Some of Excelsior Vintage Owner Greg Varner's Favorite Holiday Beverages

Excelsior Vintage owner shares his favorite cocktails for the holidays.
Greg Varner’s Black Swan cocktail.

Eggnog is always a hit around the table during the holiday season, but it can sometimes feel a little predictable. Switch it up this year and impress your family, friends and guests with some new beverages.

We asked Greg Varner, owner of Excelsior Vintage, to share some recipes that are sure to make a splash at your holiday party. He says that a variety of beverages, from rich to fruity, offers guests very different flavors that all carry the same notes of holiday cheer. “I don’t like to recommend the basic holiday drinks to people,” Varner says. “Everyone knows what eggnog is, so I like to offer my guests drinks that are more modern but still have the classic holiday appeal.” We’ll drink to that.

Black Swan

  • 1½ oz. Boyd & Blair potato vodka
  • ½ oz. Nardini Cedro
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 9 drops bitters
  • Lemon twist
  • Shake and garnish with lemon twist.

Orchard Road

  • 1 ½ oz. Medley Bros. straight Kentucky bourbon
  • ½ oz. BroVo Boomerang
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • Dried apricot for garnish
  • Shake and garnish with dried apricot, serve on the rocks.

Blueberry Basil Collins

  • 1½ oz. Sloane’s gin
  • 1 oz. blueberry juice
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Basil sprig
  • Shake, garnish with basil sprig and serve tall in Collins glass.

The Bitter Truth

  • 1 oz. Blackwoods gin
  • 1 oz. Select Aperitivo
  • 1 oz. BroVo Jammy sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel
  • Stir, garnish with orange peel and serve up or on the rocks.