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Cheers! Celebrate The Season: Craft Cocktails Offer a New Twist on the Holidays

The cold, wintery months may seem long and dreary, so add some warmth and joy this season by trying a craft cocktail recipe or two from Vermont-based distillery Caledonia Spirits. The company’s beverage director Sam Nelis and his team have expertly crafted several seasonal drinks that will be perfect for cocktail enthusiasts who are excited about dipping into their home bar this winter. These cocktails are perfect for any upcoming holiday gathering or simply when you just want to treat yourself to a delicious, cozy cocktail by the fire.

Caledonia Spirits has recently launched its All the Basics Cocktail Kit to take the cocktail creation process to the next level. The kit features a collection of Barr Hill-branded stainless steel tools, including large and small shaker tins, a bar spoon, a jigger, and a four-prong Hawthorne strainer, along with a Cocktails of Note recipe book for even more cocktails to try at home—a great gift idea.

 Amarro Sourr

  • 1 oz Barr Hill gin
  • 1 oz Amaro (Bespoke)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice 
  • 0.5 oz raw honey syrup
  • 1 egg white 
Dry shake, shake, coupe, express and discard lemon twist. Amaro garnish. 

(C. 2018 Sam Nelis @ Caledonia Spirits) 


Old Fashioned Mill No. 4 

  • 1 oz Tom Cat gin 
  • 1 oz apple brandy
  • ½ tsp cinnamon syrup
  • 1 dash angostura bitters 
  • 1 dash apple bitters

Stir, pour over rocks with a lemon and orange twist.

(C. 2014 Sam Nelis @ Waterworks)


  • 1 oz Tom Cat gin
  • 0.5 oz Mezcal Espadin 
  • 0.5 oz dry Curacao
  • 1.5 oz grapefruit juice
  • 0.75 oz lime juice
  • 0.75 oz Serrano Pepper Honey
  • Smoked rosemary
  • Salt

Torch some rosemary and place a rocks glass over it to smother the fire and smoke the glass. Then shake the other ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in the smoked glass. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and a pinch of salt.

(C. 2019 Nathan Canan-Zucker @ Caledonia Spirits)  


Hive 75 

  • 1.5 oz Barr Hill gin or Tom Cat gin 
  • .5 oz lemon 
  • .5 oz raw honey syrup 
  • Top Dry Hard Cider 

Shake. Serve in a flute or Collins glass with ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a lemon twist.

(C. 2019 Sam Nelis @ Caledonia Spirits. A play on the Classic French 75 Cocktail)


Granite Street Sour   

  • 1 oz Tom Cat gin
  • 1 oz Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz Pecan Orgeat

Shake; coupe; no garnish.

(C. Fall 2019 Sam Nelis @ Caledonia Spirits, Inspired by Giuseppe Gonzalez’s 2009 Trinidad Sour Cocktail from Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY)


Sweata Weatha 

  • 0.5 oz Barr Hill vodka
  • 0.5 oz Tom Cat gin
  • 1 oz Ice Cider (We use Eden ‘Northern Spy’ barrel aged)
  • 1 oz fresh apple cider
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice 
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup
  • 0.5 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 2 drops vanilla extract 

Add ingredients to a blender with a handful of ice, blend, and then serve. This cocktail is great in large batches as well for gatherings. 

(Nate Canan-Zucker @ Barr Hill)

Barr Hill Martini

  • 2.5 oz Barr Hill Vodka
  • 0.5 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Stir together, garnish with a large lemon twist.

An elegantly chilled martini can be one of the best winter warmers. The orange bitters bring out the deeper botanical notes and creamy texture from the distilled honey, and the lemon twist accents the bright pop of the vodka.

(Sam Nelis @ Barr Hill.) 

Cuffing Season

  • 1.5 oz Brown Butter Fat Washed Tom Cat Gin
  • 0.75 oz cognac
  • 0.4 oz squash syrup
  • 6 drops cinnamon tincture
  • 2 drops apple bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients together and pour over rocks, discard orange peel, and garnish with sage.  (Nate Canan-Zucker @ Barr Hill.) 

Respect Your Elderberry 

  • 1 oz Barr Hill Gin
  • 1/2 oz house echinacea liquor 
  • 1/2 oz elderberry-manuka honey 
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice 
  • 8 drops lemongrass tincture
  • Hot water 

Add ingredients to a teacup and top with hot water, garnish with a lemon twist.

(C. 2019 Mary Alberti @ Gin Lane)

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