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BENT ON MIXOLOGY Making Spirits SWS MIXOLOGIST BRIDGET ALBERT GETS FOUR OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING COCKTAILIANS TO SHARE SOME OF THE HOLIDAY’S MERRIEST SECRETS Bright I photos by Tori Soper t’s the time of year to deck the halls, hang the mistletoe, dust off your punch bowls and create lively, spirited holiday cock- tails. Planning your holiday menu should be one of the best parts of your cocktail year. Be as creative as you want by design- ing cocktails around a theme like “Winter Wonderland,” or offer an assortment of classic recipes like eggnogs, flips and cham- pagne cocktails. One of my favorite holiday memories is making hot buttered rum with my grandmother Rosella. She taught me that baking spices were not just for Christmas cookies—they play nicely with dark rums and whiskies in warmer winter cocktails like the Hot Toddy. When you’re in charge of creating seasonal holiday cocktails, all you need is the holiday spirit and some inspiration from a few of the nation’s top mixologists: Jonathan Pogash (New York Chapter Chairman of the United States Bartender’s Guild), Josh Pearson (Principal Mixologist at Sepia, Chicago), Debbi Peek (Lead Mixologist at The Bristol, Chicago) and H. Joseph Ehrmann (owner of the Elixir Saloon, San Francisco). These industry leaders recognize the importance of making seasonal menu changes focused on using fresh, high-quality ingredients while they are at their peak. Each gener- ously shares some trade secrets with me (and now you) on how to serve fresh, tasty holiday cocktails. Josh Pearson, Principal Mixologist at Sepia in Chicago, prepares his aromatic holiday drink 7 Hours Away, made with Arabic tea syrup, fig preserve and sage. december 2010 / the tasting panel / 87

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