Mix it up for the holidays with these tasty cocktails

By Susan Ardis / The State (Columbia, S.C.) | Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:15 pm

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be a judge in the American Harvest Bartenders’ Challenge at City Roots urban farm in Columbia, S.C.

It was great fun for me and the other judges (Anne Postic, Jonathan Sharpe and Jason Johnson) to be able to sample some creations from Columbia area bartenders featuring American Harvest vodka. After some serious deliberation, the winner of that contest (taking first and second place in the judges’ category) was Kristian Niemi of Bourbon and Rosso. Niemi’s Hayride (a mixture of pecan-infused American Harvest, Strohe Jagertee, and a syrup of Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout, maple syrup and orange bitters) took first place and his Adrian Balbos (rosemary-infused American Harvest, cherry liqueur, cherry preserves and Fizz 66) placed second. Joshua Streetman of Motor Supply won the people’s choice vote with his Harvest Aviation: American Harvest, Shady Grove Farms lemons and homemade maraschino cherries.

Anyway, after the imbibing was done, I asked bartenders Olando Patterson, manager of Goatfeathers, and Lauren Tebeau, bar manager and event coordinator at The Oak Table if they would like to share their recipes for some holiday cocktails. Here are their offerings for the season:

Holiday cocktails

Olando "Opie" Patterson of Goatfeathers in Columbia, S.C., creates three holiday cocktails to usher in the season. In front is his Gingerbread Landscape, at left is the Bad Santa and at right is the You're Nerdy Hot.


Yield: one drink

Steam the eggnog, rim a standard Irish Coffee glass with a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Add Fireball Whiskey to the glass and add the steamed eggnog and froth to the glass and top with whipped cream then dust with more cinnamon. Consume

Glass shape: Irish coffee glass. Garnish: Whipped cream and cinnamon powder

What’s your inspiration for this drink? Jeff Helsley (owner of Goatfeathers).

This drink would pair great with. Good or bad, Santa always get cookies


Yield: one drink

Rim a standard size Irish Coffee glass with sugar. Steam you favorite hot chocolate. Add Goldschlager and UV Whipped Cream Vodka to the glass and top with the steamed hot chocolate. Add whipped cream and dust it with cinnamon and chocolate sprinkles. Consume.

Glass shape: Irish Coffee glass. Garnish: Whipped cream, cinnamon and chocolate sprinkles.

What’s your inspiration for this drink? My friend Amanda Fairchild.

This drink would pair great with. Nice cold winter day in front of a nice roaring fire.


Yield: one drink

Rim a standard Irish Coffee glass with sugar. Steam the eggnog. Add Meukow Vanilla cognac and Belle de Brilliet Pear Cognac to the glass and top with the steamed eggnog. Top with whipped cream and garnish with orange zest and fresh nutmeg. Consume.

Glass shape: Irish Coffee glass. Special tools: Zester. Garnish: whipped cream, orange zest and nutmeg.

What’s your inspiration for this drink? Is it possible to make eggnog even better than it is?

This drink would pair great with. This drink is total decadence. Probably best with caviar on toast points.

Holiday cocktails

Lauren Tebeau of The Oak Table in Columbia, S.C., creates a honey cranberry tart drink for the holiday season.


Yield: one drink

Muddle one orange wedge with the Bee Trail Farms honey (from Lexington) and a pinch of cinnamon and sugar. Add Prichard’s cranberry rum, ginger vodka and apple cider and shake. Pour over fresh ice into a rocks glass and garnish with frozen cranberries and an orange twist.

Glass shape: Rocks glass (wide mouth tumbler). Special tools: spoon for muddling. Garnish: cranberries and an orange twist.

Inspiration: The first time I tasted Prichard’s Cranberry Rum I immediately thought of autumn and the holidays. As we became more adventurous with our cocktail list, we had more ingredients to play with which led to the creation of this cocktail.

Note: How to infuse vodka: Finely grate 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and add to one 750 milliliter bottle of unflavored vodka. Allow to infuse at least overnight.

Also, Chef Adam Cooke, of Blackberry Farms, has been working on the menu at Restaurant 17 at the new Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest. (The hotel is the latest venture for cyclist and Tour de France veteran Greg Hincapie and the restaurant’s name is a tribute to Hincapie’s seventeen Tour rides.)

One of their drinks on the holiday menu, The Turkey Dickel, captures the taste of the season.


Yield: one drink

Combine all ingredients, except hard cider, and shake with ice cubes. Fine-strain into a chilled flute, top with hard cider and (optional) garnish.

Glass: flute. Tools: shaker and strainer. Garnish: orange twist and candied cranberry.

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