It’s no secret that the holiday season looks very different this year. We’re substituting large family gatherings with chaotic family zoom calls, and travel stress for the stress of teaching loved ones where the “mute” button is, or how to turn their cameras on.
Despite all the pivots, many of us want to find ways to retain a sense of festivity. Maybe a touch of holiday spirit (or spirits!) can carry us through the end of what has been a difficult and unpredictable year.
That’s why I was excited when my temple, Temple Sinai, asked me to host a live streamed Hanukkah cocktail demonstration for the holiday. Although I was unsure at first what types of cocktails scream “Hanukkah cheer,” my newly-21 year old daughter, Celia, was so bored stuck at home that she was eager to help out (and I’m sure this is how she always envisioned spending her first winter break as a twenty one year old).
We crowd-sourced from our various social channels about what cocktails best paid homage to the festival of lights, or would at least make us crack a smile while we caught a buzz. With the suggestions of friends, and a very expensive and eclectic liquor store haul, we tested concoctions that shouted Chag Sameach. We hope with these Hanukkah cocktail recipes, you will join us in saying cheers to the holidays, to family and friends, and to a fresh start in 2021–can we please sleep it off until then?
The Miracle Margarita
This bright blue margarita is the perfect thing to keep you lit for eight days. It’s tart, sweet, and so festive for Hanukkah.
1 lime (1 oz lime juice)
2 oz. blue curacao
2 oz. tequila
Mix all ingredients together and serve over ice, or shake over ice and serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a silver straw.
The Latke Sour
The combination of potato vodka, apple cider, and a creamy topping makes for the perfect latke in a glass! It was our first time working with egg whites in a drink, and while we were intimidated by it at first, it turned out to be super easy and totally delicious.
2 oz. potato vodka
½ lemon (½ oz. lemon juice)
2 oz. apple cider
1 egg white
Shake vodka, lemon juice, egg white, and apple cider in a cocktail shaker (or mason jar) for 30 seconds. Add a scoop of ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and star of anise.
The Raspberry Sufganyot-ini
In Israel, they don’t really celebrate Hannukkah with latkes, but rather with jelly donuts, or sufganyot. While we aren’t a big donut family, this drink still lets us celebrate Hanukkah the Israeli way.
2 oz tequila or vodka
1 oz raspberry liqueur
½ lemon (½ oz lemon juice)
Shake over ice in a cocktail shaker (or mason jar). Serve in a pink sugar-rimmed glass.
(Pink sugar can be made by putting granulated sugar in a food processor with a little bit of red food coloring)
Other fun Hanukkah-inspired cocktails include:
The Guilt Gelt (Chocolate martinis)