Raise a glass, cocktail lovers — it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Yes, yes, the garland is hung and cookie-swapping is upon us, but there’s another major reason we adore the end of the year. It is because the few months between Halloween and the New Year is high season for cocktail parties and we’re so here for it!
How To Master Holiday Entertaining
Of course, we love hosting cocktail parties year-round, be it a wintery California-inspired brunch or a spring Bridal Shower. But there’s no time quite like the holidays for a classic cocktail party with small bites, a curated playlist, and quality refreshments that will leave your guests impressed with your mixology skills.
Though we’ve shared many entertaining tips — such as how to master holiday prep or set up your bar cart — our all-time top tip is to always have a signature cocktail at your festive gathering. Having a signature cocktail means your bar can center around just one drink. When that drink is a standout cocktail, it becomes a total conversation piece too!
What Is A Traditional Whiskey Sour?
So what exactly is a Whiskey Sour you may be asking yourself. A Whiskey Sour is a delicious concoction of lemon juice, sugar, egg white, maple syrup, and of course whiskey. There are several variations of the Whiskey Sour, such as the Boston Sour and the New York Sour.
The Whiskey Sour origins come from while traveling on ships during the 1700s. To avoid the common threat of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) among sailors, citrus would be added to common drinks, hence the lemon!
The cocktail gets its name here in the states based on the fact that whiskey is used, and that the lemon juice creates that noticeable “sour” taste. The UK style of the drink is often preferred with an extra kick as it contains gin or brandy. For a strong traditional taste of the Whiskey Sour cocktail, bourbon is the dealer’s choice. For those who may want a less harsh version of the cocktail, adding more egg white can balance the flavors.
Our Twist On The Whiskey Sour
This holiday we’re partnering with THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA to share our signature cocktail of the season: a Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour. Yes, we took the classic Whiskey Sour cocktail that you know and love, then made it even more delicious thanks to the addition of a cinnamon-and-clove-spiced cranberry simple syrup.
The aroma of the simple syrup cooking is so good we wish it was a candle scent! Then, when it’s shaken together with the classic Whiskey Sour ingredients and topped with dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic and orange bitters and a slice of citrus? It’s so festive it’s sure to become an instant holiday classic.
The Essential Ingredient
You already know how essential ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters are in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned. And we certainly can’t get enough of it in our low-ABV cocktails. But the reason this bar staple is so key for holiday cocktails? The telltale flavors of ANGOSTURA aromatic and orange bitters, of course! The bitters flood the senses with aromatic bouquets, citrus notes, and hints of spice, which gives zest and complexity to all of your cold-weather favorites.
Bottom line: as we settle into the cozy winter season, this combination of cranberry-flavored, cinnamon-and-clove spiced simple syrup plus ANGOSTURA bitters takes a classic Whiskey Sour and transforms it into a seasonal delight with a dash (or several! ) of holiday spirit.
Where To Buy
So head over to your local grocery store or liquor retailer to stock your bar with ANGOSTURA bitters, invite some friends over and get ready to celebrate the holiday season in style! Oh, and if you’re in search of what to serve with your new signature cocktail, we’ve got you covered with our Best Appetizers For Entertaining.
Cranberry-Spiced Whiskey Sour Cocktail Recipe
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup Pure maple syrup
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- Zest of 1 medium blood orange peeled off in a long, 1-inch-wide strip with a vegetable peeler (be careful not to include any white pith)
- ice cubes
- 1 1/2 ounces good-quality bourbon whiskey
- 3/4 ounce egg white beaten until smooth
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Dried Orange Slices for garnish
- Make The Cranberry-Spiced Simple Syrup: Combine the cranberries, water, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce heat to low. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and orange peel. Simmer until the majority of the cranberries collapse, which should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and let sit until the liquid has drained from the cranberry mixture, at least 10 minutes.
- Make The Whisky Sour Cocktail: Place a few ice cubes and some water in a coupe glass to chill the glass, then set aside until ready to use.For one cocktail, combine the bourbon with 1 ounce Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup, egg white, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and add enough ice to fill the majority of the way. Close the shaker and shake vigorously for approximately 15 seconds until condensation appears on the outside of the cocktail shaker.
- Empty the ice and water from the coupe glass and strain the whiskey sour into the glass. Top with 2 dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters and 1 dash of ANGOSTURA orange bitters (note that only the aromatic bitters will leave a visible mark on top of the egg cocktail). Drag a clean knife, toothpick, or straw across the dash of ANGOSTURA to make a heart shape. Add one dehydrated orange slice to the cocktail rim to garnish and serve immediately.