Eggnog may be the reigning champ of holiday libations, but I’m pretty sure that’s about to change. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a glass of bourbon!
I’m often surprised by the moments that steal my heart during the holiday season. Sure, the festive parties and shop-til-you-drop marathons are always fun, but they never top my list of memorable moments. Instead, it’s the quiet evenings, when the parties end and the shopping is complete, that mean the most to me. After a busy day of holiday festivities, there’s nothing more relaxing then a quiet evening at home.
Snuggled up by the fireplace with a comfy blanket, wearing your favorite fuzzy slippers, good book in one hand and a drink in the other- that’s the good life! The ‘Old Fashioned Holiday’ is our festive play on the traditional version (a regular ‘Old Fashioned’). Every element of this cocktail was hand crafted to embody the flavors of the holiday season. Bourbon soaked cranberries, cinnamon infused syrup, and fresh zesty oranges provide a crisp, balanced, and festive cocktail.
Every sip will evoke feelings of nostalgia and warm holiday memories. Do you remember the scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold gets stuck in the attic while everyone else is out shopping and he ends up watching old family Christmas movies? Nostalgia, sentiment, and everything wonderful- that’s what you’ll find in the Old Fashioned Holiday. Every sip will take you back to the good ol’ days of holidays past.
Of course, there’e no need to keep the Old Fashioned Holiday all to yourself. This drink would be a huge hit at any festive party! As an added bonus, your whole house will smell with the aroma of cinnamon scented holiday goodness. So skip the eggnog this year, and get the party started with bourbon instead!
A traditional Old Fashioned includes mixing bourbon, sugar, and bitters in a glass with several small ice cubes. Though tasty, this original recipe leaves you with a watered-down, lukewarm drink after a few minutes. Fear not, my libation loving friends, for I have a solution to this Old Fashioned faux paus: the Arctic Chill Ice Ball Maker! I was so excited when I was contacted to review this item. Why? Because Shaun and I have been trying to solve the watery-drink problem for years. We’ve tried everything, but the Arctic Chill Ice Ball Maker takes the cake!
The Ice Ball Maker is so easy to use. Just put the two pieces together, fill up about 3/4 of the way with water, and place in your freezer. A few hours later you’ve got a perfectly round ice ball that not only looks cool, but keeps your cocktail chilled up to ten times longer. Amazon sells them in a set of four, which is perfect for when you have friends over for the holidays. We’ve had a lot of fun finding creative ways to use the ice balls, and we think they work perfectly in the Old Fashioned Holiday.
The Old Fashioned Holiday
4 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4oz of your favorite bourbon (Woodford Reserve is my recommendation)
3oz freshly squeezed orange juice
3 splashes of orange bitters
Dried cranberries that have been soaked overnight in bourbon
One ice ball (or very large ice cube)
Begin by making the cinnamon simple syrup. Combine the cinnamon, water, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Stir and simmer until syrup becomes golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the Old Fashioned Holiday, combine 2oz of the cinnamon simple syrup with the bourbon, orange juice, and orange bitters into a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake several times. Pour drink through a strainer into an Old Fashioned glass.
Add ice ball to the drink, and garnish with a sprinkle of bourbon soaked cranberries, a cinnamon stick, and a slice of fresh orange. Enjoy!