An invitation to one of Daniel Desforges’ cocktail parties is an offer to explore and discover. “It’s always about creating an experience that my guests haven’t had before,” said the founder and editor of food and style blog, dothedaniel.com. “Even if it’s really simple and imperfect, I always want to host an event that my guests will remember.”
We couldn’t resist the opportunity to have Daniel create a few signature holiday-inspired cocktails for us at Artemano. We’re excited to share his recipes and tips with you here so you can offer them to guests at your holiday gatherings. Because for us, there’s nothing more important than creating lasting memories with family and friends.
Sugar & Spice
To create this spicy-sweet cocktail, Daniel drew inspiration from seasonal traditions. “I wanted something that would be warming and have guests thinking about evenings by the fire,” he said. The solution: infuse cinnamon and nutmeg into the drink by freezing the spices in ice cubes. “Those spices can be quite bold. By putting them in an ice cube, you get the essence of the holidays without overpowering the drink,” he explained.
3-4 cinnamon and nutmeg ice cubes
2 oz Grand Marnier
0.5 oz pure vanilla extract
Canada Dry ginger ale
Directions: One day before serving your cocktail, mix cinnamon and nutmeg in water and freeze overnight in an ice cube tray. For the cocktail: In a rocks glass, add ice cubes, rum and vanilla extract. Fill with ginger ale to taste.
Tip: Select a statement glass
Elegant presentation lends cocktails that special magic. To serve his Sugar & Spice, Daniel chose a charming rocks glass speckled with metallic gold dots. “When I think about holiday decorations, I think about metallic and shining lights. The glass gave that shimmer that I was looking for,” he said. Juxtaposed against the organic wood grain of the table, the finished cocktail is a gorgeous-yet-minimalistic addition to a holiday party.
Mango Mist Martini
“When I think about Artemano, travel, escape and Asian inspiration come to mind,” Daniel said. What better way to express these characteristics than with a velvety, mango and coconut cocktail? The tangy mango juice blends harmoniously with the smooth flavours of the coconut to yield a refreshing flavour that’s sweet without being cloying.
1.5 oz Vodka
1.5 Disaronno Originale
1.5 oz coconut milk
1.5 oz fresh mango juice
Directions: Fill martini shaker with ice and combine vodka, coconut milk & mango juice. Shake for 1-2 minutes to ensure ingredients are well mixed and chilled. Strain into a martini glass and serve.
Tip: Display your ingredients using minimalistic accessories
While you don’t want to show off your entire bar, setting out a few select liquor bottles gives guests a sneak peak of what’s on offer. “Displaying a few bottles creates this elegant, Mad Men feeling,” Daniel said. In the photo above, he opted to set his bottles on a simple silver tray to amp up the holiday sparkle. “Set out on a simple table from Artemano, like this table, a selection of bottles creates a lovely statement,” he offered.
The pomegranate, considered sacred by almost all world religions, is the star of this vibrant sipper. Daniel chose to pair the crimson fruit with a bubbly rosé for a fresh and stylish way to ring in the New Year. “I wanted to play off the mystical tradition of the pomegranate to create something magical for my guests for the holidays,” Daniel said.
The tray mimics the effervescence of the drink while adding the requisite sparkle to the minimal design of the table.
1 oz rum
1 oz peach syrup
Fresh pomegranate seeds
Directions: In a Champagne flute, add rum. Slowly pour the Rosé to fill 3/4 of the glass. Drizzle peach syrup into the glass (the sugar will cause the Champagne to fizz). Add pomegranate seeds and serve at midnight.
Place 1 tbsp of pomegranate seeds in the bottom of a Champagne flute. Add rum. Slowly fill ¾ of the flute with Champagne. Drizzle peach syrup into the flute (note that the sugar will cause the Champagne to fizz. Serve at midnight.
Tip: The simplest way to de-seed a pomegranate
Try Daniel’s fuss-free method for getting the tiny seeds out of the thick-skinned pomegranate: Cut the fruit in half, turn one half over and firmly tap the outer skin with the convex side of a spoon. “The spoon causes a vibration that makes the seeds fall out,” Daniel explained.
We’re grateful that Daniel carefully crafted these cocktails for us this season, and we’re thrilled to gift them to you.
We chose to serve this curated selection of signature drinks to show that we’ve put careful thought into our party this season. The quality ingredients, rich colours and unique flavours set the tone for a blissful holiday celebration we believe our loved ones will remember for years to come.