Winter Warmers

Festive Cocktails for the Season

| by Allana Wooley | Living in Texas means a scalding summer and warm autumn. By the time cooler weather does finally blow into the area, it carries a bitter edge. Fortunately, several Forth Worth hotspots have dreamed up a few new holiday cocktails perfect for staying cozy and jolly through the winter months.
Jody Lancarte of Joe T. Garcia’s (2201 N. Commerce St.; 817.626.4356), recommends the Peppermint Piña Colada to keep the rosiness in your cheeks. “Even though you are in the dead of winter and Santa is on his way, you can still sit on Joe T.’s heated patio and enjoy your tropical Christmas drink,” Lancarte says.

Peppermint Piña Colada
3 oz. coconut milk
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz. Bacardi rum
1 oz. Malibu rum
2 peppermint sticks
4 crushed peppermint sticks
Wet rim of glass and dip in crushed peppermint. Blend first five ingredients. Pour into glass. Break up one peppermint stick and sprinkle in glass.  
Garnish with the other peppermint stick.

The Capital Grille’s (800 Main St.; 817.348.9200) Gloria Starling likes their take on the Manhattan. Perfect for novice and experienced whiskey drinkers alike, the Capital Grille’s Classic Manhattan features Gentleman Jack. “Smooth and inoffensive, the pleasant Tennessee whiskey provides a very straightforward delivery of oak [and] vanilla, a classic drink with a Capital Grille touch—a great holiday drink,” Starling says.

The Capital Grille’s Classic Manhattan
2 1/5 oz. Gentleman Jack
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 Griottes Denoyautees cherries 
3 dashes orange bitters (Gary Regans)

Chris Reale, head bartender at Grace (777 Main St.; 817.877.3388), invented the autumn-weather-ready Esquire cocktail after a drink routinely featured in Esquire magazine. “I wanted to incorporate the theme of ‘Original American Spirit,’ so I chose Templeton Rye whiskey as my base. I really enjoy the flavor of Templeton; it has an element of spice as well as a clean, smooth finish,” Reale explains. “The idea of adding cinnamon-infused simple syrup at first seemed excessive, but it really gave the cocktail that ‘autumn’ feel I was looking for.”

The Esquire
2 ¼ oz. Templeton Rye
3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/4 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. cranberry juice
1/4 oz. cinnamon-infused simple syrup
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Ryan Fussell, bar manager at The Bird Café (155 E. 4th St.; 817.332.2473), and his team created The Texas Tannenbaum, a delicious cocktail addition to any holiday party. “The cocktail is a little advanced in the spirits, but simple to make and very driven by holiday flavors,” Fussell says. “The walnut bitters and pine liqueur add very recognizable holiday flavors that are hard to find in other forms.”

The Texas Tannenbaum
1 3/4 oz. Garrison Brothers’ Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Fall Release
1/2 oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
3/4 oz. cranberry juice
1/2 oz. Winter Spice Simple Syrup
1 dash Fee’s Black Walnut Bitters
One full sprig rosemary
Fresh cranberries to garnish
Winter Spice Simple Syrup:
Add 1 Tbsp. whole clove, allspice and two sticks cinnamon to a sauce pot with 1-liter water, and simmer until reduced by half.
Strain the spices and transfer the liquid back to the sauce pot; add an equal amount of sugar to the pot and simmer until dissolved.
Reduce once again by half. Let cool and refrigerate until ready for use.
Roll the rosemary into a wreath and place in the bottom of an old-fashioned or rocks glass. Top with crushed ice. Add the bourbon, stone pine liqueur, cranberry juice, walnut bitters and winter spice simple syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain onto crushed ice. Garnish with fresh cranberries floating atop or on a skewer.