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By Zach Giordano
| December 14, 2017
There’s always plenty to celebrate over the holidays, from new plans and new babies to a new year full of new opportunities. And all these celebrations deserve more than the same-old cocktails, right? We thought so too, which is why we enlisted the expertise of three top drink-makers from some of Boston’s most popular restaurants to concoct the perfect cocktails for this holiday season.
So in between wrapping all your gifts, basting the holiday ham, and making sure every detail of your gathering is just right, be sure to grab your shaker, mix up these special drinks, and raise a glass to another special holiday. Cheers!
Jason Percival, beverage director at Post 390
“Quince is a wonderful fruit that’s not often considered in drink-making. It has an exotic spice that makes it perfect for this time of year. We’ve combined the racy spice of quince with the warming spice of cinnamon to create a really full flavor that plays off cognac beautifully. Oloroso Sherry adds a toasted hazelnut note. The lemon and sugar balance and lengthen it.”
Expert tip: Homemade Oleo Saccharum (basically a fancy term for citrus oil extracted into sugar) is essential, very simple to make, and adds a layer of complexity.
Drawn to the science and story of wine in college, Jason soon realized his true passion and began pursuing a career in hospitality. In 2011, he joined the team at Post 390 as a server. Within a year, he was promoted to beverage manager and designed a wine list to complement the restaurant’s local and seasonal menus.
Mike Wyatt, beverage director at Ward 8
“This is an easy home recipe that most people will already have the ingredients on hand for. It’s equal parts butter and brown sugar with however much of the “holiday”-type spices you’d like to add. You just need a bottle of dark rum.”
Expert tip: Avoid the funky Jamaican rums and instead invest in a nice, dark variety to compliment the richness of the butter.
Mike started his career in hospitality at age 15 at North End restaurant Antico Forno and began bartending at age 18. Since then, he’s studied behind the bar at Eastern Standard, read every cocktail book he could find, and now enjoys creating his own craft cocktails, and meeting interesting people along the way.
Kevin Mabry, bar manager at Capo
“This punch is a perfect seasonal drink that combines all the best flavors of this time of year: apple, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Make your own variations for guests by adjusting the proof with either soda water or sparkling wine (for those ready to have a good time).”
Expert tip: Proper dilution is key for balance so be sure to chill it down properly before serving.
A recipient of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Award at age 26, Kevin has been an industry leader in Boston’s cocktail scene for over five years. He gained hospitality experience at his parent’s sports bar in Connecticut, and now creates a sophisticated lineup of craft cocktails, featuring fresh ingredients, unique spirits and creative riffs on classics.