All December long, we're bringing you the recipes, tips and tricks you need to Feast your way through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate the season.
After the holiday baking and shopping excursions, the travel delays and family mediating, all we really want for Christmas is something to take the edge off. So we've tapped Brooklyn's coolest bartender, Damon Boelte of Grand Army, to mix us a drink. A pioneer in the borough's mixology scene, Boelte has quite literally become the voice of a generation of cocktail nerds: The long-haired Oklahoma native—who collects Tom and Jerry punch sets and plays guitar in a band—has more than 1 million subscribers to his weekly podcast, The Speakeasy. Who better than that to craft us a special cocktail that lives up to all the joys (and alleviates all the stresses) of the season?
"I kind of accidentally make really strong drinks that don't taste very strong," Boelte says as he stirs what he calls a Don't Krampus My Style. With two ounces of Scotch, Chartreuse, bitters and cava, it's a heavy-handed way to make any holiday gathering a little easier to swallow. The only nonalcoholic ingredient is a touch of cinnamon syrup, the spice tying the whole drink together.
The Chartreuse and bubbles add a festive element perfect for this time of year. The Scotch and bitters turn it into "the kind of drink that you sit down with for a little while and chill out," Boelte says.
And it's not just stiff drinks he's known for. Boelte is tuned into every detail of his bar, from the artwork on the wall to the tinctures used for the oyster mignonette. It's this attention to detail that makes him the kind of bartender who can identify a drink by its garnish, recount the history of Chartreuse as if he were rattling off a list of draft beers and serve you something special when you need it most.
Don't Krampus My Style Cocktail
Recipe from Damon Boelte, Grand Army, Brooklyn, NY
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 5 minutes
2 ounces Cutty Sark whisky
½ ounce green Chartreuse
¼ ounce cinnamon syrup*
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 ounce cava
Lemon twist, for garnish
In a mixing glass, stir all the ingredients together, except for the cava and lemon twist. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with the cava. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
*To make the cinnamon syrup, combine ½ cup of granulated sugar with ½ cup of water and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then let cool completely.