We’re all spending a lot more time at home these holidays than in the past. The season seems to be flying by (isn’t it funny how a year can simultaneously be the longest and a total blur all at once?). We’re used to being social butterflies during the holidays, flitting from celebration to cocktail party to cookie swap and trying out every Christmas pop-up bar in town. Watching all the pop-ups open and knowing we couldn’t be there had us experiencing some major FOMO until we decided to do something about it. So we turned our living rooms into our own personal pop-up bars, complete with a ton of lights and some tasty drinks.
So here are our favorite drinks to serve up in our home bars this holiday season. Let us know if you try them out!
Jessie : Joy Bar
I’m calling my personal Christmas pop-up bar Joy Bar. It’s definitely softened the blow of missed holiday parties and made my living room extra cheery. I may or may not keep it up for a bit after Christmas as well… So, here are the two things I’m enjoying often from my home bar!
Old Saint Nick (Old Cuban)
This drink is one of my all time faves and what I will lean towards anytime I see something like it on a cocktail menu. The slightly booze forward rum goodness mixed with mint and a bubbly topper are definitely my flavor profile.
Old Saint Nick
a.k.a. Old Cuban
Ingredients (makes 1):
- 6-8 mint leaves
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1.5 oz aged rum (I’m using Bumbu)
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 2 oz prosecco
- Add mint leaves, simple syrup, lime juice and bitters to a shaker and muddle everything together. If you don’t have a muddler you can use the back of a big spoon, but the muddler works so much better in my opinion. I have this one and it works great.
- Add ice and whiskey and shake it like a polaroid picture. Or you know, with vigor.
- Pour through a strainer into a coup glass and top with prosecco. Sip with your eyes closed because it’s just that good.
Sour Elf Aquafaba Whiskey Sour
Ya’ll. If you’re not usually a whiskey drinker, this one will change your mind. I don’t drink a lot of whiskey myself but this super simple recipe is so delicious, it will keep you coming back for more. What in the world is aquafaba you might be asking yourself? It’s the liquid you find in a can of chickpeas. I know, it sounds weird, right? Bear with me here. Whiskey sours are commonly made with egg whites which gives them the creamy froth at the top. As it turns out, aquafaba does the exact same thing — which also makes these tasty drinks vegan.
a.k.a. Aquafaba Whiskey Sour
Ingredients (makes 2 good sized drinks):
- 2 Tablespoons of aquafaba
- 5 oz whiskey (I have Four Roses)
- 5 oz lemon juice
- 4 oz simple syrup
- marachino cherries (optional)
- Add aquafaba to a cocktail shaker with ice and give it a good shake to froth it up.
- Add whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake again. Really get into it. Maybe do a dance.
- Pour over ice into a rocks glass and add cherries. Enjoy all the frothy goodness!
The original recipe is HERE if you want nutrition facts as well! So next time your dinner recipe calls for chickpeas, don’t pour all that liquid gold down the drain — whip up a batch of whiskey sours instead!
Becca: George’s Jolly Jingle Jubilee
My pop up bar is George’s Jolly Jingle Jubilee, or Jubilee for short. (I put a vote on Instagram and that won out over my choice, George’s Jingle Jungle.) I am spending as much time in here as possible and soaking up the joy. Much to my husband’s chagrin, this is probably going to become a yearly thing even when I can go back to gloriously crowded bars.
I am definitely a margarita year round girl. (As you will shortly realize.) I don’t get sick of tequila. I wanted something that looked a bit more festive than my typical marg so I found a spicy blackberry marg. (I guess this could be summer too but if you put it in a vintage Christmas glass you have a winter drink.)
a.k.a. Spicy Blackberry Margarita
Ingredients (makes 1 drink)
- 1-2 oz blanco tequila (I use Espolon)
- 1 oz blackberry brandy
- 2/3 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 jalapeno
- 1/2 large orange (or 1/2 cup OJ)
- 2 small limes (juiced)
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- coarse sea salt + chili powder (for rim)
- Put lime juice, jalapenos (or green chiles) and blackberries in a bowl. Muddle like your life depends on it.
- Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer (or blend if you are not a true adult like me and don’t have one of those. If you blend, you can skip the muddling step.)
- Put mix in a shaker and add blackberry brandy, tequila, orange juice and agave. Shake it.
- Mix sea salt chili powder on a plate
- Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass then turn it face down on the plate.
- Garnish with blackberries and a lime and enjoy!
Who Ever Heard of a Skinny Santa?
Sometimes we are not willing to give up our favorite things in life, even when the season changes. Skinny margaritas are one of these things for me. (Ok, ALL, margaritas fall into that category.)
I am also a sucker for using only fresh squeezed fruit juice. Do I go thorough a ton of fruit? Yes. Do I have any regrets? No.
Who Ever Heard of a Skinny Santa?
a.k.a. Spicy Skinny Margarita
Ingredients (makes 1 marg):
- 2 oz Tequila (for this one I infused it w/jalapenos)
- 1/2 large orange
- 2 small limes
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- Muddle jalapenos in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. (You can use the back side of a spoon as well!) Sometimes I put the seeds in and sometimes I leave them out depending on how much spice I want.
- Squeeze juice from the orange and limes into the shaker.
- *If you want to soften the limes or oranges before squeezing them put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake that drinkey.
- Pour into glass with salted rim, Garnish with jalapenos and enjoy!
What type of drinks are you enjoying this season?