MOTAC’s 7th Annual Holiday Cocktail Seminar

On December 9 the Museum of the American Cocktails hosted its 7th Annual Holiday Cocktail Seminar, featuring an all-star cast of some of DC’s best and brightest bartenders. Presenters included Derek Brown (The Passenger, Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency), Gina Chersevani (Buffalo & Bergen, Hank’s Oyster Bar Capitol Hill), JP Fetherston (Southern Efficiency, Columbia Room), Frank Jones (The Gibson), Ben Matz (Eat the Rich), and Chantel Tseng (Mockingbird Hill). The group was led by MOTAC Co-Founder Phil Greene.


From Left: Frank Jones, Ben Matz, Derek Brown, JP Fetherston, Chantel Tseng and Phil Greene.

The Warehouse Theater, located just behind the Passenger, served as this year’s venue. A packed house of around 80 people were treated to many delectable warm and cold cocktails highlighting traditional and seasonal ingredients.

To begin things off Gina Chersevani presented her “Who’s Santa’s Mama Now?“:

1.5 oz chocolate/chestnut washed Johnny Walker 12 year
.5 oz Alvear’s 1927 PX Solera Sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
3 oz hot milk
Touch of whipped cream
Garnish with shaved chocolate

For a lighter version replace the milk for water and whipped cream for an orange peel.

In a hot mug pour 1.5 oz washed scotch, .5 oz Pedro Ximenez, 1 tablespoon sugar, then add 3 oz of hot milk, stir until sugar is dissolved. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Next came Chantel Tseng who presented Wassail:

Score three red apples and place in a pot. Add on half cup brown sugar, two bottles of brown ale, 1 cup Romate Gold Cream Sherry and bake for 30 minutes.

Over the stove top, pour 6 bottles of Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale, add 1 tsp. each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Grate and add the zest of two lemons. Simmer. Add apple mixture and sugar to taste.

Derek Brown then presented his Yule Glögg:

1 bottle of full-bodied red wine
3/4 cup Aquavit
1/4 cup Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
1 tsp. crushed cardamom seeds
2 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup whole almonds — blanched
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar

Bring wine to boil. Tie spices and zest in to a cheesecloth. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add in almonds, sugar and raisins; cook for 5-10 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat. Add in Aquavit and Rum. Stir, and remove spices. Serve hot.

Frank Jones then offered his own version of Eggnog:

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 container vanilla soy milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 Oz Bulleit Bourbon
6 Oz Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters

And for those of us who are traditionalists, JP Fetherson made guests a Baltimore Eggnog:

1 750ml bottle Whistle Pig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey
1 750ml bottle Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican rum
2 lbs confectioners sugar
3 qts whole milk (Trickling Springs)
1 qt heavy cream
1 tsp table salt
24 eggs

Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Beat 24 egg yolks until they are light and lemon-colored. Add the rye, rum, sugar, milk, cream and salt, all while beating the ingredients while adding them.

Beat the 24 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add 3/4 tsp. of fresh nutmeg and fold into the liquid mixture. Serves 25.

And last but not least, Ben Matz offered his Iced Irish Coffee:

4 oz. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
10 oz. strong chicory coffee
2 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Brew strong coffee over 3 crushed cinnamon sticks, add condensed milk and chill. Combine with Tullamore Dew.

And as a surprise treat for guests to cap the night off, Phil Greene made a Hemingway Hot Rum Punch:

9 oz Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum

6 oz Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum

6 oz Cognac Ferrand 1840

15 oz water

4 1/2 oz lemon juice

3 oz lime juice

3 oz Depaz Cane Syrup (from Martinique), or brown sugar simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a pot, set on stove on low, simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in punch cup, Irish coffee glass, sturdy wine glass, or rocks glass.  Garnish with lemon peel. Option, add a dash of Angostura Bitters or Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters to each serving.


Not only would we like to thank everyone for coming along with our top-notch crew of presenters, but none of this could be made possible without our sponsors, namely Tullamore Dew, Whistle Pig Rye, Bulleit Bourbon, Johnny Walker Black Label, Papa’s Pilar Rum, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Dale Degroff’s Pimento Bitters, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Alvear’s 1927 PX Solera Sherry, and Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican Rum. Thank you!

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