Best Holiday Cocktail Contest: The Finals!

We have the winners from the Semifinals of Bar & Restaurant News' Best Holiday Cocktail contest!

The following two cocktails will be moving on:

  • Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned 
  • Tijuana Brass

Congratulations to our winners! Here's a look at the current standings:

best holiday cocktail contest

This means we've reached our Final Round! You will find the last match-up below.

Which of these two cocktails best reflects the holidays and deserves to be crowned the 2023 Best Holiday Cocktail? You decide!

Voting for the Finals will be open through Sunday, December 10 at 11:59 pm ET. 

Once you've chosen your cocktails, be sure to share your picks on social with the hashtag #BRBestHolidayCocktail.

Vote in the Final Round, below!


Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned vs. Tijuana Brass


best holiday cocktail contest

Gingerbread Man Old Fashioned

Recipe & photo: Eureka! (National)


2 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey

1/2 oz BroVo Spirits Douglas Fir Liqueur

1 dash Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

1 dash Sun Liquor Herbal Bitters

1/2 oz Gingerbread Syrup:

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

1/2 cup minced ginger (peel ginger first)

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

15 each whole cloves


For the Gingerbread Syrup, place whole cloves in soup bowl. Coarsely grind whole cloves with a muddler and set aside for later use. Combine sugar and water in sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add ginger and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add nutmeg, cinnamon and ground whole cloves. Let simmer for 15-20 min. Let cool at room temperature for two hours. Strain (push down on ginger particles for full extraction). Place in bottle and refrigerate. Shelf Life is 30 days. 

For the cocktail, combine all ingredients in a Japanese mixing glass. Add ice to mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds. Strain into rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with candied ginger on a bamboo pick.


best holiday cocktail contest


Tijuana Brass

Recipe: Jay Ledbetter, Local Republic (Lawrenceville, GA)


1 ½ oz Reposado Tequila

¼ oz Amaro Ciociaro

½ oz Cocchi Americano

2 dash Angostura Bitters

1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Sprig of Rosemary

¼ oz Honey-Ginger Syrup:

½ 1b/250 g fresh ginger, washed and cut into ½-in/12-mm chunks

1 cup/240 ml boiling water

2 Cups Honey


For the honey-ginger syrup, put the ginger in a blender and add the boiling water and honey. Blend thoroughly, and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

For the cocktail, stir all ingredients except the rosemary in a mixing glass. Strain over a large cube. Garnish with rosemary sprig.


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