One of the greatest challenges of entertaining is coming up with a signature cocktail that appeases the pickiest of drinkers. Those who prefer something sweet and those who prefer something strong will likely never agree on just one drink. Which is why it's much easier to pick one spirit and find different ways to serve it - preferably with a few crossover ingredients - so that everyone can enjoy.
For winter cocktails, whiskey always seems like a good idea. So we teamed up with one of our favorite local distilleries - 3 Howls - to concoct three drinks using their Rye Whiskey for something sweet, something strong, and one wildcard for those who are a bit more adventurous!
The palettes are similar in that they use nutty, orange and spice flavorings in each, but with their own unique flavor to set them apart. I imagine drinking all of these in a cozy winter cabin after a long day in the snow...
First? For those who like something a bit more sweet...
The Après-Ski // serves 2
Combine apple cider, brown sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat until warm - about 10 minutes. Pour 1 oz whiskey into each coupe, and add warmed cider mixture. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of vanilla salt.
*Notes :: If you have regular apple cider, try this recipe for spiced simple syrup for flavor while warming the cider mixture. Make sure that glasses are heatproof or that mixture has cooled enough before pouring into glass, or it will break!
For those who like their whiskey a bit more on the traditional side. A spin on the Old Fashioned that adds a little extra nutty flavor...
Nutty Old Fashioned // serves 1
- 2 oz 3 Howls Rye Whiskey
- ¼ oz. Walnut Liqueur
- ¼ oz. Solerno blood orange liqueur
- 1 brown sugar cube
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Orange peel
Place sugar cube, orange bitters and orange peel into lowball glass, add a few drops of water and muddle until sugar begins to dissolve. Add whiskey and walnut liqueur, and stir. Top with large whiskey ice cube, stir again and serve.
I love carrot cake, so when I stumbled upon this recipe that called for carrot juice and whiskey, I was intrigued. For those willing to take a chance on something new, try this on your tastebuds...
The Snow Bunny // serves 1
- 1 ½ oz 3 Howls Whiskey
- 1 ½ oz Carrot Juice
- ¼ Walnut Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Spice Infused Simple Syrup
- splash of cream
- candied walnuts and a cinnamon stick for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Mix and pour over large ice cube in a lowball glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick and walnuts.
Notes :: While this drink is supposed to taste like a version of carrot cake, don't for a second expect that amount of sweetness to come through. The walnut is actually a bit bitter, which is why the simple syrup plays a key role. I added a splash of cream for richness too.
I loved the flavors of all of these, and what I liked most is that for those willing to try them all, they're quite complimentary! Another great ingredient to keep on hand for any of these drinks is St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram. It's a delicious way to add a bit of boozy spice to drinks, and one of my favorite whiskey toppers.
Tonight, we'll be whipping up the Après Ski cocktail for all. It's just as delicious for the kiddos without the booze, which makes it easy to make in a larger batch for all to enjoy!
photography :: meghan klein for coco+kelley // styling by cassandra lavalle