What’s Christmas like when you invite over the worst family members imaginable? And more importantly, what are those family members drinking?
That's the premise of this year's H Tasting Lounge holiday cocktail menu. Last year, the creative minds behind the bar developed the 12 Cocktails of Christmas Movie but this year bartender Taylor Kare championed a more out-of-the-box concept with 12 elaborate drinks representing a different part of a dysfunctional family.
The menu is a family photo album and members of the hotel staff posed for photos, each embodying a persona in the wacky cast of characters: "Stressed Mom," "Clueless Dad," "Grandma," "Grandpa," "TikTok Teen," "Deadbeat Adult Child," "Drunk Aunt," "Problematic Uncle," "Bitter Aunt," "Aussie-in-law," "Hot Cousin," and "Foreign Exchange Student." There are also two non-alcoholic drinks that give nods to the "Hyperactive child, and the "Family Dog."
"Grandma" and "Grandpa" are perhaps the most well-adjusted of the bunch. Grandma's drink is an understated yet delicious eggnog cocktail served with a shortbread biscuit while Grandpa's cocktail takes the very essence of a library and brings it to a bubble at the table (seriously, it's even served on an open book). The drink is similar to an old fashioned made with 42-year whisky, custom-made "archival" bitters meant to evoke old library books and Werther's Originals so it's incredibly smooth with a long caramel finish.
The "Stressed Mom" cocktail is essentially a French 75, heavy on the champagne, but served with a very large flourish. It comes with a Christmas candle and a choice of aromatherapy.
The presentation of each drink is whimsical and inventive but the thoughtfulness extends to what's in the glass (or in some cases the Lego mug or dog bowl) too. The warm super boozy "Problematic Uncle" is made with Tonka bean-infused bourbon, a deep-cut reference to the fact that Tonka beans can be toxic in large quantities.
The "Hot Cousin," which is served in a bauble ornament with flecks of gold floating through it, looks deceptively simple but the clarified chocolate milk cocktail tastes exactly like a liquid chocolate orange. It would be a great dessert drink or pair excellently with any rich and creamy dish.
The "Aussie-in-Law" arrives like a present with a gift box of TimTams and the drink in a "TellowYail" wine bottle. It serves four people, and while the cocktail is chilled, if you've also ordered a warm beverage we suggest attempting a TimTam slam.
'12 Guests of Christmas Dinner' cocktail menu
- Grandma | Maker’s Mark bourbon, Hennessy v.s. cognac, Torres 5 brandy, rum blend, cream & milk, egg yolks, spices
- Grandpa | Canadian Club 42-year whisky, Werther’s original, library essence, htl archival bitters
- Stressed Mom | Tanqueray no. 10 gin, piper-Heidsieck champagne, acid solution, choice of aromatherapy
- Clueless Dad | lágrimas de dolores añejo mezcal, olmeca altos tequila, pierre ferrand dry curaçao, cacao bitters, cinnamon, ginger beer
- TikTok Teen | Hennessy v.s. cognac, Cocchi vermouth di Torino, Galliano, craft cola syrup, o5 earl grey tea
- Deadbeat Adult Child | hopped Tanqueray no. 10 gin, yellow chartreuse, mango, mountain dew, cinnamon toast crunch, cream
- Drunk Aunt | Ketel one vodka, Cocchi americano, mint liqueur
- Problematic Uncle | tonka bean infused knob creek cask strength bourbon, lot no. 40 rye, gingerbread, oat milk, bitters, orange molasses whip
- Bitter Aunt | terracotta rested Boomsma Jonge genever, Stroh jagertee, fernet gancia, Esquimalt Rosso vermouth, pine tincture
- Aussie-in-Law | calissano vermouth di torino bianco, noilly prat vermouth bénédictine, dragon pearl jasmine tea, calvados, green strawberry bitters
- Hot Cousin | vanilla ketel one vodka, crème de cacao, orange, clarified chocolate milk
- Foreign Exchange Student | red wine, Galliano, goji berry, cinnamon, plum, persimmon, mandarin juice
Watch: We 'met' some of the 12 Guests of Christmas cocktails
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