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all photos: Shauna Alexander

Never mind the holiday parties you just survived. It is the next ten days that are made for pro drinkers and pro drink makers of this world: any drunk co-ed you’re trying to seduce will drink whatever “holiday in the jungle” juice you pour into your punch bowl and your friends will probably just end up guzzling that bottle of Bailey’s you keep for these occasions. BUT! to tell your Mom you can improve on her eggnog, to offer your family a sophisticated Christmas morning cocktail that showcases your cosmopolitan lifestyle in DC, that’s what YOU need help with. Trust me.

Lucky for you and for us, the Duane and Jamie over @ Bourbon Steak (one of BYT’s favorite bars in hotels around) scheduled a little session to teach us some tips of the trade. Below, we’ll share those and if you’d just like to buy them and not make them-yes they serve them behind the bar. Just be warned-these are all strong and ALL DELICIOUS, which is a dangerous combo sometimes.

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First up, that morning drink we talked about:

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THE POINSETTA

which, frankly is like a Christmas mimosa, but possibly better. Which means you need:

  • Champagne
  • and a spiced juice to put in champagne
  • and a lemon skin swirl to put on top.

The key is, naturally, in the juice-the nice folks over @ Bourbon Steak suggest you take cranberry juice + grenadine juice + pomegranate juice and infuse them with: orange zest, all spice, maybe some star of anise-according to your liking.

Pour, garnish, impress.

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  • Next up, the Philadelphia Fish House Punch aka-the most goddamn delicious and simple thing you can pour down anyone’s throat this season (emphasis on simple). Added cocktail nerd bonus: this is from Jerry Thomas’ seminal “How To Mix Drinks” (or “The Bon Vivant’s Companion”) and therefore TRULY a classic.

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First-make the punch mixture:

  • 1/4 pint of peach brandy (or 3 parts apple jack + 1 part Bol’s Peach Brandy), 1/2 pint of Cognac (Hardy’s VC is $20 a bottle and perfectly good) and 1/4 pint of Jamaican Rum

Now that you have that, assempble the rest of the ingredients:

  • 1/3 pint lemon juice
  • 3/4 lb white sugar
  • 2 1/2 pints of cold water
  • + the aforementioned  1 pint of mixture

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Stir ingredients in large pot. Pour over ice. And then into a glass. And repeat.

AND FINALLY-the ultimate holiday cocktail jam.

  • The EggNog, as you’ve never quite tasted it before.

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy/thickened cream
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup brandy
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

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WHAT TO DO:

  • in a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for approximately 10 min (or until they’re the color and firmness of butter)
  • very slowly, add the bourbon and the brand-a teeny bit at a time
  • after this-allow the mixture to cool in the fridge (up to 6 hours, but hey-good things come to those who wait)
  • 30 minutes before your guests arrive, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture
  • add nutmeg
  • in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture
  • gently forld the cream into the egg mixture
  • ladle into cups and garnish with remainder of nutmeg

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The results of this had even Shauna, who notoriously hates eggnog drink 2 cups in less than half an hour.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS YOU ALL!

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