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Making Spirits Bright

Wrapping your fingers around one of these holiday cocktails will remind you why cold weather and the stressful holidays can be wonderful.

Article
John Tranchina
Photos
Valerie Grant
Posted
November 29, 2017

With the weather getting colder outside, some might opt for a hot chocolate for relief, but how about adding some alcohol? There’s something cheery about walking into a room or bar and being greeted by the heady aroma of mulled wine gently stewing with cinnamon sticks. The festive goodwill it fosters is second-to-none.

We consulted the fine folks at MixCo in downtown Tulsa (the corner of 3rd and Denver, across the street from the BOK Center) and came up with a list of special holiday drinks that are both warm and festive, perfect for those cold winter nights on the way.

MixCo utilizes a lot of their own inhouse blends and spices, including their housemade cinnamon whiskey that they call The Spice. (That name, by the way, as well as two of the drinks below, pay homage to the old sci-fi book and movie, Dune.)

“As a group, these are kind of all classic hot cocktails,” says MixCo general manager Matt Land. “Even the cold stuff is very warming. Haute Buttered Rum, Hot Toddy, the Frio Papa Francis is a mulled wine, the Fremen Flip is basically like an egg nog — they’re all kind of classic wintertime cocktails — but we just kind of want to put our little twist on them, make them our own. We like to use a lot of housemade ingredients; that’s one of our focuses.”

Stop by MixCo to sample any of these drinks, as well as many others, or feel free to try to make them on your own using the recipes below.

“We always have new ones coming out,” Land says. “We’re working on one right now with apple butter, a homemade apple butter cocktail. Then we’re working on some new coffee drinks, to incorporate into our menu.”

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Modern Miracle
“It’s just a super-easy drink and a wintertime spice drink, not your pumpkin spice latte, but it’s pretty damn close,” says Land, who won an award last year at the Giving Spirits competition with this drink. “Irish whiskey, a lot of fruit, lot of vanilla, and pair that with a pear-ginger syrup that’s got a little bit of spice to it.”

INGREDIENTS:
2 oz. Irish whiskey
0.75 oz. pear-ginger syrup
0.5 oz. lemon juice
2 dashes angostura bitters
Flamed cinnamon tincture

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake, and dump into a rocks glass.

2. Garnish with a flamed tincture.

Modern Miracle (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Modern Miracle (Photo: Valerie Grant)

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MixCo Hot Toddy
“Hot toddies can be any booze,” Land says. “This one is kind of an older recipe, it doesn’t have tea in it. We use cognac as a base instead of whiskey. It’s really just a simple hot toddy, but we think the use of brandy and then our homemade cinnamon whiskey really kind of puts this on a different level than most people’s. And it’s one that’s a lot easier to make at home for people. It’s one of the least complex of the ones on this list.”

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 oz. cognac
0.5 oz. The Spice
0.5 oz. honey syrup
0.5 oz. lemon juice
1 clove-studded lemon wheel

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat cognac, The Spice, honey syrup, and lemon juice in saucepan and stir until combined.

2. Add mixture to pre-warmed toddy glass or coffee mug and top with hot water.

3. Float clove-studded lemon wheel.

MixCo Hot Toddy (Photo: Valerie Grant)
MixCo Hot Toddy (Photo: Valerie Grant)

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Frio Papa Francis
“This is a fun one. It’s basically our version of a mulled wine,” Land says. “The mulled wine syrup is reduced cabernet sauvignon and reduced Malbec, with all your mulling spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, all kinds of other stuff. And Jerry Thomas is a super clove-forward bitter with a lot of basic spices as well. This one is a little bit different, because usually we would shake any citrus juice in a cocktail. This is stirred to give it that mulled wine texture but still getting all those flavors in there.”

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz. cognac
1 oz. heavy red wine such as a cabernet sauvignon
0.5 oz. orange juice
0.5 oz. mulled wine syrup
2 dashes Jerry Thomas Bitters
Orange twist

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients in mixing glass, add ice, and stir.

2. Strain into chilled cocktail glass, express orange twist.

Frio Papa Francis (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Frio Papa Francis (Photo: Valerie Grant)

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Fremen Flip
“Egg nog is super popular; it’s really hit or miss at most places,” Land says of this drink named after characters in Dune. “A flip is a cocktail with a whole egg in it. Cognac, The Spice, Cardamaro is a type of amaro, but it’s wine-based, so it gives it that kind of open, earthy, almost-aged feel. And that pinch of salt is super important to bring out all those flavors. We tend to put salt in just about all of our shaken drinks, just to make everything pop a little bit.”

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz. cognac
0.75 oz. The Spice
0.5 oz. Cardamaro
1 whole egg
Pinch of salt
4 drops Jerry Thomas Bitters
Fresh nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake without ice.

2. Add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

3. Drop Jerry Thomas Bitters on top of the cocktail and grate fresh nutmeg on top.

Fremen Flip(Photo: Valerie Grant)
Fremen Flip (Photo: Valerie Grant)

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Alpine Nights
“Dolin Genepy is an old-school acure from the Alps region,” Land says. “They used to drink it with hot chocolate to reduce blood pressure and thin blood out a little bit when you got done with the day. So we took that idea, played with it a little bit, and made it our own. It’s kind of like a boozy take on the hot chocolate. So the Dolin Genepy’s got a lot of mint to it, and a lot of herbaceousness. The Rye whiskey adds some cinnamon notes and some spice notes. The housemade marshmallows are flavored with angostura bitters, just a little something extra on top.”

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz. Dolin Genepy
0.5 oz. Rye whiskey
0.5 oz. Punt e Mes Vermouth
3 oz. housemade cocoa mix
Housemade angostura bitters
marshmallows

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat all ingredients in saucepan and stir until combined.

2. Add mixture to pre-warmed toddy glass or coffee mug and garnish with a couple housemade Angostura marshmallows.

Alpine Nights (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Alpine Nights (Photo: Valerie Grant)

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Haute Buttered Run
“The compound butter is homemade,” Land says. “Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar. We like to use Black Strap Rum, which is basically a super earthy vanilla, caramel molasses rum, kind of in-your-face, over-the-top rum. The same thing with the Jamaican Pot Still rum. Super flavorful, lot of punch, a lot of funk, lot of ester, so it’s a lot of fruit notes. It really gives it a complexity that’s lacking in most hot buttered rums. And a lot of really fun dark cherry notes to go with the molasses and the butter.”

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 oz. Black Strap Rum
0.5 oz. Jamaican Pot Still Rum
1 tbsp. compound butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat rum and butter in saucepan and whisk until thoroughly combined.

2. Add mixture to pre-warmed toddy glass or coffee mug and top with hot water.

3. Express from orange twist and discard.

Haute Buttered Rum(Photo: Valerie Grant)

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Atreides Mule
“Atreides Mule is the first cocktail we did with The Spice,” says Land of the drink that also won a Giving Spirits award. “It’s an ounce and a half of Spice, and then it’s just kind of a classic play of that cinnamon-pineapple-lime pairing that is just amazing any way you put it together. It’s a little pineapple juice, lime juice, and then ginger beer. Super simple, but we love it. It’s still one of our best-sellers for a long time.”

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 oz. The Spice
0.25 oz. pineapple juice
0.5 oz. lime juice
2.5 oz. housemade ginger beer

DIRECTIONS:
1. Build in a copper mug.

Atreides Mule (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Atreides Mule (Photo: Valerie Grant)

LOCATOR
MixCo
3rd and Denver | Tulsa
918-932-8571
mixcotulsa.com
Monday-Saturday: 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
Kitchen is open until midnight