You don’t have to make candy cane shot glasses or douse every drink in peppermint schnapps to holiday up your cocktails. All it takes is a few dashes of bitters. Wait, put that bottle of Angostura away. While the aromatic bitters will add a kick of spice to any drink, you can do better than that.
El Guapo Bitters—a New Orleans-based bitters company founded by bartender Scot Mattox—just released new, ultra-festive flavors (all $19), including Spiced Cocoa, Holiday Pie and Chicory Pecan. And these are not gimmicky cash grabs; these are your new home bar staples.
The Chicory Pecan tastes like rich, chicory-spiked New Orleans coffee, with a sweet and nutty finish. Just add a few dashes to a glass of neat whiskey, and you’ll have yourself an instant holiday nightcap. Or go for the Holiday Pie, a gingery, cinnamon-tinged pickmeup. Splash some into a Gin & Tonic or, heck, even a Vodka Soda. The Spiced Cocoa is, of course, perfect for a whiskey-spiked hot chocolate with its notes of vanilla extract and cacao—but it would be equally good in a Manhattan.
If a few dashes of bitters aren’t enough for you, El Guapo also offers Sweet Potato syrup, made with heirloom sweet potatoes, and Candy Cane syrup (both $14). With those additions to your home bar, you’ll be equipped to make a myriad of holiday drinks. Sweet Potato Pie Old Fashioned? No problem. The ultimate Christmas Martini? You’re on it. We’d say these seasonal bottlings would make great stocking stuffers (they would), but then you’d be cheating someone out of 25 days of holiday cocktails. Do yourself and everyone else a favor, and buy them now.