In The Holiday Spirit

Holiday Spirit Sling
The holiday season means it is time to break out some festive cocktails. We would argue that just about all tiki drinks are festive (especially if they are garnished well), but it is nice to have a few cocktails on the menu that are different from the ones you serve up all year round. We’ve dubbed this drink In The Holiday Spirit, since that is exactly where it puts us. This cocktail is actually a riff on a Singapore sling, using the same trio of distinctive ingredients – gin, Cherry Heering and Benedictine – that you find in that classic drink. We considered a variety of names (Holiday Sling? Sling-gle Bells?) and decided that sticking with a holiday theme was enough in this case.

The cocktail starts with the trio from the Singapore sling, as mentioned above, then adds Giffard orgeat and pamplemousse liqueur, along with lime juice, a few dashes of cherry bitters and a splash of soda water. The finished drink is very refreshing and not overly sweet. The grapefruit liqueur stands out nicely, delivering a hint of the bitterness that you find in fresh grapefruit without overpowering the other flavors, yielding a very balanced cocktail. The cherry comes through well, accented by the cherry bitters (we used Woodford Reserve’s spiced cherry bitters), and there is a subtle creaminess from the orgeat.

The best thing about this cocktail is that it contains so many layers of flavor that you’ll keep sipping and sipping and sipping to uncover them all. Before you know it, you’ll need another round and you’ll definitely be in the holiday spirit – hence the name!

In The Holiday Spirit
1 1/2 oz London dry gin
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Giffard pamplemousse
1/4 oz orgeat (pref. Giffard)
3/4 oz lime juice
2 dashes spiced cherry bitters
(or 1 dash regular cherry bitters)
soda water

In a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, combine all ingredients except soda water. Fill with ice and shake until cold, about 10 seconds. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice and top with a splash of soda water.

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