Connoisseur

Holiday Spirit

1149 bartender Samantha Allison on festive cocktails

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You’ve got a pretty creative cocktail menu at 1149 East. What’s on it for the holidays?

On our menu right now, we have a pumpkin crème brulee martini: it’s Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka, Frangelico, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, and pumpkin liqueur, served with a graham cracker rim. We’ve also got a cranberry mojito – we muddle the lime, simple syrup and mint as usual, but then add cranberry juice and fresh cranberries. The red and the green together are really festive.

The first week in December, we’ll debut our specialty cocktails for the month. You’ll see hot chocolate and coffee drinks, and twists on some classics like the peppermint patty martini. We’ll do a specialty hot toddy as well.

Anything else creative I haven’t tried before?

We have weekly drink specials that are always changing. Right now we have a black forest cake martini. It’s Pinnacle Cake Vodka, Chambord, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, raspberry vodka and chocolate milk. We’ve also got a fresh orange and raspberry sangria – for that, we soaked fresh oranges in raspberry liqueur and berry vodka.

I love a champagne cocktail, especially this time of year, but you don’t see them that often. Anything with bubbles?

For brunch, we do a lot of twists on champagne cocktails. We’ve got a signature blood orange mimosa. Our best selling drink ever is the Doli Berry – it’s Stoli doli (vodka infused with fresh pineapple), raspberry vodka, triple sec and cranberry topped with champagne.

What are you drinking when you’re not behind the bar?

I’ll usually go with a Ketel One and soda or a nice prosecco. I love espresso martinis, but dark, without Bailey’s. I make them with Stoli Vanil, Tia Maria, Kahlua, Frangelico and a fresh shot of espresso. That makes all the difference; you can’t use espresso that’s been sitting around for a while. The key is to shake it forever.

What do you really enjoy making when you are behind the bar?

I like making hot chocolate or coffee drinks. You can add whipped cream, biscotti, Reese’s peanut butter chips. You can dress them up a lot. The garnishes really draw you in. At this time of year, it’s a great comfort drink.

Samantha is a longtime bartender at 1149 East.

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