Drink Recipes: Dale DeGroff’s Holiday Cocktails Are Sure to Make Your Spirits Bright

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!



(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.


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.

*(Dale DeGroff original or adaptation)

A Manhattan style libation for the non-whiskey drinker.


2 oz. Absolut Vodka
1 oz. Cynar
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)

Bonus Recipe!

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.

Happy Holidays!


Join the Discussion


  1. Julia Hardigree October 8, 2019 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Had quite a few of the citrus cosmopolitan on the Westerdam. The best. Can’t duplicate at home. Recipe please. They always tasted the same at all the bars. Here’s hoping!

  2. Bryant June 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    We recently cruiseed New England and the St. Lawrence seaway to Montréal on the Maasdam and my wife enjoyed the Crow’s Nest cocktail served in the Crow’s Nest lounge. We would like to have the receipe if available.

  3. Linda DAlessandro December 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Just had a great cruise on Holland America. Had a drink called Rolling in the Deep. Can you give me the recipe?

  4. Becky Shelest May 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Cruised to Alaska May 7-14. Fell in love with your Anchor Down Martini. Served in the Crows Nest during Happy Hour. Definitely became my Happy Place everyday! Would love the recipe… Going through withdrawals, LOL

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