8 Hanukkah Cocktails to Light Up the Night

hanukkah cocktailsKeller & Keller Photography/Corbis
Get ready for eight nights of light, chosen people! Starting soon, Hanukkah is ON. For most of us that means lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel, and chowing down on some delicious latkes. Why not add some cocktails to this year's celebration? After all, what family gathering is complete without some cheer from the bottle?


Here are eight cocktails that will light up your celebration in the time it takes to sing the blessing.

1. The Hammer

Named after Judah Maccabee, the hammer will deliver. Just don't drive home after having a few of these.

1 ounce gin
2 ounces ginger soda
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 ice cubes
Lemon wedge

1. Place four ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add gin, ginger soda, and lemon juice and shake until chilled and fully mixed.

2. Pour into martini glass, garnish with a lemon wedge, and serve.

2. The Sazerac

A classic holiday cocktail for any religion, serve these around the menorah to warm everyone's belly.

1 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon bitters
4 teaspoons simple syrup
5 lemon twists

1. Pour Pernod into serving glasses (martini or cocktail), then pour it out.

2. In a shaker, add ice, bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, and one lemon twist. Shake until chilled and combined.

3. Pour into prepared glasses and add lemon twists for garnish.

Makes: 4 cocktails

3. Pimm's Cup

For the old school in your crowd, a Pimm's cup is the perfect light and sassy drink for celebrating.

2 ounces Pimm's No. 1
4 ounces lemon-lime soda
3 mint leaves
Lemon twist
Cucumber round

1. Muddle mint leaves, and place in the bottom of a glass. Pour in Pimm's and lemon-lime soda and stir to combine.

2. Garnish with cucumber round and lemon twist, and serve.

4. Irish Coffee

No, Hanukkah isn't exactly an Irish holiday. But your bubbe might want a little something in her coffee, rather than going full-on party during the lighting. Try this winter warmer-upper.

2 ounces Bailey's Irish Cream
6 ounces hot coffee

1. Stir, and serve.

5. The Honey Bee

Add some dissolved honey to your gin drink, and give a little sweetness to the holiday just like the sweetness of military victory.

6. Pomegranate Kir Royale

From Cat Cora, this is a holiday cocktail that will please those who love the bubbly. Also, it will make that whole dreidel game a lot more interesting.

7. The White Rabbit

For those of you who want to get a good night's sleep during Hanukkah, may I suggest the vanilla vodka and milk concoction of the White Rabbit? Enjoy.

8. The Drunken Pharoah

You may want to save this for Passover, but if you've got some Manischewitz and you want to use it creatively, this is your ultimate Jewish holiday cocktail.

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