Tis’ the season to be thirsty! From homemade eggnog to maple syrup-infused mules, bars all over L.A. are serving up some major holiday cheer with fun and festive cocktails. So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannakuh or anything else in between, get into the “spirit” with these holiday cocktails.
Fireside Chats at Big Bar
When it’s time to snuggle up to something cozy, head to Los Feliz’s Big Bar and enjoy the Fireside Chats. This Old Fashioned variation is made with brown butter washed Tequila Tapatío reposado, Highland Park Magnus scotch, Benedictine, Smith & Cross rum, Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan bitters and Angostura bitters. Good conversation will certainly follow.
1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, Alcovecafe.com, @bigbaralcove
Yule Shoot Your Eye Out Cider at The Front Yard at The Garland
This holiday season, The Garland’s signature restaurant, The Front Yard, is offering a number of cheeky cocktails on their menu. Call us nostalgic but we have a soft spot for the Yule Shoot Your Eye Out Cider, a boozy take on the classic 1983 movie, “A Christmas Story,” packed with a sour bite made with apples, cardamom pods, star anise, honey, pale ale, a stick of cinnamon and Black Magic Rum. Cheers, Ralphie!
4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, thegarland.com, @thegarland
Housemade Eggnog at Ray’s & Stark Bar, LACMA
St. Nick’s favorite yuletide drink is, of course, eggnog and Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA is serving it up just right. Made simply with eggnog, bourbon, cognac and Luxardo maraschino cherry liquor, this housemade twist on an old classic will fix the frown of any Scrooge in Los Angeles.
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, patinagroup.com/rays-and-stark-bar, @raysandstarkbar
The Winter Whisper at Mastro’s Steakhouse
Shhh! We will let you in on a little seasonal secret. The Winter Whisper, from Mastro’s is like a savory spirited snowball. Made with RumChata, Kerrygold Irish Cream and D’usse Cognac, topped with a cinnamon garnish and served in a chilled martini glass. Enjoy this perfect winter cocktail with the swanky restaurant’s signature warm Butter Cake. Talk about a decadent pairing!
246 N Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, Mastrosrestaurants.com, @mastrosofficial
Oaxaca Cocoa at Pearls Rooftop on Sunset
For some, getting through the holidays and having a drink go hand in hand, same could be said for coffee. The Oaxaca Cocoa, available at Pearl’s Rooftop on Sunset, kills two turtle doves with one stone since it’s made with a cream and cold brew mixture, Viva XXXII tequila, as well as Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Creme de Cacao, coconut palm syrup and a dash of chocolate bitters. That’s our kind of buzz.
8909 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, Pearlssunset.com, @pearlsrooftop
The Peppermint at The Peppermint Club
With a name like The Peppermint Club, you know this h.wood Group spot can make a sweet holiday cocktail. The music venue’s signature Peppermint drink is made with absolut vodka, meletti cioccolato and Giffard Menthe Pastille, topped with whipped cream. The Peppermint Club has got a killer winter line-up too, including jazz artist Connie Han and the band Wolves so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in this candy-coated concoction.
9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, Peppermintclub.com, @thepeppermintclub
T.F.T.I. (Thanks For The Invite) at Toca Madera
This is one invite we are certainly RSVPing yes to! Third St. hotspot Toca Madera is serving up the T.F.T.I. (Thanks For The Invite), made with Elyx, aloe vera liqueur, ginger syrup and garnished with cucumber foam. Not only is this concoction carol-worthy, but its copper pineapple serving glass shines brighter than silver bells.
8450 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, Tocamadera.com, @tocamaderala
Maple Moscow Mule at Maple at Descanso Gardens
Descanso Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in all of Southern California and during the holidays, it’s transferred into a magical winter wonderland. Enchanted: Forest Of Light is an interactive, nighttime one-mile walk through spectacular lighting experiences. Before you drive your seasonal senses into overload, head to gardens’ restaurant Maple, and fuel up with their festive Maple Moscow Mule made with Vermont maple syrup, lime and ginger beer. The botanical grounds might not be the only thing lit by the end of the night!
1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. patinagroup.com/maple-restaurant, @descansogardens
Let’s Get Lit at Citizen
Step aside Christmas cocktails. Citizen in Beverly Hills is serving up the ultimate Hanukah concoction as part of their Eight Days of Latkes event. Their Let’s Get Lit libation is made with gin, tonic, rosemary syrup, honey and blue magic and certainly stands out thanks to its electric blue hue. Pretty sure we will be drinking this chosen cocktail for eight nights straight.
184 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, Citizenbeverlyhills.com, @citizen90210
Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! at Westbound
Don’t let anyone tell you “Die Hard” isn’t a Christmas movie! The Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! is just one of the 15 (yes 15) holiday cocktails available at Westbound during their Miracle On Santa Fe pop. This badass drink is made Barbados rum, cachaça, Trinidad overproof rum, purple yam-coconut orgeat, and pineapple, and comes in a cool retro Santa mug by Cocktail Kingdom. Plus, every inch of the bar is decorated with lights, garland, tinsel, ornaments, stockings, and nutcrackers, in addition to a massive Christmas tree and two-foot tall menorah. No better setting for spirited sips.
300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, westbounddtla.com, @westbounddtla
The #5 Cocktail at The Bellwether
Christmas and cranberry always go hand in hand. Festive and fruity, The Bellwether’s The #5 Cocktail is ringing in the holidays by the way of house-infused cranberry tequila, Combier, lime, orange juice, and housemade grenadine. Not sure why it’s called the #5 though, we would definitely rank it much higher!
13251 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, Thebellwetherla.com, @thebellwether_la
Sweater Weather at Café Pinot
In L.A., Sweater Weather means 65 degrees, but it’s also a cozy cocktail from Café Pinot. Made with Redemption Rye, walnut liquor, Angostura bitters and all spice, this mix will make you want to curl up next to the fire in flannel and get toasted. Literally.
700 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, patinagroup.com/cafe-pinot, @cafepinot
Mistletoe Muse at The Living Room Bar, W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills
A holiday cocktail that comes to you! W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills is heating up the holidays this year by surprising guests with their Sip N Lift Cocktail Caddy. Upon stepping into the Lift up to your room, guests will find their own personal bartender serving The Living Room Bar’s Mistletoe Muse cocktail, featuring hints of fresh pomegranate, champagne and a sprig of rosemary, from a sleek and stylish cocktail caddy. Clearly, Santa put us on the nice list this year.
930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, Wlosangeles.com, @wlosangeles
New Mexican Firing Squad at Panxa Cocina
Ok, so the name might not sound festive, but it sure tastes it! Greg Goins, mixologist and bar manager of Long Beach’s Panxa Cocina just debuted his New Mexican Firing Squad, made with Casa Noble Silver, El Silencio Espadin, house-made grenadine, lime juice, chocolate bitters and a habanero tincture.This layered, complex libation incorporates notes of smokiness from the mezcal, sweet holiday-esque spices from the grenadine, roasted notes from the chocolate and a finish of spice from the habanero tincture. Feliz Navidad!
3937 E. Broadway, Long Beach, Panxacocina.com, @panxacocina
Deck The Halls at The Walker Inn
Every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday through Dec. 19, The Walker Inn is hosting The Nomad Hotel’s Holiday Spectacular Pop-Up and serving up a number of cheery cocktails for the season. One of the most festive is the Deck the Halls, made with Evil Twin’s Nomader Weisse beer, St. Germain, cranberry shrub, cucumber and lemon. Best part? Unlike most nights at this speakeasy, there’s no need to make a reservation, the pop-up is open for walk-ins only.
3612 W. 6th St, Los Angeles, Thewalkerinnla.com, @thewalkerinn
Sparkling Snow Globe at State Fare Bar & Kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Even if you are headed out to the desert for the holidays, you can still get a feeling of frost, thanks to the Sparkling Snow Globe cocktail at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage’s signature restaurant, State Fare. This chilly delight is packed with rosemary lemonade, cranberry juice, club soda, and garnished with a raspberry and rosemary sprig and will have you singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in no time.
68900 Frank Sinatra Dr., Rancho Mirage, Ritzcarlton.com, @ritzcarlton
Ginger Snap at ROKU Sunset
Run, run, run like The Gingerbread man to ROKU Sunset and try their Ginger Snap cocktail. Made with Hilhaven whiskey, ginger juice, honey syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and lemon juice, this drink has got more kick than Prancer on Christmas Eve.
9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, rokusunset.com, @rokusunset
Toddy Or Nice at SALT
It may be the season of giving, but we think it’s also important to give yourself the gift of a good stiff drink this season. The Marina Del Rey Hotel’s SALT restaurant is getting into the merriment with its off-the-menu holiday cocktail the Toddy Or Nice. Served warm, the decorated drink is made with Dewar’s scotch, cherry orgeat syrup, lemon juice and allspice liquor, then garnished with a cinnamon stick. Grab a seat on the marina side patio and sip the cocktail whiling watching all the boats illuminated with lights float by.
Le Melón at Skybar
Skybar’s Le Melón holiday cocktail is as green as The Grinch, but luckily, much sweeter. Made with Grey Goose Le Melón vodka, muddled honeydew, St-Germain, fresh lime juice and organic agave, and then garnished with bright red raspberries, you’re sure to make other revelers green with envy.
Spiced Ginger Mojito Recipe at Cleo Third Street
Cleo just opened its newest outpost on Third Street and its bespoke cocktail, only available at this location, is the exceptionally seasonal Spiced Ginger Mojito. Made with Bacardi Rum, mint and spicy ginger syrup with powdered sugar garnish, this zingy drink will have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree all night.
Apple Spice ‘n Everything Nice at Officine Brera
Even if you are on the naughty list, you can still enjoy the Apple Spice ‘n Everything Nice Cocktail from Officine Brera. The festive drink is made with Carbonadi Vodka, unfiltered organic apple cider, fresh organic lemon juice and spice honey, garnished with a brown sugar rim, thin apple slice and cinnamon stick. Who even needs dessert?
Cuddly Warm Tantrum at Prank
East coasters may roll their eyes at us Californians when we complain about being cold, but hey, even L.A. can get chilly at night during the holiday season. Warm up with the Cuddly Warm Tantrum from Prank in DTLA, made with fresh pear juice, Toki Japanese whiskey, Cardhu scotch, apple spice, chocolate chili bitters and dusted with nutmeg. Oh, and did we mention it’s served hot? Better than any blanket!
Winter Spice Old Fashioned at YNK
Hidden inside the Irvine Marriott is YNK (aka You Never Know). This season, the speakeasy is pouring their Winter Spice Old Fashioned made with bourbon, winter-spiced syrup, angostura bitters, orange swath and star of anise. This cozy cocktail almost makes you wish for snow. Almost.
Mezcal Verde at Tintorera
Take a sleigh ride over to Silverlake and hit up Tintorera for a caliente cocktail with a holiday twist. The Mezcal Verde is made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, peppermint, Aperol and fresh lime juice. Smokey and bold, this drink is perfectly balanced thanks to its cool cucumber garnish.
Red Dragon at Hyde Sunset
Giving Rudolph’s red nose a run for its money, Hyde Sunset’s Red Dragon cocktail is a vibrant mix of Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, simple syrup, lime juice muddled strawberries and mint. This drink is like its very own Christmas vacation.
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