It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we are celebrating with glasses in hand. This month we host our second annual Toast of the Coast craft cocktail competition. The Chris Thomas Band will be rocking the party with music, great food and 15 of the most talented mixologists in town will be filling guests’ glasses with the best drinks our craft cocktail scene has to offer. We asked all of our competitors to create a special holiday cocktail for this issue of First Coast Magazine, so you can sip a local signature drink and be merry this season. Be sure next time you are visiting one of their fine establishments to let them know if you enjoyed one of their recipes. Every artist loves to hear praise for their work. Cheers to good tidings and joy!  


Black Sheep Restaurant

Austin Reinhard blacksheep   Miracle on Oak Street 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1 1/4 ounces holiday spice syrup (see below) 1/2 ounce Marlin and Barrel Orangecello 20 drops Dr. Reinhard’s chocolate bitters Directions:  Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with candied orange peel and fresh mint sprigs. Holiday Spice Syrup 2 cups water and white sugar 7 cinnamon sticks 1 teaspoon allspice (crushed) 1/2 teaspoon cloves 10 star anise pods (crushed) 5 cardamom pods (crushed) 1 orange peel Directions: Combine all ingredients into a pot, heat on high until boiling. Turn down your burner to low heat and let simmer for 25 minutes. Set pot aside then strain out orange peel and let sit on a paper towel. When syrup is cooled strain into a storage container. Use candied orange peel as garnish.


Damiana Elixirs & Love Potions

Martín Tummino damianaelixirs   Christmas Treasure 1 ounce Absolut Elyx Vodka 3/4 ounce coffee expresso liqueur 1/4 ounce guayabita (Allspice Dram) 1 1/2 ounces spiced milk (see below) 1/2 ounce heavy cream (optional) 3/4 ounce simple syrup Chocolate bitters Directions: Add all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cognac snifter. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder on top and enjoy. Spiced Milk 1 liter of fresh whole milk 1 cinnamon stick 2 cloves 4 grains of guayabita (Allspice Dram) 2 star anise Directions: Place 1 liter of fresh whole milk in a jar. Add to it, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 4 grains of Allspice Dram, 2 star anise. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours. After a day, strain the milk from the spices. Your spiced milk is ready for use.


Dos Gatos

Casey Shelton  dosgatos   Le Pomme Et Le Poir (the apple and the pear) 1 ounce Absolut Elyx Vodka 1 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup 1 tablespoon pear preserves 1/2 ounce Gran Gala (Orange Cognac Cordial) Champagne float Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a shaker except the champagne. Shake and strain. Float a splash of champagne on top. Garnish with lemon and cherry.


Grape & Grain Exchange

Kira Fisher  grapegrain   Hail Mary 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1/2 ounce pomegranate juice 1/2 ounce honey 1/4 ounce lemon juice 1/4 ounce Amaro di Angostura Apple slice garnish Directions: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Serve over ice.


HOBNOB Food + Social Exchange

Marlon Hall hobnob   The Snow Globe 1 ounce Absolut Elyx Vodka 1 ounce Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy 1 ounce Cherry Heering Liqueur 1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur 1/2 ounce lime juice apple, thinly sliced cherries powdered sugar Directions: Combine all ingredients into shaker. Shake and pour over snow cone style ice in julep cup. Garnish with apples, cherries and powdered sugar.


Mojo No. 4 Urban BBQ Whiskey Bar

Sommer Wood  mojono4   Santa Woke Up In Mexico 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur 1/4 ounce Cointreau Orange Liqueur 5 1/2 ounces hot coffee (Preferred: Café Bustelo) 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate chips (Preferred: Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate) Chartreuse whipped cream (see below) 1 orange wheel fan Pinch of cayenne pepper Directions: Build drink in a 10 ounce Irish coffee mug. Add hot coffee and chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts. Add all alcohol and stir to combine ingredients. Garnish by topping with Chartreuse whipped cream, add orange wheel fan and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Chartreuse Whipped Cream 8 ounces heavy whipping cream 8 ounces powdered sugar 1 ounce vanilla extract 3/4 ounce Chartreuse Liqueur 2 to 3 drops green food coloring Directions: Beat all ingredients until cream peaks. Put in freezer for 20 minutes. Take out of freezer and fold in until cream rises. Refrigerate to store. (Non-dairy substitute: 8 ounce Cool Whip, 3/4 ounce Chartreuse Liqueur, 2 to 3 drops green food coloring, beat until peaks. Refrigerate to store.)


Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails

Johnny Schaefer  moxiekitchen   Winter Long 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1/2 ounce Thatcher’s Elderflower Liqueur 1/2 ounce lime juice 1/4 ounce simple syrup 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish Thinly sliced lime wheel for garnish. Directions: Muddle pomegranate seeds with lime juice and simple syrup. Add Absolut Elyx Vodka and Thatcher’s Elderflower Liqueur. Shake with ice and double strain into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and a thinly sliced lime wheel.


Odd Birds Bar

Josue Romero  oddbirds   Noel’s Addiction 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1/2 ounce Becherovka 3/4 ounce lemon juice 3/4 ounce Velvet Falernum 1/2 ounce Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur Directions: Combine all ingredients into shaker. Strain and serve.


Restaurant Orsay

Emily Everson  orsay   Mercury in Retrograde 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka Barspoon of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram 1/4 ounce Velvet Falernum 1/4 ounce Orgeat syrup 1/2 ounce blackberry syrup (see below) 1/2 ounce orange juice 1/2 ounce lime juice 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters Grated dark chocolate Stick of lemon grass or mint Directions: Shake and serve in a Collins glass with crushed ice. Garnish with 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters, freshly grated dark chocolate and a stick of lemon grass or mint. Blackberry Syrup 1 cup blackberries 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar Directions: Boil together 15 minutes in sauce pot then fine strain.



Atom Wackrow  ovinte   Cold Night and Warm Friends  1 ounce Absolut Elyx 1/2 ounce holiday syrup (see below) 1/2 ounce yuzu citrus blend 2 dashes Angostura bitters 1/2 ounce sherry Hot water Star anise Lemon peel Directions: Place all the ingredients in a coffee mug. Add hot water. Stir. Garnish with star anise and lemon peel. Holiday Syrup 1 cup of brown sugar 1 cup of water 40 juniper berries 3 whole cloves 2 sticks of cinnamon 3 star anise Grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions: Place all ingredients into a pot. Cook on medium until sugar has thoroughly dissolved for at least 10 minutes. Strain and chill.


Rue Saint-Marc

Gabrielle Saul ruesaint   Visions of Sugar Plums 1 ounce Absolut Elyx Vodka 1 ounce Choya Umeshu Plum Wine 3/4 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce hibiscus syrup (see below) 1/2 ounce pineapple juice 1 egg white 1 fresh prune (or plum) Angostura Bitters Edible Flowers or Dried Plum Chip Directions: Cut the prune off of the seed and place the fruit in the bottom of a shaker tin. Add all ingredients except for your egg white. Muddle the fruit in the liquid and then add your egg white. Dry shake your ingredients. This means without ice, in order to emulsify the egg white. Then add ice and shake hard. Double strain with a fine mesh strainer in order to catch any small ice particles. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura bitters, edible flowers or even a dried plum chip! Hibiscus Syrup Dried hibiscus leaves Sugar Water Directions: Measure approximately 2 parts water to 1 part dried hibiscus flowers. Bring flowers and water to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the flowers out. Measure your hibiscus tea and add equal parts sugar to tea and whisk together until sugar is completely dissolved. Put the flowers back in the syrup and let it sit in the cooler overnight so the color is really extracted. Then strain and discard flowers. Syrup will keep for 1 month if refrigerated in an air tight container.



Kurt Rogers sidecar   Catch Me If You Can 2 ounces ginger snap infused Absolut Elyx Vodka (see below) 1/2 ounce Calvados Brandy (French Apple Brandy) 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice 1/2 ounce brown sugar syrup (see below) 1/4 ounce Bénédictine Liqueur 1/4 ounce Cardamaro Amaro 10 drops Jack Rudy aromatic bitters 1 heavy dash Angostura bitters Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing tin with ice and shake. Double strain into a coupe glass and expel the oil from one lemon peel over the top of the cocktail. Discard the lemon peel. Brown Sugar Syrup: 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup boiling water Directions: Combine ingredients in small saucepot. Bring to boil, while stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and stir until sugar has melted. Ginger Snap Vodka: 4 cups of crushed ginger snap cookies 1 bottle of Absolut Elyx Vodka Directions: Combine all ingredients in to an air-tight container and let infuse for a few hours up to one day. Agitate every few hours. Strain through cheese cloth and bottle.



Joshua Kessler tacolu   Holiday Bliss Smoked Citrus 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 1 1/2 ounces charred rosemary blood orange shrub (see below) 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1 ounce agave syrup 1/2 ounce Los Amantes Joven Mezcal float Directions: Combine all ingredients in shaker. Strain and pour over ice. Charred Rosemary Blood Orange Shrub: 4 blood oranges 1 cup demerara sugar 1 cup apple cider vinegar 3 stalks charred rosemary Directions: Peel and quarter oranges, peeling skin from pith. Discard pith and keep oranges and peels. Hold rosemary 5 to 6 inches above a flame until it starts to char and becomes aromatic. Be careful not to let it burn. Let stalks cool and remove leaves. Discard stalks. Combine oranges, peels, rosemary and sugar in a container and let settle for 24 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once rested, stir in the apple cider vinegar and let settle for 12 to 24 hours. Strain and store in a glass container and refrigerate until ready for use.



Audrey Ancelin taverna   Spicy Hot Stocking 1 ounce of Absolut Elyx Vodka 1/4 ounce of Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur 1/4 ounce of Bauchant Orange Liqueur 1/2 ounce of vanilla simple syrup (see below) 4 ounces of drip coffee Garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon and orange zest Directions: Measure out Absolut Elyx Vodka, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Bauchant Orange Liqueur and vanilla simple syrup into a coffee mug. Stir. Top with coffee and garnish. Vanilla Simple Syrup: 1 cup of purified water 1 cup of granulated sugar 1 whole vanilla bean Directions: Bring sugar and water to a boil, and then scrape out the black seeds from the vanilla bean into the liquid mixture. Bring the resulting mixture to a boil at medium high heat for 10 minutes, and then cool in an ice bath. Can be used for up to a week.


The Volstead

Matt Williams volstead   Ruby Red 2 ounces Absolut Elyx Vodka 3/4 ounce honey ginger simple syrup (see below) 1 ounce cranberry juice 5 sage leaves 1 lemon slice Directions: Muddle 4 sage leaves with lemon slice in a shaker or pint glass. Add all liquid ingredients to shaker/glass. Add ice and shake. Strain into a coupe glass and float a sage leaf for garnish. Honey Ginger Simple Syrup: 2 cups of water 4 ounces of ginger root, peeled and chopped 1 cup of sugar 4 ounces of honey Directions: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 4 ounces of peeled and chopped ginger root. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out the ginger root. Add 1 cup of sugar and 4 ounces of honey. Stir and let cool.