Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Pour Yourself Some Holiday Cheer

“The holidays are all about gathering. It’s a time to celebrate friendships and those you love. Part of that means entertaining, but I don’t think it should be overly complicated. You should be part of the party, not stuck in a kitchen,” says Laura Newman, bar manager/owner of Queen’s Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Newman left the Big Apple for Birmingham in 2017, and in 2018, she became the first American female to ever win Diageo’s international bartending competition. This holiday season, we asked her to help us recreate our favorite holiday cocktails at home––using things we would actually have in a fridge or pantry.

And if you can, stop in Queen’s Park in December in Birmingham, too. Their bar’s Havana hotel vibe will be completely transformed into a wacky, winter wonderland.

Historic Moment:

Mulled wine does not call for fine wine. In fact, just the opposite. This tradition of warming a red in the winter and adding those lovely baking spices like cloves, cinnamon, and stone-fruit citrus, has become a holiday standard in America, as well as Europe.

The County Line Mulled Wine

1 oz. Southern Comfort
3 oz. light, juicy red wine (Think: California Pinot Noir)
1/2 oz. Cocktail Artists Lavender Syrup (available at Walmart)
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. orange juice

Combine ingredients in a pan on stove and gently warm. Ladle into a mug and garnish with lemon slices.

Historic Moment:

The Champagne Cocktail, hoisted at holiday and New Year parties around the world, dates back to the mid-1800s. For the original, you’d place a sugar cube doused in bitters in the bottom of a flute and top with a measure of Cognac, Champagne, and a lemon peel. “The Champagne of Beers” makes a delicious, conversation-starting down-home swap.

Champagne for My Real Friends

4 oz. Miller High Life
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup*
6 dashes Angostura Bitters

In a cocktail shaker, combine lemon, honey syrup, and Angostura Bitters. Add ice and shake. Pour Miller High Life into the shaker. Do not shake. Only strain into a glass.
Lazy man’s method: Combine all ingredients in a tumbler or single rocks glass & give everything a quick stir to combine

*Honey syrup: combine 4 oz. honey with 4 oz. water in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture is combined; store refrigerated.

Historic Moment:

Egg whites add a froth. The yolk adds a thick, creamy consistency, and Egg Nog is a fan favorite at every party. This drink hails from the 1700s, when nearly every American farmed chickens and rum wasn’t palatable without adding a lot of masking spices. We like to tinker with un-aged white whiskey or moonshine to bring a bit of fire to the party.

The Front Porch ‘Nog

3/4 oz. Moonshine or white whiskey
3/4 oz. Jamaican rum (We like Appleton Signature)
3/4 oz. Cognac
2 oz. heavy cream
3/4 oz. vanilla syrup*
1 tsp. malted milk powder
1 whole egg
Nutmeg, to top

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake without ice for about 10 seconds. Open shaker, add ice, and shake again. Strain cocktail into rocks glass. Garnish: generous dusting of nutmeg.

*Vanilla syrup: add 2 drops of vanilla extract to ¾ oz. simple syrup and swirl to combine.

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