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St. Nick's Nightcap Cocktail Recipe

This classy Christmas cocktail is perfect for any holiday celebration!
A pink and green nightcap cocktail drink on a black background

A quick search for "Christmas cocktails" on the Internet will quickly show you that most cocktails around the holiday season are drowning in sugar. And while those glass rims covered in frosting and peppermint candies may taste good for the moment, it could leave you with a huge stomach ache soon after.

Instead, we decided to work with Taylor Arnold, a New York City bartender and mastermind behind Don't Forget the Garnish, to develop a classy, healthy holiday cocktail that you'll absolutely adore. By using real, fresh-squeezed fruit juice and a honey syrup instead of a sugary simple syrup, this St. Nick's Nightcap cocktail has significantly less sugar compared to most of those other Christmas cocktails on the Internet. To quote Arnold, it's the perfect cocktail for Santa to sip on after a long night of delivering presents.

Here's how to make this classy St. Nick's Nightcap cocktail, and for more healthy drink recipes, check out our list of 9 Healthiest Cocktails You Can Make at Home.

Recipe courtesy of Taylor Arnold from Don't Forget the Garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

For the honey syrup

1/2 cup honey
1/4 warm water

For the cocktail

1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
1/4 oz. lemon juice
4 sage leaves
1 tsp. honey syrup
3/4 oz. triple sec
1/4 oz. pear brandy (or apple brandy)
1 1/2 oz. gin

How to Make It

  1. To make the honey syrup, combine the honey and the warm water in a mason jar. Seal and shake for about 10 seconds, or until slightly foamy.
  2. Deseed a pomegranate and place a handful of pomegranate seeds into a glass. Muddle the seeds until the juice has been released.
  3. Add 1/2 oz. of the pomegranate juice into a cocktail shaker, along with a 1/4 oz. of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  4. Add 3 of the sage leaves to the glass and lightly muddle/press a few times so they become fragrant.
  5. Add in the honey syrup, the triple sec, the pear brandy, and the gin.
  6. Place ice cubes in your shaker and shake for at least 8 to 10 seconds. If you're using a mason jar, you'll want to shake for about 14 to 15 seconds.
  7. Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass, or a cocktail tumbler.
  8. Take the last sage leaf into your hand and give it a small slap to release the sage flavor. Garnish on top of your drink and serve!

Eat This! Tip

Arnold recommends using Cointreau as the triple sec for this drink because it is known for having the lowest sugar content compared to any other triple sec on liquor shelves. He also highly recommends using a pear brandy, but apple brandy works well if that's what you're able to find.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more