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Cocktails that mix something old, something newBy Joe Stumpe

Holiday cheers from left: Chocolate Rum Ball, Pom Twist, North Star, Lychee Martini, The Spaniard, Carameltini, Champagne Cocktail.

Holiday cheers from left: Chocolate Rum Ball, Pom Twist, North Star, Lychee Martini, The Spaniard, Carameltini, Champagne Cocktail.

Mix the familiar with something new. That's Jeffrey Zarnow's recipe for a standout holiday cocktail, and that's our theme for this collection of drinks from Zarnow and others. "There are certain kinds of flavors and styles that people expect - cinnamon and apple and nutmeg, things that go with the season," said Zarnow, a Wichita, Kan., native who created Starr African Rum last year.
"I think the best holiday cocktails are the ones that play into that but do it in a novel way."
The approach seems to be working. Last month, shortly after a flattering write-up in the New York Times, Zarnow was back in his hometown to thank supporters with a reception/taste testing at the Anchor.
"We ran out of rum by the end of the night," he said. "That's always a good sign."
CHOCOLATE RUM BALL
Cinnamon-tinged Mexican chocolate (Ibarra is a popular brand) gives this hot drink its holiday flavor. You can find it in local Hispanic markets and many supermarkets, or add a dash of the spice to regular cocoa.
6 oz. hot chocolate, preferably made from Mexican table chocolate
2 oz. rum
Peppermint stick
Make hot chocolate, following package instructions. Add rum, garnish with a peppermint stick and serve.
POM TWIST
Ruby red pomegranates have become a favorite holiday table decoration, while their juice is prized for its flavor and healthful properties. Wichita, Kan., foodie Kris Schindler combines it with more fruit juice and vodka in this lively cocktail.
2 oz. pomegranate juice
2 oz. orange-pineapple juice
2 oz. vodka
Combine ingredients and serve over ice.
NORTH STAR
Jeffrey Zarnow's strategy for holiday bartending is to offer one easy-to-make drink, such as this one, and another that's more complicated. See his Web site, africanrum.com, for examples of the latter.
3 oz. apple cider
3 oz. ginger ale
1-1/2 oz. rum
Dash cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a glass and add ice. Garnish with a slice of apple.
LYCHEE MARTINI
David Cortez, general manager at Chester's Chophouse, suggested garnishing a vodka martini with the sweet, pear-like lychee fruit, which he said is popular in his native Hawaii and on the West Coast. "They're coming" to the rest of the country, Cortez said. "They're going to be big." You can find them canned in local Asian markets.
2 oz. vodka
1/4 oz. vermouth
2 canned lychees in syrup
Fill martini glass with ice water, or chill in freezer. Pour vodka into cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously.
Empty martini glass. Pour in vermouth and swirl; fling out vermouth. Shake cocktail shaker again and strain vodka into martini glass. Add lychees and serve.
THE SPANIARD
Redrock Canyon proprietor John Arnold added this drink to the bar menu after seeing it made at a Portland, Ore., restaurant. If you're reluctant to ignite the liquor, you can instead warm it in a saucepan, but use a lower-proof rum.
Sugar
1 oz. 151-proof Bacardi rum
1/2 oz. triple sec
2 oz. coffee
Whipping cream or half-and-half to taste
Moisten the rim of a wine glass and press it into sugar to coat.
Pour rum and triple sec into glass. Carefully ignite and allow to burn about 30 seconds; you may have to relight mixture. Blow out flame, if still going, and add coffee and cream.
CARAMELTINI
"Big Chris" of Club Indigo won this year's contest for best bartender in Wichita sponsored by Kansas Beverage News. Taste this one and you'll see why.
1 oz. Bailey's liqueur, preferably the new caramel-flavored variety
1/2 oz. Malibu or other coconut-flavored rum
1/4 oz. butterscotch schnapps
Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously before straining into a martini glass.
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
This recipe may originally have been conceived as a way to use up leftover opened champagne (like that's a big problem!), since the sugar helps bring back bubbles. But it works great with freshly opened bubbly, too.
1 teaspoon sugar
2 dash Angostura bitters
3 oz. champagne
1/3 oz. cognac
Place sugar and bitters in bottom of champagne flute. Add champagne and cognac and serve.


Updated : 2021-04-14 04:59 GMT+08:00