Five favorites for festive cocktails

Long Road Distillery's collection of festive cocktails from the annual holiday pop-up menu in 2022. Courtesy photo.

When the days grow short and the nights grow long, a little holiday cheer in a glass may be just what the doctor ordered. We searched the city for the best winter warmers and these are the results:

1 Long Road Distiller’s annual Happy Holidays cocktail pop-up menu features a plethora of seasonal goodies that includes drinks like the Silent Night (straight bourbon, ginger beer, pomegranate, balsamic, basil, brown sugar); Nutcracker Prince (roasted chestnut straight bourbon, Nocino, Red Amaro, sweet vermouth, aromatic bitters); and the Figgy Stardust (Fig-Aged Rum, Pear Brandy, Nocino, lemon, orange, grapefruit, spiced honey butter, glitter). The pop-up menu starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs through New Year’s Eve. Long road has two locations: 537 Leonard St, NW and its Less Traveled cocktail bar, 959 Cherry St SE.

2 The Harvest Pear Margarita, a seasonal favorite from Condado Tacos is back! Made with Viva Agave Maduro, triple sec, pear, baking spices, lime, lemon, orange and agave, it’s as pretty as it is delicious. Condado has two Grand Rapids locations, 1874 Breton Rd SE, and 449 Bridge St. NW.

3 Mull It Over from Olive’s is probably one of my favorite cocktails in the city. It wins East Grand Rapids, hands down. With notes of vanilla and pineapple, the flavor combination is surprisingly divine, like a boozy pineapple upside down cake with a hint of cinnamon. While you’re there, be sure to check out the fresh new interior (especially the upstairs) by Jean Stoffer Designs. Olive’s is located at 2162 Wealthy St SE.

Fall Sangria from Blue Dog Tavern, one of many holiday favorites on the BDT seasonal menu. Courtesy photo.

4 Hot Toddy at Blue Dog Tavern is a seasonal favorite of mine. If you’re under the weather or just plain need an old friend to soothe your soul, this tea and whisky traditional medicinal hits the spot. Or try one of the many new holiday favorites on the menu: Blackberry Marg, Campfire Old Fashioned, Fall Sangria, Cherry Road, Apple Jacked, The Freshman or The Dark Knight.
BDT is located at 638 Stocking Ave. NW.

5 The Winnie Cooper at Winchester, 648 Wealthy St. SE, is a fresh take on the Old Fashioned with a distinctly festive spin. It starts with a base of whiskey and fernet, an herbal liqueur which can be made with a variety of herbal extracts, namely myrrh. Also in the mix are Luxardo maraschino and orange bitters. It’s like Christmas in a cup.

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