With about a week into December, the holiday season is driving at high speed now.
Whether you're trying to get through the shopping, the traffic, the parties, or whatever else, there's a good chance you're in need of a nice stiff cocktail -- you should probably go for something holiday themed so you don't seem desperate.
We recruited Valentino beverage director Adam Russell and bartender Nicholas Mikhak to make us their favorite holiday cocktails for the season.
Mikhak's Winter Spirit
1 1/2 ounces Crown Royal
3/4 ounce Apple Pie Moonshine
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce fallernum (see recipe below)
1/2 ounce ginger beer
Dash orange bitter (Mikhak prefers the Bitter Truth)
Step One: Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and mix vigorously.
Step Two: Strain into a collins glass over ice and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Four inches of ginger, skinned and chopped
Two stalks of lemongrass, chopped
Step One: Place ginger in blender with a few tablespoons of hot water -- you need just enough water to allow the mixture to combine -- and blend until smooth.
Step Two: Place lemongrass in a blender with a few tablespoons of hot water and blend until creamy.
Step Three: Combine the both mixtures together.
Russell's Harvest Apple
One ounce Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine
1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniels Tennessee Unaged Rye Whiskey
1 1/2 ounces Apple cider
Two dashes Apple bitters (Russell likes the Bitter Truth)
One Apple slice
Equal parts cinnamon and sugar
Step One: Combine moonshine, rye, apple cider, and apple bitters in a cocktail mixer and shake vigorously.
Step Two: Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
Step Three: Coat the apple slice with the cinnamon/sugar, piece with the cloves, and place on the side of the glass.
Valentino Cucina Italiana is located at 620 S. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-5767, or visit valentinoscucinaitaliana.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.