Holiday Cocktails Roundup: Eggnog Martini, Spiked Apple Cider and Gingerbread Manhattan

Casa's Feliz Navinog
Photo courtesy of Casa Cocina y Cantina

Looking for a little holiday cheer in the frantic last days of frenzied mall crowds, last-minute shopping and party hopping? Well, today is your lucky day. Christmas in a cocktail glass at the following bars and even a little recipe to try at your holiday party!

I love Bar Lubitsch's Hot Winter Cider. This hot mug of cidery goodness with organic apple juice, Jack and Hennessey never fails to warm me up. And I love wrapping my hand around the pretty Russian-esque glass mug it comes in. Feels like I'm staying in from a blustery white night.

Westwood's BLVD 16 has comfort winter cocktails. For those who miss pumpkin pie, there's the Great Pumpkin ($14) cocktail with Captain Morgan Rum, Frangelico, Licor 43, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and pumpkin pie mix served on the rocks in a martini glass with a Graham Cracker crusted rim. The Apple Jack ($12) is another spiked hot apple cider with Jack Daniels and cinnamon simple syrup served in a spiced rimmed glass. If perchance you have a cold, the Chamomile Hot Toddy ($12) will have you feeling right as rain (what does that mean anyway?) with its chamomile-mango tea, Tuacca and brandy with honey and a cinnamon stick.

New downtown Mexican restaurant, Casa Cocina y Cantina, has every favorite Christmas flavor in a one glass and it's called Feliz Navinog -- chocolate, mint, Bacardi rum and eggnog with crushed candy cane dusting the rim.

Citrus at Social is showcasing a cocktail flight ($12) just for the occasion -- a trio of holiday faves. Egg Nog is made with Vanilla Stoli, brandy, Buttershots, cream, vanilla bean simple syrup, nutmeg, garnished with graham cracker crumble. The Apple Cider is a different take on the winter drink, with Vanilla Stoli, Goldschlager, simple syrup, apple liqueur, cream and garnished with an apple slice. And the Candy Cane is a creamy minty mix of Vanilla Stoli, crème de menthe, simple syrup, cream, dash of cherry liqueur and garnished with a mini candy cane. You also have the option of ordering single large versions of each drink for $13.

I love Luna Park on La Brea, especially for the fact that they have the cutest Xmas-themed cocktails ($9.50 each) I've seen this year. The Bumble is a creamy, sweet concoction of vanilla vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur and Frangelico named after the redlight-phobic abominable snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And of course there's a cocktail inspired by everyone's favorite Red Nosed Reindeer. This one is made with Captain Morgan, Grand Marnier, Grey Goose and a bit of eggnog, served on the rocks and garnished with cherries and a cinnamon stick. The Mistletoe Martini is surprisingly tropical with melon liqueur, coconut rum, pineapple and sweet and sour, the holiday touch is its "mistletoe" garnish.

The Peninsula's Club Bar in Beverly Hills is featuring a decadent Eggnog Martini. This one mixes eggnog with Amaretto di Sarono and Belvedere vodka and is garnished with cinammon sticks.

The Wildfish Seafood Grille all the way in Newport Beach is in the throes of its 12 Cocktails of Christmas where they're pouring premium holiday cocktails ($11 each) every night til December 31. Check out the following drinks: Peppermint Patty, Toasted Almond, Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Pie and Gingerbread Man.

If you don't feel like making your own mulled wine this year, Wilshire in Santa Monica is serving it up, made with Cabernet, sugar, vanilla bean, cloves, black pepper, oranges, lemons, and brandy ($10) to warm you up on those cold nights.

And while I was flying Southwest Airlines this weekend, I found a yummy-sounding Christmas take on my favorite cocktail, the Manhattan, in the airline's magazine. This uses gingerbread liqueur in the place of Sweet Vermouth! Unfortunately, I didn't get to copy the recipe down but if I remember correctly, it's the following (although they did say to shake which is a no-no in my book). If not, adapt to taste.

Gingerbread Manhattan

* 3 oz. Maker's Mark
* 1 oz. gingerbread liqueur

Combine ingredients over ice, stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a spear of candied ginger and brandied cherry.