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Special spirits for the celebratory season. By Kiley Jacques

This holiday season, whether you plan to host friends and family at home or just want to whip up a little something festive, be prepared with a selection of cocktail recipes that will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Here are a few of our favorites-shared with us by some of the North Shore’s most beloved restaurants and watering holes-from traditional eggnog to a ruby-red stunner that’s color coordinated to the holidays. Prefer a wintry brew? We’ve got that covered, too.

Knobby Nog

“Knobby” Nog: Serves 8–10

  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 qt. whole milk
  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 3/4 c. Knob Creek whiskey
  • 3/4 c. Captain Morgan’s spiced rum
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together (or use countertop stand mixer) egg yolks, sugar, and spices until combined and fluffy. In a small pan, heat half of the milk until the edges just start to boil. While still whisking/mixing, very slowly add the hot milk to the eggs. Strain this mixture into desired serving vessel. When incorporated, add the rest of the milk, whiskey, and rum. Refrigerate for three hours or until cool. Whip heavy cream until medium-sized peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the eggnog mixture in three small increments. Garnish with whipped cream and nutmeg, as desired. http://www.tapbrewingcompany.com/

 

Chocolate Rascal

Chocolate Rascal

Chocolate Rascal: Serves one

  • 1 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur
  • 1 oz. dark crème de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 11/2 oz. light cream (or whole milk)
  • 1/4 c. Nestle’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 orange slice
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Melt Nestle’s dark chocolate chips and pour into shallow bowl. Dip the rim of a martini glass into chocolate. Remove and refrigerate. In a cocktail shaker, add ice and all ingredients. Optional: add a dash of chocolate (or regular) vodka. Shake and strain into chocolate-rimmed chilled glass. Add half an orange slice on rim for color. Sprinkle small pinch of nutmeg on top just before serving. http://grapevinesalem.com/

 

Three Sheets Three Sheets

Three Sheets: Serves one

  • 1 1/2 oz. Gosling’s Gold Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 2-3 oz. Gosling’s Ginger Beer

Shake rums and Grand Marnier over ice and strain into a martini glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime, lemon, and orange wedges. http://thelandingrestaurant.com./

 

Ruby Red Martini: Serves one

  • ?2 parts Absolut Ruby Red Vodka
  • ?1 part orange liqueur (Patron Citronge or Cointreau)
  • ?1 part ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Prosecco to top
Black and Pumpkin Black and Pumpkin

Shake all ingredients vigorously in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar. Top with Prosecco float. Garnish with a wedge of red grapefruit. http://www.rudderrestaurant.com/

 

Black & Pumpkin: Serves one

  • 8 oz. Shipyard Pumpkin Ale
  • ?8 oz. Murphy’s Stout
  • A couple pinches each of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg

Moisten the rim of a 16-oz. pint glass with water or a lemon wedge. Mix together cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg on a plate, and dip the rim of the glass to coat with mixture. Pour in pumpkin ale about halfway. Fill remaining half with stout to layer. http://stonespub.com/

The Spa: Serves One

  •  1 1/2 oz. cucumber vodka
  • 2 slices peeled cucumber
  • ?5 mint leaves
  • 3 lemon wedges
  • ?1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • ?6 oz. Club soda

Muddle cucumber, lemon, mint, and simple syrup together in tall pint glass. Add ice and vodka. Shake well. Finish with club soda. Serve with straw. http://sheasriversideessex.com/

Spicy Cucumber Margarita Spicy Cucumber Margarita

 

Spicy Cucumber Margarita?: Serves One

  • 1 1/2 oz. Cabo Wabo blanco tequila
  • 1/2–3/4 oz. Patron Citronge orange liqueur
  • 2–3 oz. simple syrup
  • ?2–3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • English cucumber slices
  • Serrano chiles

Muddle three or four cucumber slices and Serrano chile slices together in bottom of mixing glass. Add tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice. Add ice and shake. Pour into a rocks glass. http://redlulusalem.com/

 

White Lie: Serves One

  • 3–4 lemon wedges

    White Lie White Lie
  • 11/4 oz. Maestro Dobel tequila
  • 11/4 oz. St. Germain
  • 1 oz. basil-infused simple syrup
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz. pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. guava puree

Muddle lemon wedges in bottom of mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients, shake, and strain over fresh ice in a wine glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and strawberries. http://redlulusalem.com/