Celebrate the Holidays with Nick Offerman and Lagavulin Whisky

lagavulin scotch whisky

Don’t be lonely or cold (or thirsty!) this holiday season. Let Nick Offerman and Lagavulin warm you up with a little whisky and a crackling yule fire. Here’s the video in all its 45-minute glory.

But that’s not all! You don’t have to settle for just one helping of Nick and Scotch. Because he’s got you covered with your New Year’s Eve countdown as well!

I don’t know about you, but I find these highly amusing. Kudos the Lagavulin and whomever produced the spots.


Cocktail Recipe: Eye-Opening Eggnog

This festive and decadent drink will put you in the mood for the holidays with a delicious mixture of Caffè Borghetti Espresso-Coffee Liqueur (to give you that little extra eye-opening jolt), a top-quality spiced rum like Chairman’s Reserve, and eggnog. You can make your own eggnog — that’s always preferable. But I generally use a good-quality store-bought version.

Think of it as a very grown-up holiday version of a caffè latte. Enjoy!

Eye-Opening Eggnog

Eye-Opening Eggnog


  • 1 1/2 oz. Caffè Borghetti Espresso-Coffee Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum
  • 6 oz. Egg Nog
  • 1 dash of Angostura Bitters


  1. Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake gently. Strain into a festive glass. Top with grated nutmeg, if desired.


“Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks” – Free for a Limited Time

From now until December 20, 2013, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More is free to download from Amazon. Think of it as my Christmas gift to you, as a thank you for being a loyal reader.

Stuffed full of 112 recipes for drinks of all kinds, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks is your secret weapon for dazzling the taste buds of everyone you know by making professional-quality cocktails from the comfort of your home bar.

If you do download it, and like what you see, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. It helps other people find the book and would mean a lot to me.

Also available is my first book, Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink, which is available as both as an ebook and a trade paperback. But that one you still have to pay for.

Spread the holiday cheer and tell a friend. Merry Christmas!

Professor Cocktails Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More


Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

I’ve already shared Professor Cocktail’s holiday gift guides for spirits and non-spirits. Now here are a few last-minute suggestions for stocking stuffers.

If your special someone likes cocktails, they’ll love getting a bottle of orgeat in their stocking. You can’t make a Mai Tai without it.
Garnish your Martinis and other cocktails in style with these classy metal picks.
Zombie Horde Book Stocking What could be better than a Zombie in your stocking? A book about Zombies! (The real thing would probably make a mess.)
 Swizzle Stick Swizzle up your Tiki drinks the Caribbean way with this authentic wooden swizzle stick. How do you swizzle a cocktail? Let Jim Meehan show you how.
A barspoon is a great accessory to have on hand. Here is a deal on two for the price of one.
An essential guide for the home bartender, in a conveniently stocking-sized volume.
A muddler is an excellent tool for a variety of cooking and drinking tasks. Here’s a solid one.
Kah Tequila Small Bottles These Kah Tequila nip bottles are too cool. Buy one — or all three — and drop them in the grown-ups’ stockings. Christmas morning is sure to be much merrier.
I bought some of these for myself. They’re cheap, but cute. Great for stockings.
High-end cocktail bars often fine strain their drinks when pouring them into the glass to ensure that no shards of ice or fruit pulp mar the appearance of the drink. This is what you use to do it.
Whiskey Advocate magazine consistently has some of the best writing about spirits anywhere. Scotch, bourbon, Canadian, Irish, craft or Japanese, they cover it all with deep knowledge and lively writing.

Stocking Stuffers


Holiday Drinks Recipe: Poinsettia Punch

My latest ebook,  Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More, is chock full of over 100 recipes for tasty drinks to enjoy during the holidays. Here is one example. I served this at our Christmas party last year and it was a big hit.

Poinsettia Punch

Poinsettia Punch


  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine
  • 1 tsp. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Lemon Wheel, for garnish


  1. Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.


Created by Frank Cisneros, Dram, Brooklyn, New York


Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Spirits

Last week I ran Professor Cocktail’s holiday gift guide for spirits. Now it’s time to share my recommendations for gifts to give that aren’t actually alcohol — although, naturally, they are still related to cocktails or spirits in some way. These all get the Professor Cocktail stamp of approval.

If you’re serious about your spirits (whiskey, rum, whatever), you’re going to want to drink them out of a Glencairn glass. Beloved by single malt fans around the world.
Cocktails just taste better when accompanied by a big ole ice cube. These trays are excellent.
There are cocktail recipe books, and then there is Jim Meehan’s The PDT Cocktail Book. Any cocktail fan or bartender would love to have a copy. Guaranteed.
If you don’t know about bitters, you’re in luck. I wrote up a handy guide: Bitters 101. Read it — and then give this set as a gift.
A book full of wine cocktails by the amazing Jason Wilson? Yes, please!
You knew I was going to recommend my book, right? This is especially
good for the shopper who procastinates. The Kindle version can be gifted
in mere minutes! If you’re planning ahead — like now — the print version would sure look pretty under the tree.
Perfect for zesting citrus, grating spices like nutmeg or cinnamon, ginger, cheeses, whatever you got.
Most inexpensive cocktail shakers aren’t very good. (The main problem with them is that the pieces stick together making it very hard to open.) I have several of these, though, and they work well.
Is it possible that your loved one doesn’t have a good jigger yet? Buy him/her one!
Here’s another gorgeous book. Even if you’re not that interested in cocktails, this would look awesome on your end table. As an added bonus, it’s a really interesting book!
 Cocktail Kingdom If you’re looking for something a little fancier — and more expensive — then here’s what you do. Head over to Cocktail Kingdom and buy anything they have for sale. Seriously. Anything. It’s all awesome. I covet their bar tools.

Celebrate the Season with “Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More”

Professor Cocktails Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More
By David J. Montgomery

In cocktail bars and lounges around the world, people will be gathering during the holiday season to enjoy a drink or two with family and friends. Now you can enjoy the same great drinks at home with the recipes included in Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More.

Stuffed full of 112 recipes for drinks of all kinds, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks is your secret weapon for dazzling the taste buds of everyone you know by making professional-quality cocktails from the comfort of your home bar.

From the classic to the contemporary, sweet to spicy, and hot to cold, this collection of festive drinks is sure to make your holidays very merry. If you’re in the party mood, there are several recipes for “large format” drinks that would be perfect for your holiday gatherings. It even includes a selection of non-alcoholic drinks for those who don’t imbibe.

Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks includes recipes for traditional holiday favorites ranging from Eggnog to Wassail, Hot Buttered Rum to the Kir Royale. It also features drinks from top bartender like Jim Meehan (PDT), Dale DeGroff, H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir), Jack McGarry (The Dead Rabbit), Brian MacGregor (Wingtip), Jeffery Morgenthaler (Clyde Common), Bobby Heugel (Anvil), Dushan Zaric (Employees Only), Chantal Tseng (Mockingbird Hill), and Derek Brown (Columbia Room).

With a variety of recipes to suit all occasions, tastes, and skill levels, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks is the book every cocktail lover, bartender, and mixologist would love to see under their virtual tree.

About the Author
David J. Montgomery combines his knowledge of history and alcohol into one potent libation of love through his work at He is also a nationally renowned book critic and commentator on writing and the publishing industry. Mr. Montgomery is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has written for USA Today, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other fine publications. His ebook, Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink, was the #1 best-selling bartending book on Amazon. A former Professor of History, Mr. Montgomery lives in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with his wife and two daughters.

Cocktails History Recipes Tequila

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Cocktails

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day. I know what you're thinking: Isn't that Cinco de Mayo? Good question! But no.

September 16, 1810 was the day that the war of independence broke out between Mexico and Spain. (Mexico, of course, was part of the Spanish Empire back then, and under the rule of a Spanish Viceroy.) Various factions of Mexican life formed an uneasy alliance to rebel against Spanish rule.

The war continued for the next 11 years, after which Mexico finally defeated the Spanish. Peace was declared with the Treaty of Córdoba and Mexico was free…to appoint themselves an emperor. But don't worry, he was gone within the year.

So where does Cinco de Mayo (the Fifth of May) come into play? That was 40 years later. Mexico once again came under the thumb of a foreign power, this time the French. In 1861, French forces invaded Mexico, trying to capitalize on the political instability and general chaos that were the order of the day. But on May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army won a decisive battle near the town of Puebla.

Sadly, the Mexicans were to go on and eventually lose the war. This lead to the installation of Emperor Maximilian I as El Jefe. He's the guy who was buddies with Napoleon III, in case you remember him from your history classes. But Maximilian I only ruled for three years before Benito Juárez and his rebels got ahold of him and introduced him to a firing squad.

Cinco de Mayo as a holiday is largely an invention of Mexican-Americans, popularized in particular by the Chicano student movements of the 1960s. It has little meaning in Mexico itself, and here in the United States it has become little more than a marketing-driven holiday, used to promote partying and beer sales. (Not so different from the Fourth of July, really, which we use to sell mattresses.)

So if you want to celebrate the real deal Mexican independence, today is the day. History lesson aside, we can always use a good reason to celebrate, and September 16 is an important day in Mexico. Let's join with our neighbors to the south and do a little celebrating of our own.

Tequila on bar
For suggestions of some different brands of agave spirit to try, check out Professor Cocktail's Tequila Taste Test. Or see this review of Z Tequila (Blanco, Reposado and Añejo).


2 oz. Tequila
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
2-3 oz. Grapefruit Soda
Pinch of Salt (if desired) 

In a highball or collins glass, add tequila, lime juice and salt. Add ice and stir. Top with grapefruit soda and garnish with a lime wedge.

Professor's Note: For grapefruit soda, I like Jarritos (if you can find it) and San Pelegrino Pompelmo. For the record, I prefer mine without salt.

El diabloEl Diablo

Adapted from a recipe by Trader Vic.

2 oz. Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz. Crème de Cassis
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz. Ginger Beer

Shake the first 3 ingredients with ice, then strain over fresh ice in a highball glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tequila CriollaTequila Criolla

1 1/2 oz. Tequila Don Julio Blanco
1 1/2 oz. Guava Nectar
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 oz. Agave Nectar
1 Slice Jalapeño

Shake ingredients vigorously with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (If desired, you can salt the rim of the glass.)

Professor's Note: Kern's makes a good guava nectar. There are also Mexican brands like Jumex and Goya that you can find in the Latino aisle at the grocery store. To make this cocktail really "top shelf," try using Tequila Don Julio 70, a clear añenjo tequila.


2 oz. Tequila ArteNOM Seleccion 1580
1 oz. Apricot Brandy
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


La perlaLa Perla

Recipe by Jacques Bezuidenhout

1 1/2 oz. Partida Reposado Tequila
1 1/2 oz. Manzanilla Sherry
3/4 oz. Mathilde Pear Liqueur

Stir ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Want to know how Professor Cocktail makes a Margarita? You'll find out here: Margarita recipe. (Scroll to the bottom.)


Cocktails Drink Recipes

Some Holiday Cocktails to Try

The bars are closed on Christmas, but that doesn't mean a festive cocktail wouldn't hit the spot. You just have to mix it up yourself. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Highball Holiday hiro cocktail 
Carte blanche  Gin peppermint fling

Whiskey Highball

2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
Lemon-Lime Soda or Ginger Ale
4 Dashes of Aromatic or Angostura Bitters

Build over ice in an old-fashioned or highball glass, depending on how much mixer you want. The bitters give it a nice Christmas-spice taste that I find festive and delicious.

Holiday Hiro Cocktail

One part Hiro Sake Red (Junmai)
One part Spiced Rum
One part Apple Cider
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Combine equal parts sake, rum and apple cider. Either heat together in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Carte Blanche

1 1/4 oz Crown Royal Maple Whiskey
1/3 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cozy Christmas Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Amaretto
1 oz The Perfect Purée Coconut Puree, thawed
4 oz Hot Chocolate

Combine ingredients into a mug. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve hot.

Gin Peppermint Fling

2 oz Citadelle Gin
1 oz Heavy Cream
1/2 Egg White
2 oz Peppermint Simple Syrup (see below)

In a shaker, build cocktail in order of ingredients listed. Dry shake (without ice) vigorously until egg white becomes frothy and heavy cream is incorporated. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled, peppermint-rimmed cocktail glass.

Peppermint Simple Syrup

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Water
10 large Red/White Peppermint Candy Canes

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Dissolve sugar and candies on medium heat, stirring continuously. After sugar and candy has dissolved, heat the syrup to just short of boiling, until it begins to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.

Peppermint Garnish

Red/White Peppermint Candy Canes
Peppermint Simple Syrup

Crush candy canes and place on a flat plate. Moisten the edge of the cocktail glass with the peppermint syrup. Dip the edge of the martini glass into the crushed candies and allow rim to dry for one minute.

Cocktails Drink Recipes

Christmas Party Cocktail Recipes

Here are the recipes for the specialty cocktails we served at our Christmas party. They all seemed popular with our guests.

Poinsettia Punch
Adapted from a recipe by Frank Cisneros, Gin Palace in NYC

1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 tsp. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Spiced Pear Margarita
Adapted from a recipe by Piero Rodriguez, Zengo in Washington, DC

3/4 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Pear Liqueur
1 1/2 Spiced Pear Puree
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

Spiced Pear Puree

2 whole pears peeled and diced
1 quart of water
Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to taste

Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Blend all ingredients and strain. Cool before use.

Grand Cherry Tiki
Adapted from a recipe by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru 

1 1/2 oz Grand Marnier Cherry
3/4 oz Lime
3/4 oz Orgeat
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
2 Dashes Angostura or Tiki  Bitters

Shake with ice, then strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a maraschino cherry.

Maui Mai Tai

1 1/2 oz Gold Rum
1/2 oz Orange Curaçao
3/4 oz Orgeat 
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with crushed ice, then pour (unstrained) into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Christmas cocktail