Since ancient times, enjoying an alcoholic libation has been part of the winter solstice tradition. The Greeks and Romans had wine, beer and other drinks to enjoy. The tradition of wassailing, a combination of a parade and a fertility ritual held on the Winter Solstice, pre-dated Christianity in Europe. Later, Christmas revelers adopted the tradition of drinking wassail, a spiced ale or mulled-wine drink as part of the Twelfth Night celebration and on Christmas Eve, when people would stand outside people’s homes and sing Christmas carols. There are several variants of wassail recipes. In the 20th and 21st centuries, new winter cocktail recipes were introduced that became holiday favorites. Here are three recipes from professional mixologist Or Geshury.

Or Geshury
Mixology Wine Institute
7708 City Line Ave., Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19151
(215) 878-1300

Or Geshury is the head of development, training and research for the Mixology Wine Institute in Philadelphia. A contributor to South Jersey Magazine, Signature 9 and Philadelphia Weekly, he’s also designed drinks for Mole Street Events, North 3rd and The Spruce Foundation, among others, and is the author of the upcoming “Aqua Vitae: Bar and Wine Education Textbook.” Here, Or shares some delicious holiday cocktails to make at home this season.

Chocolate Rye Punch

  • 1 oz. Bulleit Rye
  • 1/2 oz. Barolo Chinato Cocchi
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Allspice Dram

Serve this drink in a goblet with shaved 85-percent dark chocolate (Lindt). The tannins and bitterness are contrasted with the spicy notes layered in the rye, allspice and nutmeg, and balanced with the tartness of the lemon.

Related: Top Bars With Tropical Drinks In Philadelphia

Apples and Honey

  • 1 1/2 oz. Calvados Pays D’Auge
  • 1/2 oz. Drambuie

Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with two thin apple slices, dipped in raw buckwheat honey syrup and cinnamon. This variation on the classic Rusty Nail replaces the whisky with French apple brandy, made from the bitter apples and pears of Normandy, and contrasts it with the sweet, herbal honey and scotch notes of Drambuie.

Eggnog Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Eggnog
  • 2 heaping tablespoons hot buttered rum mix

Fill with hot water. Serve in an Irish coffee glass. Garnish with whipped heavy cream and a cinnamon stick.

For the Mix:

  • 6 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Rum Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Allspice

Mix together with a beater until fully blended. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. Serves 50.

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Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on