The holidays are fast approaching, and at Verve Culture, that means prioritizing time with our closest friends and family (and of course taking care to fill all of those holiday orders too!). As you’ve surely seen from our other recountings of family taco nights and memories made around the Thanksgiving table, we love hosting those nearest and dearest to us. And one important component of a great gathering: a delicious, festive beverage.
Come holiday season, there are of course old stand-bys to choose from like mulled wine and spiked cider. We must admit that our authentic Mexican hot chocolate (with a wee touch of tequila blanco) is our go-to for a decadent, seasonal night-cap. But when it comes to pre-dinner entertaining, we’ve become quite fond of our Holiday Spice and Citrus Cocktail, which takes a twist on a recipe from Half-Baked Harvest. We're sure you'll agree it’s a delightful blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur, and fresh-squeezed citrus married with a spicy ginger beer and topped with pomegranate seeds. A sprig of fresh herbs adds a touch of complexity and a lovely dose of holiday color—and as professional bartender Rusty Lewter explained to us earlier this year, a garnish is integral to taking your drink to the next level.
Another thing Lewter believes can elevate your cocktail game: Fresh citrus. And there’s only one tool that can give your drinks the freshness they deserve while also acting as an eye-catching player on your home bar. Our Artisan Citrus Juicer delivers on-point functionality and looks gorgeous too! For this recipe, you can probably get by with the small option, though the Large Juicer is perfect if you also enjoy juice from bigger oranges or grapefruits.
In addition to fresh citrus, the Holiday Spice and Citrus Cocktail calls for festively colored, bursting-with-flavor pomegranate seeds. You’ll want to buy a fresh, whole pomegranate for the best possible taste. Use one of our Thai Chef’s Knives (the slightly smaller Thai Chef’s Knife #2 is ideal for this recipe, though the larger Thai Chef’s Knife #1 and Thai Chef's Moon Knife work well too) to make the deseeding process a piece of cake. We promise, the taste of using fresh seeds will be well worth the effort.
The final step to wowing your guests is presentation. And the garnish, while essential, is just the first consideration. You’ll also want to have the right vessel and serving pitcher. We recommend the clear Handblown Glasses, which allow the drink's warm hues to take center stage, though you could opt for our aqua and orange swirl varieties for an additional pop of color. The recipe below makes enough for two servings, but if you’re hosting a crowd, consider pre-mixing the vodka, ST-GERMAIN Elderflower Liqueur, and fresh-squeezed citrus ahead of time in a Handblown Glass Carafe, and then add the remaining ingredients to each glass.
So without further ado, here’s your guide to what’s sure to become your new favorite holiday cocktail recipe.
Holiday Spice and Citrus Cocktail
Makes 2 drinks
4 oz. vodka (We like Tito's Handmade Vodka.)
⅔ cup fresh-squeezed clementine, blood orange, or Sumo mandarin
2 cans spicy ginger beer (Fever Tree is our go-to.)
Pomegranate seeds for layering and topping
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, thyme or mint
- Fill each glass with ice.
- Add 2 oz. vodka, 0.5 oz. ST-GERMAIN Elderflower Liqueur, and ⅓ cup fresh-squeezed citrus juice to each glass.
- Fill the rest of each glass with ginger beer. (You might have a bit leftover to make "mocktails" the kids.)
- Garnish with a thin slice of orange, pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs.