To ring in the 12 Days of Christmas this year, we’ve asked a dozen top bartenders across the country for their favorite holiday drinks. We’ll be featuring a new cocktail here on the blog every day.
Scott Baird and Josh Harris, the brains behind some of San Francisco’s best bars and The Bon Vivants, a cocktail and hospitality firm, shared this recipe for a wintery tequila drink, which should be served in a chilled glass (stash some double old-fashioned glasses in the freezer about an hour before serving). You will have enough grenadine to make several cocktails.
La Santa Old Fashion
For the winter grenadine:
3 allspice berries, coarsely cracked
2 whole cloves
1 small cinnamon stick, coarsely cracked
1 star anise pod
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) pomegranate juice
2 cups (14 oz./440 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 small bay leaf, preferably fresh
1 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 oz. (60 ml) Tequila Ocho Añejo
1/2 oz. (15 ml) Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 wide strip of orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
To make the winter grenadine, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick and star anise. Toast the spices, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) of the pomegranate juice, the brown sugar, bay leaf, ginger, nutmeg and salt to the pan. Heat the mixture, stirring, until all of the sugar has dissolved; do not allow the mixture to boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the remaining 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) pomegranate juice and stir to combine. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use; the grenadine will keep for up to 2 weeks.
To assemble the drink, add the tequila, chile liqueur, Angostura bitters and 1/4 oz. (7 ml) of the winter grenadine to a mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes, using large ones if possible. Stir with a bar spoon until chilled, about 30 seconds if using large ice cubes, 15 seconds if using small cubes.
Add a large chunk of ice to a chilled double old-fashioned glass. Strain the drink into the glass. Pinch the strip of zest over the drink to express the oil over the top, then twist the zest and drop it into the drink. Using a lighter or a match, ignite a cinnamon stick on one end. Extinguish the flame and place the
cinnamon stick in the glass, burned end up. Serve immediately. Makes 1 drink.
Scott Baird and Josh Harris, The Bon Vivants, San Francisco CA