Naughty or Nice: Celebrate the Holidays with a Spicy Krampus

Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

While children are nestled all snug in their beds, visions of the Krampus cocktail dance in their parents' heads.

Holiday drink menus often feature the same cast of characters year after year. Pouring classics like egg nog and bourbon-enhanced apple cider can get boring, so I decided to spice things up this winter season.

One of my favorite ways to add spice to cocktails is by using Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, made with chiles that are sundried and grown in Puebla, Mexico.

Using this flavorful ingredient made me think Santa Claus' counterpart: The Krampus — the creature that punishes those who have been naughty. Celebrated on Dec. 5 in Austria and Germany, Krampusnacht is the pagan holiday where adults dress up as the demonic Krampus figure, according to National Geographic.

Designed for the Mess Hall craft cocktail bar at the Liberty Public Market in San Diego, The Krampus features Ancho Reyes chile liqueur mixed with tequila and pomegranate juice in a twist on a margarita, served up. The green sage leaf garnish atop the red cocktail completes the drink, giving it a festive Christmas look.

The Krampus
2    oz. Fortaleza Blanco
3/4 oz. Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
3/4 oz. Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Agave Syrup
            Fresh Sage Leaf

Add all ingredients to a cocktail tin, add a scoop of ice and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass. Clap the sage leaf between your hands to enhance its aroma, then gently float on top of the cocktail as a garnish.

Agave Syrup
10 oz. Agave
10 oz. Hot Water

Mix agave and water until fully mixed. Let cool at room temperature, then store in a refrigerator until ready to use.

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