If word that you make even a decent Manhattan has reached relations, it’s likely that you’ll be drafted as the official bartender at your family’s holiday gatherings. Arrive armed with two or three recipes and a basic bar set (try TheModernMixologist.com), and request ahead of time for the necessary liquors, mixers, garnishes and quality ice. For streamlined service, I recommend offering stirred Manhattans and martinis (vodka and gin, please), as well as a themed specialty punch that you’ve prepared in advance, such as the tequila-based Chocomole ($7), served at Mercadito in Red Rock Resort. Feliz Navidad!
As served at Mercadito in Red Rock Resort, $7.
In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounces reposado tequila, 1 ounce Chocomole mixture (recipe below) and ½ ounce agave nectar. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into 4-ounch shooter glasses. Garnish with a tortilla chip.
Chocomole Base – Makes 16 servings
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter and ½ cup evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cumin, whole black peppercorns and dried, ground guajillo (or similar) chiles. Simmer until mixture thickens to the consistency of a light batter. While hot, pass mixture through a fine strainer using the back of a ladle to push mixture through. Discard strained solids. Immediately add chocolate and stir to melt. Cool to room temperature for use.