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Raise a Festive Glass! Elevating holiday libations with local spirits

Celebrate the season and the products of local distillers with a bevy of cocktails to sip and sample this holiday season.

CIVIC vodka was the first product developed by celebrated Washington, D.C., Republic Restoratives Distillery. This American craft vodka is produced from North American corn in the largest dual-kettle spirits still in the DMV. Crisp, mellow and clean on the palate, CIVIC is a perfect base for cocktails ranging from martinis and mules to the following seasonal twist on a French 76.

Dance of the Sugar Plums

Dance of the Sugar Plums
Makes 1 serving

1 ½ ounces CIVIC vodka
1 ½ ounces pomegranate juice
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup*
Four dashes Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
Champagne or soda water
Lemon peel, for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice. Add CIVIC vodka, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Top with champagne (or soda water for a lower octane option) and garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

*To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.

Highlandtown’s own Old Line Spirits is an award-winning distillery with a beautiful line of American single malt whiskies and aged Caribbean rums. Its 84-proof Aged Caribbean Rum is matured in used bourbon barrels. This rich expression holds notes of vanilla, butterscotch and coconut, which makes it perfect for rounding out this boozy blender eggnog.

Up on the Rooftop eggnog

Up on the Rooftop
Makes 4 servings
4 ounces Old Line Spirits
Aged Caribbean Rum
4 pasteurized eggs
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 cup organic milk
½ cup granulated sugar
Heavy pinch each of cinnamon,
nutmeg and salt

Combine rum, eggs, heavy cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 20 seconds, then on the highest speed for 40 seconds. Place the blender pitcher in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill. Flash blend on high for 5 to 10 seconds immediately before serving.

Hot toddies are a timeless cozy treat. They are a simple, soothing luxury that comforts like a warm hug on chilly days and cold nights. Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey brings aromatic notes of baking spices and tasting notes of orange peel, clove and brown sugar that lend themselves beautifully to this seasonal staple.

To All a Good Night

To All a Good Night
Makes 1 serving
6 ounces filtered water
½ tablespoon whole cloves
1 ½ ounces Sagamore Spirit
Rye Whiskey
½ ounce fresh orange juice
3/4 ounce wildflower honey
Orange slice, for garnish

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine water and cloves and bring to a boil. In a mug, combine rye whiskey, orange juice and honey. Strain cloves from the spiced water and add the water to the mug. Stir well until honey is dissolved. Garnish with an orange slice.

Ginny Lawhorn is an award-winning bartender, founder of Baltimore Cocktail Week and managing partner of Friends and Family.

All photography by David Stuck

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