Seasonal sips: Eight places to whet your whistle in La Jolla with a yuletide twist

By Pat Sherman

If plain old champagne or supermarket eggnog keep missing your merry mark, try one of these festive holiday sips, served up at a number of La Jolla hotspots — or hit the town and discover what other wondrous libations and non-alcoholic holiday concoctions await.

The Gingerbread Martini

La

Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St., lavalencia.com

The List:

1 oz. vanilla vodka, 1 oz. gingerbread liqueur, splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream, splash of Licor 43, splash of cream or half & half, whipped cream, ground cinnamon

The Gist:

Pour all liquors and cream into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Pour into a martini glass and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Also Offering:

Cranberry Cooler (orange flavored vodka, amaretto, cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, cinnamon stick)

Merry Chocotini

Barbarella, 2171 Avenida de la Playa, barbarellarestaurant.com

The Gist:

Hot French

Valrhona

chocolate and vodka, served up with a

Valrhona

chocolate rim

Also Offering:

Tinsel Bellini (Hpnotiq, limoncello, champagne), Peppermint Mojito (rum, fresh mint, soda, candy cane). Candied Appletini (sour apple liqueur, vodka, butterscotch schnapps), Barbarella Hot Apple Cider (homemade apple cider, rum)

The Grinch

Beaumont’s Eatery, 5662 La Jolla Blvd., beaumontseatery.com

The List:

Captain Morgan Rum, Midori melon liqueur, green tea, lemon, fresh mint, nutmeg and cream

The Gist:

Mix ingredients over ice and serve up. Dust with fresh nutmeg and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Also Offering:

The Cinnamon Girl (Crusoe Organic Spiced Rum, Citrus, and cinnamon-apple reduction, served up); Gingerbread Man (rye whiskey, gingerbread syrup, citrus, Aztec chocolate bitters, served on the rocks)

Baccala Gumbadi Buchadadi

NINE-TEN, 910 Prospect St., nine-ten.com

The List:

1½ oz. dark rum, ¼ oz. amaretto, ¼ oz. crème de almond, 1 tsp. vanilla bean simple syrup, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 egg white

The Gist:

Mix well in a shaker and strain into a martini glass.

Inspiration:

Created by NINE-TEN mixologist Sarah Lemke, this drink mirrors the flavor of the Cucidati cookies her Sicilian great grandmother used to make at Christmas. “The Italian cookie is filled with rum, nuts, figs and has a thin sugar glaze,” Lemke said. “I was the only great grandkid that loved — I mean loved — these harsh little nuggets adorned in rainbow sprinkles. This cocktail replicates the flavor, to a tee, with a creamy finish.  It’s a little reminder of the woman that taught me my stealthy dice and card skills, how to spit popcorn seeds and who passed down some of her ornery nature in my direction.”

Manhattan Flip

Whisknladle, 1044 Wall St., whisknladle.com

The List:

bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, sugar, whole egg

The Gist:

Shake all ingredients together without ice to emulsify the egg. Next, shake with ice to chill and dilute the cocktail, then strain the drink into a snifter. The egg creates rich foam that settles on top, which is finished with a couple dashes of swirled angostura bitters for aromatics.

Inspiration:

Like a marriage of eggnog and a Manhattan cocktail.

Also Offering:

The Byzantine (Rye Whiskey, house-made spiced fig cordial, Cherry Heering liqueur, chocolate bitters)

Hot Buttered Rum

California Modern (George’s at the Cove), 1250 Prospect St., georgesatthecove.com

The list:

10 Cane rum, butter, brown sugar, hot water, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipped cream.

The Gist:

10 Cane is from Trinidad. It’s lightly aged, so it has that caramel and vanilla vibe without being too dark,” mixologist Frankie Thaheld said.

Also Offering:

Double Jack (rye whiskey, maple-chicory soda, brandied cherry)

Winter Wonder

Marine Room, 2000 Spindrift Drive, marineroom.com

The List:

Steamed eggnog, Zaya rum, chocolate covered candy cane stick

The Gist:

Combine a shot of Zaya rum with steamed eggnog and garnish with candy cane stick. Can also be served cold.

Non-alcoholic version:

Mix equal parts steamed eggnog and hot chocolate, serve in a candy cane-crusted mug.

Also Offering:

Smashed Pumpkin (Pearl vodka, pumpkin liqueur, cinnamon syrup); Holiday Sparkler (Prosecco, passion fruit puree, St. Germain, fresh cranberry juice); Santa’s Sidebar (Hennessy VS cognac, Dubonnet Rouge, sweet vermouth, brandied cherry garnish)

Pumpkin Spice Late

Pannikin Coffee & Tea, 7467 Girard Ave., pannikincoffeeandtea.com

List:

Pannikin’s pumpkin spice syrup, shot or two of Indo Noir espresso, steamed milk, love

Also Offering:

Peppermint Mocha (ground Mexican chocolate, peppermint syrup, coffee or espresso)

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