Holiday Drinks with Whiskey

Whiskey is the holiday spirit of choice because it’s strong and you’ll need that strength to deal with your second-cousin Darryll, who is a douche-guzzling knob-headed poseur.

These are unusual holiday whiskey cocktails.

No nog required. Fucking eggs? Please. No Bueno. These are holiday drinks with whiskey that elevate the usual. They take your Manhattan or your Boulevardier and elevate them, perhaps as high as the roof where you’d probably rather be sitting with the goddam lights and the tinsel and the hey hey hey.

The First Holiday Whiskey Drink: Remember the Maine


  • 1/2 teaspoon of absinthe
  • 2 ounces of Reservation Rye
  • 3/4 ounces of Cocci sweet vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons of Heering cherry liqueur
  • Brandied cherry for a garnish


  1. Pour the absinthe into a chilled coupe and roll it around to coat the inside. You can toss the remainder—right into your mouth. If you want to be cool, do it Chicago style by using a little spritzer to spray the absinthe into the coupe. And into your mouth.
  2. Add the whiskey and the cherry liqueur into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until it’s cold as hell.
  3. Strain into the coupe.
  4. Garnish with the brandied cherry.

What makes the Remember the Maine a Holiday Whiskey Drink

That cherry liqueur and the brandied cherry are old-school festive spirits.

The second of our Holiday Drinks with Whiskey: Grounded at O’Hare

This is our take on the infamous Pan Am Clipper cocktail from the Gentleman’s Companion, by Charles H. Baker. This is a boozy drink so, you know, don’t fly a jet after you have one. Or six.



  1. Abandon all hope
  2. Add everything into a shaker and shake until your fingers freeze. Think about where your luggage is.
  3. Strain into a coupe.
  4. Burn an apple slice with your bic lighter like you’re at a Wilco concert. Drop it in.
  5. Glower.

What makes a Grounded at O’Hare a Holiday Whiskey Cocktail?

The Malört adds the exact level of bitterness and regret.

All American Old Fashioned Christmas Whiskey Cocktail

This original cocktail embodies the spirit of Scrooge on behalf of all curmudgeons on all the couches in all the living rooms across the U.S. who would rather be on the goddam moon.


  • 3 ounces of Journeyman Last Feather Rye
  • Three dashes of bitters. We don’t care which one. Back in my day we used Angostura.
  • Brown sugar (because it’s Christmas, Darryll. Jesus.)
  • a drop or two of water
  • An orange slice
  • A small handful of cranberries


  1. Sigh
  2. Walk over to the liquor cabinet. If you’re at your cousin’s house, make sure to use one of his really, really expensive whiskey glasses for this. Is he looking? Good.
  3. Put the sugar, water, bitters, and orange slice in the bottom of that expensive glass. Make eye contact with Darryll. Muddle it slowly and deliberately.
  4. Add ice.
  5. Pour in 2 ounces of the rye. Stare for a moment until Darryll can feel the death of Christmas cheer in the depths of your dead nickel eyes. Raise your eyebrows meaningfully. Pour another ounce.
  6. Lift the glass to your lips. Smile. Whisper “Merry Christmas, fucker”
  7. Drink slowly on the couch while the kids destroy everything.