When company comes to call, why not serve up a bit of holiday magic. Here, three beloved Savannah bartenders lend cocktail recipes we’ve paired with local treats, so you’re ready to go when the doorbell rings.
by Miles Ray, Prohibition
1 can Guinness
1 tablespoon molasses
1.5 ounces Cruzan Black Strap Rum
Mix and warm up ingredients in a pot on the stovetop. Pour, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and serve alongside Le Macaron Madagascar Black Vanilla macarons.
Pro tip: The Scrooge is a type of sling, a mixed drink that employs two or more ingredients. The term was often used for hot and cold beverages in the late 18th and early 19th century.
by Gilbert Cruz, The Jinx
1.5 ounces Wild Turkey 101
2 teaspoons pure clover honey
8 ounces hot water
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole lemon
Pour hot water into mug or glass. Add whiskey, honey and fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste. Stir until honey dissolves. While the toddy steeps, press cloves into a lemon wedge or round. Top drink with lemon and garnish with cinnamon stick. Serve warm alongside Savannah Bee Company Raw Acacia Honeycomb and Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps, available at Whole Foods Market.
Pro tip: When serving a crowd, keep water warm and ready in a coffee pot. Any bourbon will do, but sweeter palates may enjoy a honey-infused whiskey, like Wild Turkey American Honey.
Pumpkin Ginger Eggnog
by Sidney Lance, Ghost Coast Distillery
1 ounce spiced rum
¾ ounce Ghost Coast Distillery Broughton & Ginger Whiskey
1 ounce pumpkin spice shrub*
¾ ounce vanilla syrup
1 ounce milk
1 egg yolk
*For the pumpkin spice shrub:
4 cups roasted pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup Star balsamic vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Make the shrub: Combine all ingredients into one container. Let sit for three days, then strain.
Craft the cocktail: Add all ingredients to shaker and dry shake for one minute. Add ice to shaker and shake again. Double strain into glass mug. Garnish with shaved nutmeg or pumpkin spice blend.
Pro tip: “Dry shaking” is a common way to begin a recipe that features cream and eggs. Shaking the ingredients without ice allows the beverage to emulsify, produce more aeration and create a thicker foam on top of the finished drink.
Keep it simple with one red and white at the ready. Habersham Beverage’s Matt Winingham is fond of a rich Custard Sonoma Valley chardonnay. For a red that’s adored by a variety of palates, Christian Depken of Le Chai Galerie du Vin recommends a Château de Caladroy ‘Cuvée Les Schistes’ Côtes du Roussillon Villages.
For a casual and traditional pairing, stock your pantry with cheese straws from The Savannah Cheese Straw Company. Anyone who has noshed on Johnny Baker’s famous appetizers knows the Coffee•Deli staple goes with everything, and now, the savory treats are available at a number of local retailers or via the savannahcheesestrawcompany.com.