Seasonal sips

Wichita Marriott bartender unwraps cocktails for the season


To every season, there is a cocktail. Or maybe more than one.

The winter and fall holidays call for extra-special concoctions a gift, if you will, to the senses. Russell Stotts, head drink meister in the Wichita Marriott's Greatroom and Fireside Grille, laughs and shakes his head when asked how long he's been creating drinks for the holidays.

"A long, long time, he says.

To Stotts, some of the same classic flavors that go into food feel right at home in a cocktail glass. Around Thanksgiving, you're thinking of apple and cinnamon and spice, he says. At Christmas, it's pomegranate and mint.

Stotts agreed to share some of his favorite holiday drinks on the condition we drop by the Greatroom and see how's it done by a professional. That's an offer we can't refuse!

Nuts and Berries

As the name suggests, this is another cocktail that features the flavors of the season in the form of hazelnut and raspberry liqueurs.

3/4 oz. Frangelico
3/4 oz. Chambord
3/4 oz. Half-and-half
Chocolate syrup, for optional garnish

Directions: Shake Frangelico, Chambord and half-and-half together over ice in cocktail shaker, pour over ice and serve. If desired, before adding mixture to tumbler, swirl a bit of chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass as shown in photograph.

Peppermint Martini

3/4 oz. white Creme de Cocoa
3/4 oz. Creme de Menthe
1.25 oz. vanilla vodka
Peppermint candy, finely crushed, for rimming glass

Directions: Shake together Creme de Cocoa, Creme de Menthe and vanilla vodka over ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into martini glass and serve.

If desired, first coat rim of martini with crushed peppermint candy. To make it stick to glass, wet rim by rubbing with a mint leaf, which will leave mint oil behind.

Bourbon Apple

1.25 oz. Crown Apple
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 oz. apple cider
Pinch cinnamon
Thin apple slices, for garnish

Directions: Shake together Crown Apple, lemon juice, apple cider and pinch cinnamon over ice in cocktail shaker. Pour into martini glass and garnish with a couple apple slices.

Pomegranate-Orange Cocktail

2 oz. pomegranate juice
1 oz. orange liqueur, or Solerno, a blood orange liqueur
Cold Prosecco, or other sparkling wine
Sugar, for rimming glass

Directions: Shake together pomegranate juice and orange liqueur over ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a tall stemmed glass. Fill to top with Prosecco or other sparkling wine.

If desired, dampen the rim of the glass and dip into sugar before filling. (Colored sugar for rimming glasses can be found at World Market and other stores).


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