4 Easy Batch Drinks for Big Holiday Celebrations

Entertaining a crowd is easy when you make a big batch of drinks. Here are a few to try courtesy of the cocktail masters at Cannibale, Native Tongues and Raw Bar.

Midwinter punch.
Midwinter punch. Photograph courtesy of Native Tongues.

Midwinter Punch

Dylan Macleod of Native Tongues brings apple brandy, pear cider and fig syrup together in a giant bowl. Serves 16.

24 oz. Pere Magloire Calvados
12 oz. Quinta Do Portal fine ruby Port
12 oz. fig and honey syrup (recipe below)
8 oz. lemon juice
32 oz. dry pear cider
Freshly grated nutmeg

Add all ingredients to a punch bowl and stir until chilled. Serve in punch glasses or teacups and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


Fig and honey syrup

250 grams store-bought 100-per cent fig jam
500 grams liquid golden honey
375 mL water
4 grams salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the honey and jam are completely dissolved (there will be small bits of fig leftover). Cool to room temperature and strain through a tea strainer. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

H.K. Cafe Nog

Raw Bar‘s Franz Swinton uses a blender to give this easy eggnog a frothy texture without having to emulsify yolks and beat egg whites. And, he adds an Asian twist with Chinese five-spice syrup. Serves 6.

4 whole eggs
4 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. Cognac or brandy such as Remy Martin VSOP
2 oz. Chinese five-spice simple syrup (recipe below)
12 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
1 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 20 seconds on medium or until smooth and frothy. Serve over ice and dust with Chinese five-spice powder.

TIP You can make this in advance and chill it in the fridge but it’s at its frothy best fresh out of the blender.

Chinese five-spice simple syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp of Chinese five-spice powder

Bring sugar and water to boil to dissolve sugar. While it is simmering add the Chinese five-spice.

Five Point Plane

Cannibale‘s spin on the Old Pal is sour, pungent, sweet, bitter and spiced-up for the holidays. Serves 8.

(*When you order this drink from the holiday cocktail menu at Cannibale, $2 will be donated to the Mustard Seed)

8 oz. rye
4 oz. Campari
4 oz. sweet (red) vermouth
4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 oz. Chinese five-spice simple syrup (recipe below)

You can premix this drink and keep it chilled overnight in a pitcher or punch bowl. To serve, add ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into chilled Old Fashioned glasses with large-format ice cubes. Garnish with a flamed orange slice (or just serve on the rocks for quick execution).

Chinese five-spice simple syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp of Chinese five-spice powder

Bring sugar and water to boil to dissolve sugar. While it is simmering add the Chinese five-spice.

Alcohol-free Five Point Plane

Because teetotallers deserve a tasty holiday drink, too. Recipe courtesy of Cannibale. Serves 8.

12 oz. fresh orange juice
4 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. five-spice syrup
18 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients. Pour into glasses and top with soda water or Sprite and garnish with a five-spice-dusted orange wheel.

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