Thirsty Holiday Reporter: Maple Cocktails That Will Make You Merry

Pinot Moscow Mule - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Ghost Media

'Tis the season.

Tired of your pumpkin-spice lagers and lattes? These festive holiday drinks may not come in a special red cup a la Starbucks, but they're certain to get you in the mood regardless. This month, Evan Charest, mixologist for the Patina Restaurant Group (Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse, Cafe Pinot, Kendall’s Brasserie, Ray’s and Stark Bar) has curated a menu of seasonal cocktails with a twist and shared the best with Pret-a-Reporter. 'Tis the season of giving, after all.

Maple Moscow Mule (Pictured Above): Served at Maple
Says Charest: "The Maple Moscow Mule is the signature cocktail at the newly opened Maple at Descanso Gardens. Just what you would expect from the restaurant’s abundant, natural surrounding, this cocktail is refreshing, crisp and subtly sweet."

2 ounces vodka
0.5 ounce maple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
ginger beer

Combine everything but the ginger beer in a shaker tin. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a mule mug or double rocks glass.

Barrel-Aged Maple Boulevardier: Served at Patina, Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse, Cafe Pinot, Kendall’s Brasserie and Ray’s and Stark Bar
Says Charest: "At its core, a maple-infused rye whiskey Negroni. We do a quick real maple-syrup infusion of the rye and then make a traditional boulevardier (a Negroni with whiskey instead of gin). A great aromatic cocktail for wintertime and pairs well with nice fireplaces and escapes from grump in-laws."

1.5 ounces maple-syrup-infused rye
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Carpano Antica

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and strain into a coupe or martini. Garnish with lemon peel.

Barrel Aging/Maple Infusion Recipe:
In a large container, add one bottle of rye, 4 ounces maple syrup and 7-8 cedar wood chips. Mix and let sit for 6-8 hours. Strain into cheater bottle(s) so no wood-chip residue remains.