Dale DeGroff’s Holiday Cocktails

Drink Recipes: Sure to Make Your Spirits Bright

Holiday Cocktails Submitted by: Holland American Culinary Team (check out this site for more recipes)


Holiday Cocktails
Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff making his Ritz Cocktail.

Whether you’re having a holiday party or not, it’s always fun to have some specialty cocktails on-hand to serve to friends, family or yourself this time of year! We enlisted our Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff to show us how to make some of his signature must-have holiday drinks, and these certainly won’t disappoint! Enjoy these recipes. We’re making sure you have them with enough time to go out and get the ingredients for your soiree!


holiday cocktails - Egg Nog

(1 batch 8 to 12 people)

My Great Uncle Angelo Gencarelli’s recipe appeared on the Four Roses whiskey bottle for years in the 1950’s. What makes it so special is the lightness: two parts milk to one-part heavy cream. The yolks and the whites are separated and the egg whites whipped stiff are folded into the finished eggnog like clouds above a sea of nog…

  • 6 eggs (separated)
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 pint cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 oz. old bourbon
  • 4 oz. your favorite medium bodied rum or spiced rum

Put the whites aside in the fridge. Beat egg yolks well until they turn very light in color, adding half a cup of sugar as you beat. Add the milk, cream and the spirits to finished yolks. Add some grated nutmeg to the batch and stir well. Chill. Just before serving, beat egg whites with 1/4 cup of remaining sugar until they peak. Fold whites into mixture. Grate fresh nutmeg over each cup.

NOTE: As with cooking, raw eggs in cocktails when stored and handled properly are completely safe; in fact, because they are mixed with strong spirits there is an added measure of safety by virtue of the antibacterial properties of strong spirits.


Dale’s tribute to César Ritz and the Champagne Cocktails of the Ritz Hotels of Paris and Madrid.

holiday cocktails - Ritz









  • 0.5 oz. VSOP Cognac
  • 0.5 oz. Cointreau triple sec
  • 0.25 oz. maraschino liqueur
  • 0.25 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2.5 oz. Champagne

Stir in a mixing glass all ingredients except the Champagne. Strain into a martini glass and fill with Champagne. Garnish with burnt orange peel.


A Manhattan style libation for the non-whiskey drinker.

holiday cocktails - Manhattan









  • 2 oz. Absolut Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cynar (an Italian bitter liqueur)
  • 2 dashes Dale DeGroff Pimento Bitters
  • Grapefruit zest garnish

Assemble all the ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass and stir well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze the oil from the grapefruit peel over the drink and drop in.

*Dale DeGroff original or adaptation


A nog with no cream or milk products.

A personal favorite, adapted from a recipe in Jerry Thomas’s 1862 edition of How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion. The bourbon and bitters are my addition.

  • 1.5 oz. Makers Mark Bourbon
  • 4 oz. fresh apple cider
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1.5-teaspoons sugar
  • Dash of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters

Assemble the bourbon, cider, egg, and sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake very well to completely emulsify the egg. Strain over ice into a large goblet and top with the pinch of ground cinnamon.

Credit: hollandamericablog.com