During the holiday season I like to create one go-to holiday cocktail for guests whether they’re dinner guests, just drop in, or friends that have come by to help out with holiday wrapping or bake with me. That way I always have something to offer, and I don’t have to think too hard about it. Kombucha has been my go-to mixer all year, and winter is no different. Paired with Hangar 1 Vodka, a clean, high-quality vodka, spiced lemon simple syrup, a dash of bitters, and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns it’s just interesting enough to feel special for the season but simple enough that you don’t have to have a million ingredients to make it happen.
I love mixology, both virgin and not, but I don’t like it when drinks get so complex they’re impractical. Those are great for mixologists or hobbyists, but for most of us, we’re not going to keep all of that on hand. This can be made with nothing but Hangar 1 Straight Vodka, kombucha (which I always have on hand because I’m addicted, I prefer the ginger variety for this drink), bitters (I use some that my friend makes but standard angostura or aromatic bitters would work too), lemon, sugar, and water. And a few pink peppercorns to make it festive and add complexity. If you don’t have them and can’t find them, don’t worry. It’s great without them too, but I love the unexpected twist.
With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve looked for any and every reason to get together with friends & to make time for my favorite holiday traditions. It hasn’t been easy. Every year I promise myself I won’t work during the holidays as much, that I’ll find time to enjoy baking and decorating and family. But this year, like years past, I’ve managed to over extend myself despite every intention not to. So what do you do when you realize that there’s too much to do and too little time? It’s simple. You relax. You enjoy what you have, you put on simmer pots that make it smell like Christmas even though there wasn’t time for a tree this year, and put on your favorite Christmas music (my vote is always for either Charlie Brown Christmas or the She & Him Christmas album). The time we have is the time we make. I recently read that one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that we don’t have enough or aren’t enough. So this season, here’s to remembering, we have enough and we are enough.
This post was created in partnership with Hangar 1 Vodka. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- 4 oz Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
- a few dashes of bitters
- 2 cups ginger kombucha
- 2 oz meyer lemon simple syrup
- Pink peppercorns, squeeze of fresh lemon juice & twist to garnish
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- To make simple syrup, heat the sugar and lemon juice along with the cinnamon stick over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and it almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using. Can be stored in the fridge.
- To make the cocktail, stir all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, and divide evenly between four glasses. Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon twist and a few pink peppercorns.