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Countdown to Christmas with 20 days of drinks

By Jessica Rodrigo
Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:04 a.m.

Drinks at Commercial Street Bar in Goliad.

'Tis the time to be merry. And what better way to do that then to enjoy a toast to break up the stress from the holiday hustle and bustle?

Matt Eaton, store manager at Spec's Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods in Victoria, said the holidays bring out more than just the mistletoe and fake snow.

Some of the more popular items include winter moscato and whiskeys.

"Whiskey is heavier than a vodka, and they want a drink that's less refreshing, something more warming," he said. "People gravitate to that when the weather drops."

His personal favorite, Noah's Mill Bourbon, is a 15-year-old, small-batch bourbon distilled in Bardstown, Ky. And in the Victoria Spec's, there are shelves stocked with bottles sure to satiate anyone's palate.

Egg nog is another popular winter drink, said Eaton, 27, one that people can make themselves with either brandy, whiskey or rum.

Anything Irish cream is also a good go-to liquor during the holidays, he said.

"You can mix it with coffee and hot chocolate," Eaton said.

It's also a component in some of the drinks masterfully mixed by our favorite Crossroads bartenders and drink specialists.

We asked those bartenders to share a few of their holiday drinks with us so we can all be a little more merry once it's time to open presents and carve the holiday ham.

So raise a pinky and a baby Jesus shot and cheers to the season. And, of course, drink responsibly.

Michael's Irish Cream Coke Float

3 oz. Michael's Irish Cream

1 cup of ice

Mix in blender until slushy consistency and finish off with Coca-Cola made with real cane sugar.

Matt Eaton, Spec's liquor store

Egg Nog

1 1/2 oz. brandy or bourbon

6 oz. egg nog mix

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Leigh Ann Barnhart, Hungry Jacks

Hot Buttered Rum

Add 1 tablespoon of quality brown sugar to a mug

1 tablespoon of butter (margarine will not work for this)

2 oz. dark rum

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Fill with boiling water.

Mike Ellis, Two Step

Key Lime Pie Martini

1 oz. Ivanabitch Whipped Cream Vodka

2 oz. Uncle Dick's margarita mix

Matt Eaton, Spec's liquor store

Baby Jesus/Guinness

1/2 oz. Patron XO

1/2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

Peggy Villanueva,Brown Bag

Slutty Mrs. Claus

Layer equal parts Midori, Goldschlager, grenadine and a splash of Sour Apple Pucker.

Anthony Gerdes, Mustang Bar

Hot Butterscotch Cocoa

3/4 oz. butterscotch schnapps

3/4 oz. of Kahlua

Fill with hot chocolate and top with whipped cream.

Mike Ellis, Two Step

Candy Cane Shot

1 1/2o z. peppermint schnapps

Pour in a rocks glass and garnish with a candy cane.

Leigh Ann Barnhart, Hungry Jacks

Tootsie Roll Shot

1 oz. Kahlua

1/2 oz. creme de cacao

2 oz. orange juice

Anthony Gerdes, Mustang Bar

Candy Cane Cocoa

Hot chocolate

3/4 oz. Rumple Minze

3/4 oz. Irish cream

Garnish with whipped cream and a candy cane.

Mike Ellis, Two Step

Oatmeal Cookie Shot

Equal parts Bailey's, Buttershots and Goldschlager

Peggy Villanueva, Brown Bag

Maple Egg Nog

Egg nog

11/2 oz. Maple Finished Crown Royal

Mike Ellis, Two Step

Irish coffee

1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey

Cup of coffee

Whipped cream with a drizzle of green creme de menthe. Top with a cherry.

Leigh Ann Barnhart, Hungry Jacks

Hot Irish Nut

1 oz. amaretto

1 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream

1 oz. Frangelico

Coffee

Anthony Gerdes, Mustang Bar

Christmas Tree Shot

1/3 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

1/3 oz. creme de menthe

1/3 oz. grenadine

Mike Ellis, Two Step

Poinsettia

1/2 oz. Cointreau or triple sec orange liqueur

3 ounces cranberry juice

Fill glass to top with Champagne.

Reagan Sahadi, Commercial Street Bar

Pumped Up Egg Nog

1/2 oz. Kahlua

1/2 oz. vodka

Egg nog

Splash of cola (optional)

Hailey Ferrington, PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar

Gingerbread Man Shot

3/4 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

3/4 oz. Goldschlager

3/4 oz. Kahlue

Splash of half and half

Anthony Gerdes, Mustang Bar

Starry Night Shot

1/2 oz. Jagermeister

1/2 oz. Goldschlager

Peggy Villanueva, Brown Bag

Mint Chocolate Martini

1/2 oz. Bacardi Rum

1/2 oz. Malibu

1/2 oz. creme de menthe

1/2 oz. creme de cacao

A few squirts of chocolate syrup

Splash of cream and garnished with a peppermint rim

Hailey Ferrington, PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar

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