The holidays are here, and with them, the time to gather and be festive. This includes no shortage of flavorful adult beverages to celebrate holiday cheer. Local bars and restaurants will be changing up their drink menus, and a few are even able to disclose a few details about the secret cocktails intended just for the holiday season.
Domu at East End Market
At Domu at East End Market, bartenders definitely have plans ready. If the forthcoming menus are anything like the previous ones – which included Earl Grey infused gin, bergamot liqueur, cardamom flavored bitters and other flavors described as “herbaceous” and “refreshing cordial spice”— then their winter menu is sure to deliver. Diners can look forward to trending drink types with lower ABVs and flavors like caramel, rosemary and even butterbeer. As Domu boasts some of the finest selection of craft spirits available, the winter menu will surely be sophisticated as well as tasty. The restaurant will be open during regular hours for the holiday season with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Santiago’s Bodega on Virginia Drive makes a point of offering regular seasonal cocktails, and this year’s Christmas cocktails will surely manifest as deliciously garnished martinis. Peppermint and ginger flavored liqueurs will very likely be used to create holiday-themed drinks, certain to be cheerful as well as imbibing. Santiago’s Bodega will be open on Christmas Eve, offering their normal a la carte menu of hot and cold tapas, as well as specials for happy hour that will no doubt include the festive libations.
For post-dinner drinks, look no further than The Matador, located right next door to Santiago’s Bodega on Virginia Drive. Bartenders at this Orlando institution spoke the most openly about their holiday drink menu plans and had the most inventive options. A Negroni type drink using allspice as a garnish is in the works, and The Matador’s Seasonal Collins – including vodka or gin, rotating flavored syrups and lemon soda – is a perfect backdrop drink upon which to vary holiday flavors. Bartenders also mentioned that they planned to include several aromatic ingredients, including rosemary and cranberry bitters to make holiday libations more traditionally flavored.
A deliciously festive Christmas-in-Florida cocktail includes lemon and orange juice, cinnamon infused rum, pear infused liquor and star anise among other ingredients. The cinnamon infused rum gives the drink both holiday and tropical vibes, and the pear infused liquor gives a candied dessert feel that reminds one of sugary treats. The Matador notes that with so many talented bartenders in the College Park, Winter Park and Mills / 50 area, there are sure to be plenty of holiday drink creations for the spirited season ahead. The Matador is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.