Stir up Some Holiday Cheer

02 Nov 2023

Holiday cocktails to make at home, from local bartenders

Photos by Aleece Sophia

Sip your way through the holidays with specialty cocktails provided by bartenders and beverage directors at Charleston’s finest establishments—we’ve included recipes for you to make at home or order while out on the town.

‘Duck’ The Halls

1.5oz Duck Elijah Craig Rye Whiskey (recipe below)

1 Bar Spoon of Cranberry Sauce (recipe below)

3-4 Dashes Peychaud's Bitters

1 Orange Slice

Garnish: 1 large Holiday Ice Cube

Glass: Rocks


Ingredients for Duck Fat & Sage Fat Washed Rye Whiskey

750 ML Bottle of Rye Whiskey (I used Elijah Craig Rye)

12oz Duck Fat

4 Fresh Large Sage Leaves



Add Duck Fat & Sage leaves to a medium saucepan

Put on Medium heat

It will start to bubble & pop when it’s ready (about 3-4 minutes)

Remove from heat

Let cool

Pour Rye Whiskey in a medium to large sized container ( don’t throw away your whiskey bottle)

Add Duck Fat & Sage to the Rye Whiskey

Put container in freezer, let freeze for 24 hours

You will see a layer of fat form at the top, this is what you want

Discard the layer of fat

You will need to double strain this, I prefer 2 coffee filters inside a fine mesh strainer

This part will take some time, be patient, it helps if you stir it up a little if its not straining

Once you’ve removed all fats, pour it back into your empty whiskey bottle

Store in fridge


Ingredients for House-Made Cranberry Sauce

24oz Frozen Cranberries

1 ½ Cups Of Granulated Sugar

1 Cup of freshly squeezed Orange Juice (from 3 large oranges)

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan

Put on Med/High heat

Bring to a boil, stirring often

You’ll know it’s done once the cranberries have popped open & the sugar has dissolved

Remove from heat

Let cool

Store in Fridge

Cocktail instructions

Add Orange slice to mixing glass

Add 3-4 dashes of Peychauds Bitters

Muddle the orange slice

Add Ice, Cranberry Sauce, & Whiskey to the mixing glass

Stir till chilled

Double Strain Over Large Ice Cube

At Bohemian Bull

1531 Folly Rd., James Island

& 2668 Hwy 17 N

Mt. Pleasant


Battle Star Galactica

2 oz Rittenhouse rye

.25 oz lemon juice

1 oz beet juice

.5 oz ginger simple syrup

At Bumpas's

5 Cumberland St.




Ya Filthy Animal

1.5 oz Four Roses Yellow Label

.75 oz Hennessy

.75 oz Charleston Sercial Madeira 

.75 oz Heavy Cream 

.75 oz Simple Syrup 

1 oz egg white 

Add all ingredients into a shaker tin, dry shake(using no ice) to froth egg, add ice and wet shake, double strain using mesh strainer into glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

At Frannie & The Fox and The Den

181 Church St.



“CBC” Charleston Bourbon &Cream

2oz Bulleit bourbon

2oz Charleston Distillery bourbon cream liqueur

Splash of Vanilla

Garnished with nutmeg rim and served up in a martini glass

At Muse

82 Society St.



Gold Dust  Espresso Martini

Coupe glass rim with 24K edible gold leaf flakes

4 oz Belvedere Vodka

3 oz Kaluha

3 oz Espresso (chilled)

Shaken with ice and pour into glass.

Garnished with 3 espresso beans, dusted in edible gold glitter

At Hotel Bennett

in Gabrielle Lounge and Camellias

404 King St.



Santa's Helper

1 oz Citadelle Gin

1 oz Yzaguirre blanco reserva vermouth 

1 oz P. Quiles vermouth rojo

1/4 oz Suze aperitif 

Stir all ingredients over ice in old fashion glass.  Garnish with fresh rosemary.

At Rappahannock Oyster Bar

701 East Bay St.

Suite 110



Christmas In The Islands

Cocktail Recipe

5 ounces homemade sorrel (prepared overnight) poured over ice in a tall glass. Topped with sparkling wine. Garnished with lime and additional holiday cheers.

Homemade Sorrel Drink

5 whole cloves

4-6 Allspice berries

1 Cinnamon Stick

1/2 Tablespoon grated nutmeg

2 oranges, juiced.

3 1/2  cups water

2 ounces ginger

24 ounces sugar 

3 ounces dried hibiscus tea

10 ounces light rum

3 1/2  ounces dark rum



1. Toast allspice, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large pot until fragrant. (about 60 seconds)

2. Add orange juice, sugar, water, and ginger to the pot.  Bring to a boil.

3. Add hibiscus tea to mixture and let sit overnight.

4. strain off all solids from the mixture.

5. Add rum and mix well before use.

At The Gin Joint

182 Easst Bay Street


Instagram @gin_joint


Santa’s Little Helper

2 oz Heaven’s Door Straight Bourbon

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

0.75 oz mulled wine syrup - made by reducing cabernet sauvignon with cinnamon, clove, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, orange peel, honey; and then folding it into a syrup.

At Benne's by Peninsula Grill

112 N Market St.


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