MOTAC’s 6th Annual Holiday Cocktail Seminar in DC

On December 11th the Museum of the American Cocktail held its 6th Holiday Cocktail Seminar showcasing some of the DC area’s most esteemed bartenders. The audience was treated to a wintry mix of hot and cold cocktails tailored to the season. MOTAC’s Phil Greene hosted the event featuring Alex Bookless of The Passenger, Gina Chersevani of Hank’s Oyster Bar and Buffalo & Bergen, Rachel Sergi of Lincoln, Jo-Jo Valenzuela of City Tap House , Jamie MacBain of Bourbon Steak and Jackson 20 and Jon Arroyo of The Farm and Farmers Fishers and Bakers.

Group Photo

To start things off Jon Arroyo gave a demonstration of his “Tom and Jerry at the Farm”

12 Eggs

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 Tbsp Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

1 Tbsp Angostura Bitters

1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

Ground Nutmeg

For each drink:

1oz Apple Cider

1.5oz Cognac Ferrand

Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixing bowl add egg yolks and sugar and beat them until creamy. In a separate bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Mix and fold egg whites into the yolks until you have a consistent batter. In a preheated mug add approximately 2 tablespoons of batter, add cognac, top with hot water and stir. Dust with nutmeg and serve.

Jon Arroyo

Jon Arroyo.


Jo-Jo Valenzuela treated participants to his cocktail “It’s the Most Wonderful Thyme of the Year” which incorporated bourbon, cinnamon-thyme syrup, apple cider and lemon juice garnished with pomegranate seeds and a thyme sprig.

Gina Chersevani presented a classic mulled wine or Glühwein to warm everyone up:

1 bottle dry red wine

1 Cup blanched almonds

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Craisins

1 Cinnamon Stick

10 Whole Cardamom Pods

5 Whole Cloves

1 Piece Ginger Root

1/2 lb. of Sugar Cubes

16oz of Aquavit

In a pot, pour the bottle of wine, then tie into a cheese cloth the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger root and drop into the pot. Slowly heat to simmering then add the dried fruit and nuts and heat for 10 minutes more. Over the pot place a metal grate to suspended the sugar cubes above the wine mixture, pour the aquavit over the sugar, ignite, allowing the aquavit to burn off. Then drop sugar into the wine mixture and stir until melted in. Ladle mulled wine and fruit into cups and serve.


Gina Chersevani ignites sugar cubes with Aquavit for her hot Glühwein.

Alex Bookless then demonstrated her sweet, nutty and velvety Averna Flip:

1oz Cardamaro

1oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino

1/2oz Averna

1/4oz Simple Syrup

1 Egg


In a shaker add the raw egg, Cardamaro, vermouth, Averna and simple syrup and give it a hard, dry shake (shaking without ice) to fully emulsify the egg. Then add ice and shake vigorously until cold and frothy. Strain into a glass and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Averna Flip

Alex Bookless’ Averna Flip.

Rachel Sergi served her creation “The North Star:”


Rachel Sergi

1oz Beefeater 24

1oz Cointreau

1/2oz Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

1oz Pink Grapefruit Juice

3 Dashes Cranberry Bitters

3/4oz Barrel Aged Cider

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake until ice cold and strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy.

Hot Buttered Rum with Dolce de Leche

Jamie MacBain concluded the seminar with a Hot Buttered Rum with dark rum, homemade butterscotch, a spice bouquet, and topped with dulce de leche foam.

We would like to thank our sponsors for making the evening possible: Cognac Ferrand, Remy-Cointreau, Fee Brothers, and Pernod-Ricard.



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