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12 Days of Cocktails: Day 1

Posted on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016



For our first recipe, we decided to kick it old school, and by old school, I mean 4 years ago. This recipe was on the opening cocktail list at Metropole and has become a guest and employee favorite. I remember when I first started making cocktails at Metropole we were encouraged to find inspiration in classic cocktails, in seasonal ingredients and in the menu developed by the amazing kitchen staff. The process in which we made cocktails was so collaborative, fun and really drove us to be creative. It was in this spirit that The Don and Dirty was born. Created by one of the original bartenders, a Mr. Jon Colasurd, this cocktails draws its roots from the classic Old Fashioned. There are so many ways in which an Old Fashioned can be made. To create a revised version inspired by the season, we turn to the humble cranberry. This cocktail was created by searing cranberries on the plancha in our fireplace. A plancha is essentially a griddle made of cast iron. The sear on the cranberries brings out just enough sweetness without losing the beautiful tartness of fresh cranberries.

For those of you screaming, “Now I have to buy a plancha?!?” no worries, we’ve adapted the recipe so that you can use what you have at home. Now put that sharpened candy cane down and take 5.


GLASSWARE: rocks glass or tumbler

2 oz Old Grand Dad

6 roasted cranberries

1 orange slice

½ oz simple syrup

2 dashes angostura bitters

METHOD: Muddle cranberries, orange slice and simple syrup in a shaker tin. Add bourbon, and bitters, add ice and shake well. Pour all contents into glass. Sip and enjoy.

ROASTED CRANBERRIES: You can sear these in a normal cast iron pan or place them in the oven at 400 degrees lightly tossed in oil for 15 minutes or until slightly charred. Store in an airtight container in your fridge.

PARTY TIP: You can pre batch this cocktail into a punch by building this in a punch bowl. Just slightly muddle the fruit and then whisk together the rest of the ingredients with ice. This is also a great welcome cocktail for a dinner party. Pre-portion in individual glass without ice and rather than muddling each drink to order just place in a shaker tin with ice and shake very well and it will still break down the fruit as if you muddle it. Make it a game and make your guests shake their cocktails to their favorite NSYNC Christmas song. That’s not you being a lazy host, that’s you being a FUN host. See what I did there?

WITH A TWIST: You can certainly swap the bourbon out other spirits like gin or rye. This would make an excellent alternative for vodka drinkers who have the Cosmopolitan blahs. You can also use an herb simple syrup like sage or rosemary to add a savory dimension to the cocktail. Just make a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) and once the sugar has dissolved and the water comes up to a boil, turn the heat off and steep your herbs for 20 minutes.

LIKE A VIRGIN: You can make a fun non-alcoholic version of this by adding it to blood orange soda or cream soda.

I’m so thrilled to share 11 more days of recipes and tips and I hope you are inspired by these cocktails. Cheers to you and yours!

Your neighborhood bar geek,

Catherine Manabat