When you think of holiday cocktails, many people probably think of Christmas— but today, we’re all about Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the Jewish holiday celebrating Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
Hanukkah is an 8-day celebration– sometimes called the festival of lights– and involves a lot of traditions and yummy food.
To get you in the holiday spirit, we’ve prepared a festive menu of eight delicious cocktails, one for each night of Hanukkah. Below are 8 Hanukkah-themed cocktails that embrace a different pillar or tradition.
Since light represents a beacon of hope during Hanukkah, and one candle of the menorah is lit each night, we have a champagne cocktail to represent the shining light that comes from the candles.
Champagne Cocktail Ingredients:
Build the cocktail in a shaker tin – except champagne – and add ice. Give a very light shake (2 secs), strain into a champagne flute, and top with the champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist and a slice of pear.
Over the years, it’s become tradition to play dreidel with chocolate coins rather than real coins, so we’re honoring chocolate gelt with this chocolate cocktail recipe– it also includes raspberry, which would pair well with jelly donuts (a fun food tradition for Hanukkah).
Chocolate Raspberry Martini Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vanilla Infused Vodka
3/4 oz Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1/4 oz Raspberry Syrup
2 dashes of Vanilla Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin, add ice, and shake well for 10secs. Strain into Martini or coupe glass. Garnish by sprinkling cocoa nibs or chocolate shavings and crushed dried raspberry on top. If you really want to be overt and pair this with donuts, add a powdered sugar rim prior to pouring the cocktail into the prepared glass.
This cocktail recipe references the color blue, as the colors blue and white have become the official colors of Hanukkah in recent years– perhaps because of the traditional prayer shawl or various references to blue in the Old Testament.
Sapphire Martini Ingredients:
1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for 5-7 secs. Strain into a rocks glass with a “diamond cut” large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This next mixed drink also represents lighting the candles– use the smoked rosemary as a little cocktail metaphor, if you will.
Smoked Rosemary Cocktail Ingredients:
Torch rosemary until smoking, and flip a rocks glass over it, trapping the smoke. Build all other ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until mixed and chilled. Flip over the rosemary-smoked glass, add a large cube, and strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with expressed lemon zest and the torched rosemary sprig.
A spin on one of the most classic cocktails there is, this Martini recipe includes olive oil as a reference to the oil traditionally used to light the candles of a menorah.
Olive Oil Martini Ingredients:
Combine all ingredients (except basil leaf) into a shaker tin, and dry shake (without ice) vigorously for about 10-15secs. Add ice and basil leaf, shaking vigorously again for another 10-15secs. Double strain into Martini glass, and garnish with zested lemon.
While Hanukkah does not actually use wine in any of its specific traditions, many Jewish festivals include wine, so it’s common enough for this cocktail not to be too out of place. Plus, a spiced cocktail is just the thing to go with warm winter foods.
Spiced Cocktail Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Armagnac
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Goldschlager
1/4 oz Vanilla Liqueur
2 dashes of Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, and stir until mixed and chilled (about 10-15secs). Strain into a Nick & Nora glass or wine glass. Garnish with an Armagnac-soaked cinnamon stick, and then light on fire. (Hopefully, it’ll stay lit!)
One of the more inspired cocktails on our list, this spin (no pun intended) on a sour cocktail is the perfect drink to represent a spinning Dreidel because of its swirl of ingredients.
Swirl Cocktail Ingredients:
1oz Lemon Juice
1/2oz Simple Syrup
3/4 Egg White
Swirl the blueberry syrup along a Martini glass – Start from the bottom and slowly apply the syrup, and twirl the glass while pulling out towards the top. Combine all remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin and dry shake (without ice) for 10-15secs. Add ice, and shake again for another 10-15secs. Double strain into the blueberry-swirled Martini glass. Garnish with three fresh blueberries and expressed lemon oils across the top.
It’s traditional to serve latkes– potato pancakes– with apple sauce and sour cream, so we thought the apple flavors of this drink would pair perfectly with this traditional food.
Notice that we’ve suggested a particular type of vodka so that you could even eat your pancake with potato vodka– very on theme here! This is perfect for your signature cocktail any night of Hanukkah, pairing deliciously with classic potato latkes.
Apple Vodka Cocktail Ingredients:
1 oz Potato Vodka
1 oz Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
1 oz Apple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes of Cinnamon Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin, add ice, and shake for 5-7secs. Strain into a Collins cocktail glass with fresh ice cubes. Garnish with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.
We hope these festive cocktails help make your Hanukkah celebration even more magical this year. Leave us a comment and let us know which is your favorite for this holiday season!