Holiday Cocktails from East Thirty-Six

Friday, November 27, 2015

Photo from East Thirty-Six

For those of you planning to host a holiday party this season, you are in luck as I'm going to share with you some brilliant (and fun!) holiday cocktail recipes that will be sure to impress your guests! I learned how to mix and shake these with a personal lesson from East Thirty-Six mixologist and co-owner, Julien Salomone.

I was absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity to have a one-on-one lesson with Julien and learn a thing or two about making a damn good cocktail. My experience to date with cocktail making is pouring my friends a stiff rum and coke by eye-balling the rum and throwing in some limes. Sadly, I have never taken any real interest in how to concoct classics like the Manhattan, Mint Julep or the Negroni that I dearly love. I quickly learned that being a mixologist is truly an art, and one that takes many years of knowledge and experience to perfect.

Julien has a whirlwind of skills when it comes to crafting cocktails. His bar is full of rare bottles, house-made liquors, infused-syrups, tinctures, edible flowers, and all sorts of ingredients that I would have never imagined using in a cocktail. He gave me a run-down on all of the ingredients we would be using to make the holiday cocktails, as well as substitution ingredients in case I couldn't find a certain product in stores.  He also went over the bar tools and glasses that we would be using. (A link to the recipes is provided below.)

The first drink I made was the Glamour. This chic cocktail was my favourite of the three.  It was very light and refreshing, making it the perfect ‘welcome’ drink to a party. Serve it up in a chilled coupe glass or a champagne flute to really impress your guests. You can even throw in some edible flowers to make things real fancy.
Difficulty Level: 1/5
Ingredients available at the LCBO: All

The second drink was the Autumn Jacket.  This cocktail will certainly warm you up on a cold winter day. If you're not much of a bourbon drinker, this is the perfect gateway cocktail to get a glimpse into the magical world of bourbon. 

Difficulty Level: 3/5
Ingredients available at the LCBO: Everything except the Black Walnut Bitters, you can find this at BYOB Cocktail Emporium on Queen Street
Rating: 3/5

The last cocktail was the North Star. This cocktail is an enhanced version of a vodka/cran and makes the perfect cocktail for ladies night! Served in a martini glass and garnished with dried cranberries and a lime twist.  The taste is fruity, tart and delightfully boozy.

Difficulty Level: 2/5
Ingredients available at the LCBO: All
Rating: 4/5

I had a blast making cocktails with Julien and can't wait to make some of these cocktails at parties throughout the holiday season. All of these can be done at home and are guaranteed to be DELICIOUS! So serve them up with some holiday snacks, festive music, and enjoy some good company with some great drinks.

And as always, remember to drink responsibly. Happy Holidays!

East Thirty-Six, a cocktail restaurant located at 36 Wellington Street East, is a hotspot for holiday dining. Open daily, with food until 1am and libations until 2am, and $20 business lunch specials Tuesdays through Fridays, East Thirty-Six is a classic ode to cocktail culture and social dining in Old Town Toronto. Follow East Thirty-Six on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or visit them online.

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