Best Holiday Drink Ideas From Los Angeles Mixologists

December 19, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: The Grill On The Alley)

(credit: The Grill On The Alley)

(credit: The Grill On The Alley)

December is a busy month with holiday gatherings and parties. It’s time to set your menus, open up your spirits and say good tidings to your guests. From the bars of the best mixologists in Los Angeles, enjoy a creative offering of cocktail recipes to impress and to serve friends and family.

(credit: The Grill On The Alley)

(credit: The Grill On The Alley)

The Grill on Hollywood

Hollywood & Highland Center
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 856-5530

Mixologist Shaw Jones from The Grill on Hollywood is shaking up the season with three holiday-inspired drinks. His Memphis roots give his cocktail suggestions a warm and spirited edge at The Grill. Bartending for 20 years, Jones is a certified mixologist and works as an actor in his spare time. Sister to Beverly Hill’s world-famous The Grill on the Alley, the bar in The Grill on Hollywood features old Hollywood photos and an extensive wine list set in a sophisticated atmosphere with dark wood booths and tables.

Holiday drinks created by Shaw Jones, The Grill on Hollywood

Candy Cane Martini

1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
2 oz vodka
1-1/2 oz cream
garnish with shaved candy cane for a little extra holiday cheer

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into chilled martini glass, straining off the ice. Garnish and serve.

Cinnamon Espresso Martini

1/2 oz cinnamon schnapps
1 oz espresso
1 oz Godiva
1-1/2 oz cream
cinnamon stick garnish

Combine ingredients, stirring with cinnamon stick.

Hazelnut Hot Toddy

1/2 oz Godiva
1/2 oz Frangelico
1 oz cream
hot water to fill
cinnamon stick garnish

Combine ingredients and stir with cinnamon stick.

Related: Spice Up Your Holiday Meal With Sur La Table’s Peppermint Caramels

(credit: The Famous)

(credit: The Famous)

The Famous Craft Cocktail Bar

154 S. Brand Ave.
Glendale, CA  91204
(818) 241-2888

Nick Vituli, who got tired of pouring Jack and Cokes, took the bull by the horns to learn more about the second-oldest profession in the world. After learning to bartend in NYC, he made the move west to L.A., and he is now known for creating some of the best drinks in town. Vituli is head program developer at The Famous in Glendale, which is located in Glendale’s historic Huntley-Evans building across from the Americana At Brand shopping center.

Holiday cocktails created by Nick Vituli, The Famous

Live Young, Die Fast

3 to 4 basil leaves
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz black pepper syrup
1-1/2 oz St. George Terroire gin

Press the basil into the lime juice in the mixing tin. Add syrup and gin. Ice, shake and double strain into a coup glass/top with fresh cracked pepper. Smack a basil leaf and garnish.

This Could Be Love

1 Gilway Demerara sugar cube
1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
2 dashes Jerry Thomas’ bitters
3 drops Jamaican Jerk Bitters
2 oz Larceny Bourbon

With a toddy stick, make a paste out of the sugar cube, cinnamon syrup and bitters. Add the bourbon. Ice and stir old-fashioned style. Strain in a rocks glass over new ice. Top with freshly ground nutmeg.


1/2 oz Leopold’s New England cranberry liqueur
3/4 oz fresh pressed apple juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 oz. Oxley gin
Lemon twist

Combine cranberry liqueur, apple/lemon juices and gin in a mixing tin. Ice, shake, strain into coupe glass and add lemon twist.

Related: Your Holiday Party Survival Guide Is Here

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at

Watch & Listen LIVE