Food + Drink, Sonoma Breweries

Mixology: Get Your Drink On

Want to sip something different during the holidays? Head to these local watering holes for a comforting cocktail created with warmth in mind, or shake one up yourself. Three top-notch bartenders offer distinctive drinks they serve this time of year.

JB0915_DRINKS_ELDORADO_optEl Dorado Kitchen


“To me, a well-crafted cocktail, with the perfect balance of ingredients and a bit of love, can unlock beautiful memories,” head bartender Kenny DeAlba said.

“Winter and Christmas being my favorite time of year, I created this ‘thymely’ cocktail that brings friends, family and loved ones together. That’s my passion and goal: Create cocktails that help bring great memories.”

Father Thyme
(serves 1)
3 sprigs thyme
1½ ounces Osocalis brandy
½ ounce Drambuie
½ ounce honey water
½ ounce lemon juice
lemon peel for garnish

Place the thyme sprigs in a shaker and muddle them to release their oils. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well to combine. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with the lemon peel.



JB0915_DRINKS_SPOONBAR_opt“When the weather gets colder, it’s a no-brainer to turn to the classic whiskey cocktails: Old-Fashioneds, Manhattans, savory drinks,” bar manager Alec Vlastnik said. “I like to enhance these recipes by adding winter spices and flavors to make them even more winter-friendly.

“That’s where the Fireside Sour came from. The bourbon we use for this cocktail is beautiful stuff. When you put our house-made blood orange syrup and add spices like clove and cinnamon, you have a drink that makes you start thinking about fireplaces and good times with family. The cranberry bitters balance the drink with a touch of acidity and smell like Thanksgiving.”

Fireside Sour
(serves 1)
1½ ounces W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon
½ ounce Campari
½ ounce Pür Likör Spice Blood Orange Liqueur
¾ ounce lemon
½ ounce egg white
dash cranberry bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker, without ice, and shake for 15 seconds to fluff the egg white. Add 1 cup of ice and shake for another 15 seconds. Double strain into a martini glass and finish with the dash of bitters.

Stark’s Steak & Seafood

Santa Rosa

jb0916_cocktails_stark_opt“Glogg liqueur is really unique and we were looking for a way to highlight it in a new cocktail,” bar manager Mamadou Diouf explained. “We came up with the Broken Halo as a different take on the classic ‘holy trinity’ of winter spices: the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon that are prominent in the liqueur.

“You think about these flavors in eggnog, fruitcake and all those great holiday sweets. In this cocktail, there’s a bit of fruitiness from the Aperol, but the acid and bitter notes tie everything together to create a drink that is more refreshing than warming.”

Broken Halo
(serves 1)
1½ ounces vodka
½ ounce Geijer Glögg liqueur
½ ounce Aperol
1 ounce lemon juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 ounce simple syrup
sage leaf

Put all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Shake well, and double strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the sage leaf.

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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