Cheers to the Holidays!


The weather outside is frightful, you’re racing around town looking for that last-minute gift or returning from a holiday gala, and your feet are killing you. It’s time to take a break from the madness and enjoy a little Christmas cheer! Some local bartenders have shared with My City Magazine a few specialty cocktail recipes that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. They could be just the thing to add some flavor to your special celebrations at home!



holidaycocktails-8Cork on Saginaw

Downtown Flint

This is Cork on Saginaw’s favorite holiday cocktail, made by Shannon Bosclair.

holidaycocktails-9Spiced Pear Martini

  • 1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1.5 oz Pear Purée
  • 3/4 oz Rosemary-Clove Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Rosemary Sprig for garnish

Pear Purée

  • 2 Pears
  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 tsp Fresh Rosemary

Slice pears and combine with lemon juice and rosemary in a blender. Blend until smooth. Gently strain mixture through a fine-mesh sleeve and discard any solids. Makes enough for five cocktails. Can be frozen or stored in an air-tight container.

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 oz Cloves, whole
  • 3 Rosemary Sprigs

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain and store in the refrigerator until use. Makes enough for five cocktails.

Combine the purée, syrup, lemon juice and gin in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into a highball or rocks glass and add dry sparkling water or soda water to top of glass. Garnish with rosemary.




holidaycocktails-3The Red Baron


According to bartender Leigh Ann Adams, The Red Baron has concocted a special holiday drink that is delicious with or without alcohol. Vodkas and tequilas are big features at The Red Baron, as well as the 56 beers on tap.
holidaycocktails-4Naughty or Nice

  • 1.5 oz Wheatley Vodka
  • 1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Coffee Creamer

Pour vodka and liqueur in a shaker with ice; add some creamer and shake it up. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with crushed candy canes and sugar. Garnish with a snowflake-shaped marshmallow. For the non-alcoholic version, use Godiva Chocolate Milk in place of liqueur.

“We like to keep everything new and fresh,” Leigh Ann says. “Our other signature cocktails are also very popular.”






holidaycocktails-1Churchill’s Food & Spirits

Downtown Flint

Bartender Johnny Saites has concocted some deliciously fresh, hand-crafted libations that are easy to make. Well-known for its Whiskey Bar, Churchill’s has many patrons who look forward to the special holiday drinks.

holidaycocktails-2Apple Crisp Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 1 Honey Crisp Apple, sliced
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • Apple Cider


Prior to making this cocktail, mix the sugar and honey with the bourbon, and let the apple slices soak in the mixture for a couple of days to infuse the bourbon with apple flavor. Moisten the rim of a highball glass and dip it into cinnamon sugar, then fill the glass with ice. Add the apple-infused bourbon and top it with cider. Garnish with a rosemary sprig dipped in sugar crystals, and a fresh apple slice.

“People really enjoy this sweet cocktail,” Johnny says.

holidaycocktails-5The Red Elf

  • 1.5 oz Wheatley Vodka
  • 1 oz Pana Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
  • Sprite


Add the vodka, liqueur, and a little Sprite to a shaker filled with ice, and shake well. Pour the mixture over ice in a highball glass and finish with fresh pomegranate seeds.

“This is a nice mixture for sure,” Johnny says. “Adding a little Sprite gives it a nice balance.”




holidaycocktails-6The Fenton Hotel Tavern & Grille


One of the most popular libations at the Fenton Hotel Tavern & Grille is the Pumpkin Spice Martini, which is served through the holidays, according to bar manager, Joe Shafer.

holidaycocktails-7Pumpkin Spice Martini

• Cake Vodka
• Fulton’s Pumpkin Pie Liquer
• Graham Cracker Crust for garnish

Shake equal parts Cake Vodka and Fulton’s Pumpkin Pie Liqueur in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed Graham cracker crust.

“This drink has great seasonal flavor and it’s very easy to make at home,” Joe says.


MCM readers joined in the fun!

Kathy Saites enjoys entertaining guests with her Santa Claus Cocktail. She combines a half cup each of cranberry juice and white cranberry/peach juice, one ounce each of Triple Sec and vodka, and serves it over ice. She likes to dip the rim of the glass in shredded coconut and sugar, and garnishes it with cranberries. “It’s so good!” Kathy says.

Photography by Eric Dutro
romvo /


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