Mistletoe & Wine

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Cocktail History

The Mistletoe & Wine is a Sips From Scripts original cocktail that was created for a Secret Santa challenge. For this year’s round, we were told to create a recipe that was inspired by the Christmas song of our choice. We went with “Mistletoe & Wine” by Cliff Richard as a nod to our Secret Santa’s profession of sommelier in Louisville, Kentucky and decided to pair a whiskey and dark red port wine base with maple, Amaro Braulio, and nutty bitters in a creamy dessert drink template.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Half & Half: This is a dairy product made with equal parts milk and cream. We used Prairie Farm Half & Half.

Bourbon: This is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn, grains, malted barley, and water. We used Knob Creek 9 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon because it’s rich and full bodied with notes of smooth vanilla and caramel. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Ruby Port: This is a fortified wine made in Portugal with a blend of red grapes. We used Sandeman Fine Ruby Porto because it has a full-bodied flavor with notes of fruit, chocolate, and spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice mixed with lime zest in place of the wine.

Maple Syrup: This is a syrup made with the sap from maple trees. We used a local maple syrup.

Amaro Braulio: This is a liqueur made in Italy with bitter orange, herbs, botanicals, and florals. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Dr. Zero Zero ArmarNo Non-Alcoholic Amaro in place of the amaro.

Black Walnut Bitters: This is a food product made with black walnuts, botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Fee Brothers Bitters Black Walnut Bitters.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Grater: This is used to grate spices or citrus peel. We used the OXO Good Grips Grater.

Tasting Notes

The Mistletoe & Wine begins with aromas of nutmeg and port and has a smooth, thick mouthfeel that features sweet cream, maple, and sharp port flavors with a finish that combines maple, bourbon, and wine, all with a unique herbal menthol aftertaste. 

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were both as keen on the drink as we were the the catchy Christmas song that inspired it. Its unique herbal complexity is only slightly challenging to the palate and is a perfect pairing for the sweetness of the other ingredients. We’ll be making the Mistletoe & Wine again come the holidays!

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Given our Secret Santa’s profession, I knew wine had to be a component of this drink, so I did a Google search for ‘Christmas songs with wine’ and came across Cliff Richard’s hit. After several iterations, I decided that a dessert drink mixed with ruby port would be a winner. The bourbon also provides a slightly spicy and malty body, while the Amaro Braulio steals the show with its herbal blend and menthol flavor. The recipe, while sweet, is on the ‘serious’ side, featuring a mixture of flavors we both loved.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I really had no idea what to expect of a whiskey, port wine, and herbal amaro combination for a Christmas cocktail, but I can honestly say this drink is a creamy and complex delight. The wine’s flavor is nicely rounded out by a nuttiness thanks to the bitters and garnish, there’s a twinge of amaro on the tongue, and the bourbon is masked far more than I thought it would be. It all works together really well, and I think Alex knocked this interpretation out of the park flavor-wise. Yummy!”

Recipe

AuthorSips From Scripts

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Half & Half
 1 ½ oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Ruby Port
 ½ oz Maple Syrup
 ¼ oz Amaro Braulio
 1 dash Black Walnut Bitters
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Add half & half, bourbon, wine, maple syrup, amaro, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into an Irish coffee mug.

4

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Half & Half
 1 ½ oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Ruby Port
 ½ oz Maple Syrup
 ¼ oz Amaro Braulio
 1 dash Black Walnut Bitters
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Add half & half, bourbon, wine, maple syrup, amaro, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into an Irish coffee mug.

4

Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Mistletoe & Wine

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey, R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice mixed with lime zest in place of the wine, and Dr. Zero Zero ArmarNo Non-Alcoholic Amaro in place of the amaro to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

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SET of 4, Libbey 8054 6 oz. Georgian Irish Coffee Glass w/Signature Party Picks
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NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
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More Christmas Cocktails

If you like this Christmas-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

The Little Donkey Cocktail Recipe

The Little Donkey: A vodka cocktail made with gingerbread syrup, lime juice, ginger beer, and a cinnamon stick

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, a mint sprig, and cranberries

Poinsettia Cooler Cocktail Recipe

Poinsettia Cooler: A tequila cocktail made with cranberry juice, cranberry shrub, lime juice, and cranberries

Kohler Mint Cocoa Cocktail Recipe

Kohler Mint Cocoa: A chocolate mint brandy cocktail made with milk, white peppermint schnapps, dark crème de cacao, cocoa powder, whipped cream, and grated chocolate

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-04-25.

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