces Bourbon

2 bar spoons of apple butter

2 bar spoons of vanilla simple syrup

Dash of Allspice bitters

Hot water to top

In a heat resistant glass (such as a mug), add Bourbon, apple butter, and vanilla syrup, and stir. Add bitters. Top with hot water and stir. Garnish with an apple wedge and cinnamon stick.

Finally, I turned to the Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Cocktail Guide from 1958 for a couple of cocktails.

Skyrocket Cocktail

¾ oz. Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon whiskey

¾ oz. French vermouth

¾ oz. Swedish punsch

1 dash bitters

¼ teaspoon lemon juice

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass.

Whispers of the Frost Cocktail

¾ oz. Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon whiskey

¾ oz. Sherry wine

¾ oz. Port wine

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a 3 oz. cocktail glass. Serve with slices of lemon and orange.

I hope these cocktail recipes inspire you during the upcoming holidays. A themed cocktail can make for a great conversation starter and can be complemented by an appropriate appetizer. In More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails Susan Reigler offers this recipe.

Candied Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Bites

¾ pound bacon

2 tablespoons Bourbon

½ cup packed light brown sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Select a baking sheet that has a lip. And line it with foil: place a wire rack on the foil. Arrange the bacon strips close together in a single layer on the rack, brush them with the Bourbon, and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.
  2. Bake the bacon until crisp and dark golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer the bacon strips to a wire rack set over another baking sheet with a lip or lay them on a paper towel-lined plate, to cool slightly. Break each strip in half and serve warm or at room temperature.

Have a great holiday season and enjoy some good cocktails.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller