Eggnog, Peppermint & Schnapps: Holiday Cocktails in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | December 9, 2014
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Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Actually, as I write this, it’s a mild 46 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t particularly balmy, but not too bad for this time of year, either. However, we’re all Michiganders, and as such, we know that the snow is going to fall again soon, and it’s going to fall mightily.

When this happens, there are two things you can do: 1) hibernate, or 2) head out to the bar and drink until the snow stops! Holiday cocktails are great because there’s nothing better than the taste of a Christmas tree in a glass. Drinking with relatives is a great way to pass the time with them if you don’t get along, and it just makes going out for a night more festive! If you’re looking for some great holiday cocktails in the D, these are the places you’re going to want to head to in the following weeks:

The Lunch Room, 407 N. 5th Ave., Ann Arbor, may sound more like a school cafeteria than a place to grab a drink, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s actually a vegan establishment that prioritizes environmentally friendly products and practices, and the bar has over a dozen house cocktails on its menu.

While those are all great, what you really want to try is the Hot Cider & Rum spiked with Sailor Jerry Rum or Eggnog spiked with Snap, a gingersnap liqueur. Personally, I am not a fan of eggnog, but with the aforementioned addition, I am seriously reconsidering.

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336 Main, 336 S. Main St., Plymouth, is a great place to go if you’re ever looking for a wide variety of house cocktails. They’ve got a large selection of martinis, cocktails and drinks, including specialty winter and holiday concoctions.

Seasonal hot beverages include the Hot Scotch Hot Chocolate (with Butterscotch Schnapps) and Jacked Cider (Jack Daniels Winter Jack with Apple Cider), and cold drinks like the Apple Crush (Jameson, Apple Pucker, apple juice, fresh lime and a cinnamon stick) and Cinnamon Margarita (Cuervo Cinge, Triple Sec, orange juice and sour with a cinnamon sugar rim).

Ronin, 326 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, is known for its sushi rolls, but what is a good plate of spicy tuna if it isn’t paired with a top notch cocktail? While it may be difficult to stray from your usual Spicy Mango Margarita or Gin Cooler while you’re here, do so just this once.

The decision will be an easy one once you’re made aware of Ronin’s new warming winter cocktail: The Nutcracker is made with The Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky (which is aged for 12 years), Drambuie, black walnut bitters and clove. Be right back, making a reservation promptly.

Café Via, 310 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, is a European-style café with a full bar. Grab a couple small plates with a group of friends, order a few rounds of holiday-inspired cocktails and you’ll be feeling jolly in no time.

Spiced Apple Bourbon (apple-infused bourbon with brown butter syrup, pecan bitters and apple syrup), Pumpkin Rum (combined with RumChata, spiced simple syrup, ginger ale and candied ginger) and Winter Sangria (Café Via’s own Cabernet with apple, pear, pomegranate, tangerine and soda) are all great choices.

Karl’s Cabin, 6005 Gotfredson Rd., Plymouth, is a great place for dinner and drinks no matter the season, but I love heading here during the winter months specifically because of the “up north” cozy atmosphere the restaurant provides. There are plenty of craft beer and Michigan wine choices on the menu, but don’t forget about the cocktail selections.

The Salted Carmel Martini is made with Sobieski Caramel Vodka, butterscotch liqueur and Bailey’s, and is served with a salted caramel rim. So decadent it sounds like dessert in and of itself, but you can order it with your appetizer if you so wish. Black Cherry and Godiva Chocolate martinis are also on the drink menu.

Centaur Bar, 2233 Park Ave., Detroit, has a great selection of tapas and martinis, the latter of which do not disappoint when it comes to holiday flavors. Gingerbread, Peppermint and Ultimate Godiva are just a few that will surely make your tastebuds happy.

Further, your wallet will remain joyous (and a little bit more full) if you head to Centaur Bar between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., when happy hour is held daily. Martinis cost $5 (down from $9) and Sunday through Thursday, you’ll receive half off towers of any three different appetizers with your drink purchase. That’s a sweet deal for the holidays, ‘eh?

Hot or cold, eggnog or peppermint, holiday drinks are popular this time of year whether you’re in your own kitchen our out on the town. Enjoy a holiday-inspired drink in the D, and remember to sip it responsibly!