Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 9: The Twelved Days of Christmas Cocktails

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas...

With my huge obsession with bourbon I had to add this Holiday Spiced Manhattan to the list.  I'm in love with the mulled sweet vermouth with my favorite spices of the season giving this cocktail the perfect blend of a classic drink with a festive cheer.  
I first did a test run of the Holiday Spiced Manhattan on my husband and a couple who are great friends of ours, serving them up in a martini glass as pictured below.  Then I served the same cocktail on the rocks prepped in a large pitcher at a southern themed party to pair with AMC's The Walking Dead mid-season finale.  You wouldn't believe how great this cocktail is with southern fried chicken and The Walking Dead, my other obsession.  Not only will this cocktail spice up your holiday season but may help you ward off some zombies as well.

Mulled Sweet Vermouth
2 cups sweet vermouth
3 cinnamon sticks
 4 whole cloves
2-4 dashes cayenne pepper
2-4 dashes salt

In a small saucepan heat the sweet vermouth just before boiling.  Turn off heat and add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Cover with a lid and let it steep for 6-8 hours.  Strain sweet vermouth into a jar and discard solids.  This can be stored in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Holiday Spiced Manhattan
2-1/2 ounces bourbon (I prefer Maker's Mark with this recipe)
3/4 ounce mulled sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Dash of nutmeg
Orange peel for twist

Pour the bourbon, mulled sweet vermouth and the Angostura Bitters into an ice filled shaker.  Shake well and pour into a martini glass. Peal a small piece of the orange rind and moisten the rim with it.  Give the orange peel a twist over the glass and drop it into the cocktail.  Dash nutmeg into the cocktail and take in the amazing aroma.  Cheers!