2 Crowd-Pleasing Cocktail Recipes to Wow Holiday Guests

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Whether you make just one or a whole batch, you can’t go wrong with the First in Flight cocktail. Photo by Briana Brough

First up, this pear and gin cocktail with a ginger-sage syrup will be a hit at the adults’ table. Michelle M. Temple, bar manager at The Station, raves about this drink from the B-Side Lounge’s fall menu: “It’s a crowd-pleaser and uses ingredients that are easy to obtain and make.” Then try a fall-flavored sipper made with chai, ginger beer and locally made spiced rum from TOPO Organic Distillery.


Individual drink recipe (makes one drink)

1.5 oz. gin (the B-Side Lounge uses Bombay Sapphire)
1.5 oz. pear nectar (try Looza, which can be found at Harris Teeter or Whole Foods)
.5 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz. ginger-sage syrup (see below)

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with fresh sage leaf.

Ginger-Sage Syrup

2 inches ginger root, grated
2 cups water
1½ cup Sugar In The Raw
10 sage leaves

Bring ginger, water and sugar to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes adding sage about halfway way through. Strain.

Large batch party recipe (makes 16 four-ounce cocktails)

1 750 mL bottle gin
3 ¼ cups Looza pear nectar
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup ginger-sage syrup (see above for recipe)

Add all ingredients into a large pitcher or punch bowl. Stir well until combined, then put into the fridge until chilled. We recommend making this in the morning and letting it chill while you’re cooking. When it is ready to serve, float fresh sage leaves on top. You can serve this “up” in cocktail glasses or coupes, or it can be served over ice in a highball or rocks glass.


Makes one drink

1 oz. strong chai
2 oz. TOPO Organic Carolina Spiced Rum
3 oz. ginger beer
Sugar and pumpkin pie spice rim

For the strong chai, steep 4 tea bags in a cup of water for 5 minutes, strain and chill.

For the sugar rim, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon powder will work as well).

Dip the rim of a rocks glass in water and dip it into the sugar mixture. Fill glass with ice, taking care not to disturb the rim.

In a tall glass, combine the rum, chai and ginger beer, and pour into the rocks glass.

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Chapel Hill Magazine

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