10 holiday cocktails to sip at metro Atlanta bars and restaurants

‘Tis the season for festive cocktails

From playful twists with seasonal accents to winter spiced classics, Atlanta area barkeeps spread extra cheer with cocktails made especially for the holidays.

Yippee Kai A5 at Lazy Betty

“The inspiration for Lazy Betty’s Yippee Kai A5 is a crackling fire during the holidays,” said bar manager Conrad Helms. He makes bourbon more luxurious by fat-washing it with the highest-grade beef in the world, A5 Miyazaki Ribeye. Amaro adds nuance and depth, while white port brings the fruit and citrus composition, and allspice bitters bring baking spices. After stirring and garnishing with candied chestnuts and a cinnamon stick, the drink is smoked under a dome with cedar and cherrywood.

1530 DeKalb Ave. NE, Atlanta; 404-975-3692, lazybettyatl.com.

ExploreMore than 10 holiday pop-up bars to check out around metro Atlanta

Credit: JOSE PEREIRO

Credit: JOSE PEREIRO

Hot Hot Hot Chocolate at Storico Vino

Hot Hot Hot Chocolate at Storico Vino takes inspiration from one of Santa’s favorites with a combination of tequila, cacao and vanilla whipped cream. Beverage director Jose Pereiro adds a touch of Italian flavor with Nutella and extra heat from cayenne pepper for a little Christmas in Italy in the cutest Santa mug. It pairs well with the restaurant’s holiday Panettone Mascarpone.

3065 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-806-0050, storicovino.com.

ExploreMetro Atlanta cocktail news

Credit: handout

Credit: handout

He’s Got a Little Bit of Mississippi Leg Hound in Him at the Third Door

Church Street Vacation is one of the most fun holiday pop-ups around town, held a little bit inside, a little outside and with a whole lot of nostalgic fun at the Third Door on Marietta Square. If the mood catches you right, head over and sip on He’s Got a Little Bit of Mississippi Leg Hound in him. It’s a strong one with a split base of gin and Scotch rounded out by honey, lemon, barrel-aged maple syrup and walnut bitters. The Griswolds would approve.

131 Church St., Marietta. 470-361-0370, thethirddoor.net.

ExploreNine gift ideas for the cocktail enthusiast

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Malmö Cocktail at Kimball House

The Malmö drinks like a Scandinavian-inspired version of a Manhattan. Kimball House’s Miles Macquarrie stirs in Himbeergeist along with rye, aquavit, Bonal aperitif and garden juniper tincture to evoke the beauty of winter. Unlike pure raspberry eau de vie (fermented fruit mash distilled into brandy), Himbeergeist is made by macerating raspberries with a neutral spirit and distilling to capture the fruit’s essence in taste and aroma. A sprig of juniper adds forest flair.

303 E. Howard Ave., Decatur. 404-378-3502, kimball-house.com.

ExploreRECIPES: Make-ahead freezer cocktails for your holiday party

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Son of a Nutcracker from S.O.S. Tiki Bar

Until the end of the year, S.O.S. Tiki Bar transforms into Tiki Holiday, replete with ugly sweaters, a shot train that runs along the bar and a lot of mele kalikimaka. It’s total tiki-tinsel immersion with pleasers like Son of a Nutcracker, a riff on the classic Pearl Diver with Jamaican rum, coconut, orange, lime and a spiced honey cordial.

340 Church St., Decatur. 404-377-9308, sostiki.com.

ExploreTurn cranberries into tasty cocktails

Credit: Josh Swinney

Credit: Josh Swinney

A Southern Holiday at Oreatha’s at the Point

Inspired by her fondness for classic Christmas turtles, Oreatha’s at the Point beverage director Kursten Berry reimagined the caramel candies as a cocktail. The drink combines Woodford Reserve Bourbon, caramel turtle whiskey, Barrel Aged Nocino (walnut liqueur) and chicory pecan bitters. It’s spirit-forward but fun, and chock-full of roasted notes with an edible flower garnish.

2287 Cascade Road, Atlanta; 404-228-4852, oreathasatthepoint.com.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Yuletide Treasure at Nick’s Westside

It’s only fitting that the bar side of Nick’s Westside would transform into Nick’s House of Holiday Cheer for the season. The treasure in bartender Tristan Armstrong’s Yuletide Treasure comes from a meld of local ingredients that fills the effervescent cocktail with holiday zing. It has a base of cranberry-infused vodka, chef’s garden rosemary and a house-made Fuji apple spice syrup which is then shaken with lemon juice, poured over ice and topped with ginger beer.

956 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta. 770-838-3501, nickswestsideatl.com.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Warm Ways at Lyla Lila

Perhaps there should be a carol called “Warm Ways.” With a split base of mezcal and cognac, Lyla Lila’s drink puts you into the feeling of its moniker. Beverage manager Ellen Steves brings all the spice with ginger, allspice dram and Centum Herbis, a bitter liqueur whose Latin name means “100 herbs.” Lemon and vanilla complete the drink’s balance.

693 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-963-2637, lylalilaatl.com.

Rosemary’s Night Out at South Main Kitchen

For a holiday spin on the classic French 75, head to downtown Alpharetta’s South Main Kitchen. Rosemary’s Night Out is a festive sparkler made with gin, house-made rosemary-cranberry syrup and a top-off of bubbly prosecco. It’s a stiff drink all dressed up in holiday sparkles.

9 Main St., Alpharetta. 678-691-4622, southmainkitchen.com.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Christmas Mimosa at 5Church

Merrily sip on a Christmas Mimosa at the Rooftop Holiday Bar at 5Church to jingle the night away. The mix of pomegranate liqueur, cranberry and Champagne is wonderfully bubbly with hints of evergreen from a fresh rosemary sprig. Its pink hue is accented by sugared cranberries.

1197 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-400-3669, midtown.5church-atlanta.com.

ExploreThe ultimate guide to metro Atlanta food halls

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.