Here’s to Holiday Cheer

Mitch Bakich, a bartender at The Inn at Tres Pinos, mixes up a

This holiday season, spice up your drinks with something new
– or simply celebrate tradition
Festive holiday drinks can make the season merrier and impress dinner guests, whether they’re traditional or something different.

“For the holidays, people are looking to warm up, so a lot of drinks are hot,” said Nick Bakich, a bartender at The Inn at Tres Pinos near Hollister. “A lot of holiday drinks are also made with créme de menthe because it’s green, but I don’t like créme de menthe, so I try to come up with other stuff.”

One drink considered to be a holiday classic is the Tom & Jerry, said Mitch Bakich, Nick’s brother and manager of the Inn.

“This is the kind of drink that’s bartending legend,” Mitch said as he mixed ingredients for the drink, which includes a homemade batter.

Many dinner guests don’t know exactly what kind of novelty drink to order during the holiday season, Nick said, and he likes when people ask him to make them something special as an after-dinner drink.

Mitch and Nick, along with other local bartenders, revealed the ingredients to some of their own creations and shared a few of their favorite holiday recipes.

Santa’s Guide

Created by Nick Bakich, bartender at The Inn at Tres Pinos

1 1/4 ounces vodka

1/2 ounces Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)

1/2 ounces Malibu rum (or other coconut rum)

splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream

maraschino cherry and two cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Step 1: Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in liquors and shake.

Step 2: Pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry “nose” on the rim and two cinnamon stick “antlers” placed at angles in the drink.

Santa Shot

Created by Nick Bakich

3/4 ounces Grenadine (bottom layer)

3/4 ounces Green Creme de Menthe (middle layer)

3/4 ounces Peppermint Schnapps (top layer)

Layer by pouring each ingredient over the back of a spoon into a shot glass. Shoot and enjoy.

Tom & Jerry

Courtesy Mitch Bakich

serves 4-6 guests

For the batter:

3 eggs

3 Tbs. superfine sugar

pinch of baking soda

1 1/2 Tbs. dark rum

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch of ground clove

pinch of nutmeg

Step 1: Separate eggs and beat whites into stiff peaks, adding 1 Tbs. of sugar with the baking soda.

Step 2: Mix the yolks separately with the rum, the rest of the sugar and the spices. Fold into egg whites.

For the drink:

Step 1: In a coffee mug or glass, add 1 Tbs. of batter, 2 ounces of light rum and 1 ounce of brandy. Stir.

Step 2: Add boiling water to the drink to fill. You can also use boiling milk for a richer drink.

Step 3: Incorporate batter into drink, and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.

Tres Pinos variation:

Use 2 ounces of dark rum instead of light rum and hot coffee instead of water or milk. Top with whipped cream, and splash the top with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest or whatever else sounds good.

The Saint Nick

Created by Nikki Medina of the Golden Oak Restaurant in Morgan Hill

1 ounce Starbucks liqueur (or any coffee-flavored liqueur)

1 ounce white créme de cacao

1 1/2 ounces vodka

splash of milk

Combine ingredients in shaker, shake and serve in martini glass. Top with cinnamon.

Cranberry Margaritas

Courtesy Chevy’s Fresh Mex Restaurant in Gilroy

9 ounces premade slushy margarita mix, with tequila

3 ounces fresh cranberry puree

Combine ingredients and mix in blender. Top with a few fresh cranberries. The cranberry puree must be fresh for the drink to taste right, said Chevy’s bartender Amanda Bacheco.

Other classic holiday drinks include:

Mulled Wine

2 bottles dry red wine

4 ounces port or brandy

12 whole cloves

4 cinnamon sticks

1 large orange, zested

Step 1: Combine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Do not allow mixture to boil.

Step 2: Heat for 20 minutes and serve in a large, heat-resistant punch bowl.

Step 3: Garnish with cinnamon sticks or freshly ground nutmeg.


courtesy The Food Network

6 pasteurized eggs

1/ 2 pint Rum

1/2 pint Brandy

2 pints heavy whipping cream

6 Tbs. powdered sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

Step 1: Beat egg yolks well. Mix granulated sugar and spirits. Cover mixture and let sit for an hour.

Step 2: Slowly stir in enough whipping cream to make a pale-yellow color. Whip remaining cream with powdered sugar and fold into the mixture.

Step 3: Top with a sprinkling of nutmeg. If you’re not comfortable with drinking raw eggs, buy premade eggnog and add a shot of rum or brandy to each drink.

Hot Buttered Rum

courtesy The Food Network

1 twist of lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

boiling cider

2 ounces rum

pat of butter

In a mug, add spices and rum. Fill with cider and float butter in top. Use a cinnamon stick to stir.

Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

courtesy The Food Network


1/4 ounces Triple Sec

splash of cranberry juice

Combine in champagne glass and garnish.

Hangover Help Is On The Way

With so many fabulous holiday specialty drinks to sample during the season, over-indulging is a common mishap. A 150-pound person needs about an hour to fully digest one standard drink, such as a bottle of beer, a glass of wine or a single shot of hard liquor.

Here are some ideas to get you through the mornings you wake up wanting to swear off all alcohol … again. Cheers!

• Take preventative action. Eat something extra-fatty, such as pizza, a few hours before you plan to drink. The fatty foods grease the lining of the intestines, making the body take longer to absorb alcohol.

• Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after drinking. This will help with the blinding headaches associated with hangovers, which are generally caused by dehydration and the body’s adjustment to the blood-alcohol level dropping. Water will also dilute the alcohol in your stomach, helping avoid nasty stomachaches.

• Eat burnt toast, which filters impurities that get into the alcohol during distillation. Eating burnt toast can also ease a stomachache.

• To help with headaches, take two aspirin before going to bed and two more when you wake up, if the headache is still there.

• Some people swear by “the hair of the dog that bit you,” as in, having a small drink the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Biologically, it does seem to help, but be warned: You’ll have to come down from that alcohol high eventually, so this is just prolonging the inevitable.

• Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief tablets are specially designed to help hangover-like symptoms. Bottoms up.

• If you should over-indulge and begin vomiting, make sure to fight dehydration by drinking lots of water. If someone passes out and does not respond to attempts to wake him or her, get that person to an emergency room. Most importantly, drink responsibly and remember to designate a driver.


Leave your comments