Let the madness begin! Christmas week is here. We here at Porter Square Wine & Spirits are gearing up for a big week helping people get ready for the holidays. I’m sure you are all bustling around with last minute shopping and preparations to make it a perfect holiday. When you get home with all of your bags, unload the packages, put all the groceries away, what are you going to do to unwind? I’ll tell you what you should do – kick back with this festive holiday inspired libation, the Mistletoe Manhattan cocktail.

The Manhattan is a classic bourbon cocktail that has been around for quite some time. The Mistletoe version mixes it up a bit (pun intended) by adding a little festive cranberry flavor and also some maraschino juice. I found this recipe on a site called prosecco lovers and then wondered why the recipe didn’t involve the sparkly beverage. So naturally, I tweaked the recipe to give this holiday libation the little spritz it needed (who doesn’t need more spritz in their life).

With this drink you get the classic combo of flavors from the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters. What the new version brings is a seasonal flavor, with a little sweetness from the Maraschino’s and a festive bubbly topper.

For spirits, I used Bully Boy American Whiskey. Yes I know it’s not a bourbon technically, but the it drinks like a bourbon and the flavor profile worked quite well in this drink. Plus it’s an affordable, local option that tastes delightful. Now for vermouth, I’m a huge fan of a new Argentinian option we got into the store not long ago called La Fuerza. The Rojo and Blanco are both great, but this recipe requires the red. For the Maraschino cherries, I splurged on the Luxardo brand. Pricey, yes, but the flavor was worth it.

If you are a tired of the same old holiday cocktails, give this one a shot during the festivities this season. It’s fun, it’s boozy, and has a nice fruitful flavor balanced out by the spritz. Surprise your friends & family, as well as your taste buds, and let the celebrations begin! Cheers! To good health & happiness this holiday season.

Mistletoe Manhattan Spritz

(Makes 1 drink)

  • 2 oz bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo cherry juice
  • 1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Prosecco for float
  • Luxardo cherries, cranberries & rosemary sprig for garnish

Combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, cherry juice, cranberry juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice to top of the liquid.

Shake for 15 seconds to combine then strain into ice filled cocktail glass.

Top with prosecco & give a little stir.

Garnish with cherries, cranberries, and a rosemary sprig. Drink in the holiday festive feelings. Salud.