Omni Hotels & Resorts is making it easy to indulge this holiday season with Cookie Cocktails, part of the brand’s month-long Omni Originals culinary series. These cookie-turned-cocktails are bound to spread holiday cheer at properties across the country and will showcase recipes from select brand chefs.
“The holiday season is known for good friends, family and food, so we decided to take a twist on tradition and make our favorite holiday cookies into crafty cocktails making for unexpected palate pleasers,” said Devin Burns, vice president of food and beverage at Omni Hotels & Resorts.
“Our chefs whipped up the cocktails using recipes from childhood cookie favorites they used to bake with their families during the holiday season,” he added. “We want to surprise our guests and show all of the different ways that you can take a tradition and make your own personal twist on it.”
Here are some of the seasonal sips and the sweet stories behind them:
Cinnamon Churro Leche: Tres Generaciones Reposado Tequila and the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon are shaken with milk. This recipe was inspired by Chef Juan Barrios at the Omni San Diego Hotel.
“My favorite childhood memory from growing up in Guadalajara was visiting the fair because I was able to eat one of my favorite foods, a churro,” Chef Barrios said.
“The churro would be fried until it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside," he said. "They would coat it in cinnamon sugar and fill the inside with cajeta, vanilla cream or a chocolate hazelnut spread.
"To recreate this memory, I have fashioned a crispy cinnamon cookie with a Nutella swirl topped with freshly made churro crumble," he added. “It brings me right back to my youth.
“To enhance the display we have paired it with a linzer date cookie in our iconic hibiscus shape.”
Chocolate Crinkle Surprise: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is joined by chocolate syrup, milk and the rich flavor of toasted almonds. Chef Leen Kim of the The Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia explains his holiday cookie of choice and idea behind this cocktail.
“Like most people, I have always loved desserts,” Chef Kim said. While I didn’t grow up with traditional American comfort food and desserts, I made up for it when I decided to become a pastry chef. The first time I made classic crinkle cookies, I knew this was going to be one of my favorites.
“The rich, fudgy chocolate inside and the crisp outside dusted with powdered sugar are the perfect combination of texture and flavor,” he added. “For the holidays, or anytime I want to really indulge, I add walnuts and cherries and the result is an incredibly decadent cookie that pairs deliciously with a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
"It’s also a great way to wow your friends and family!”
Sugar Cookie Cocktail (see full recipe and video below): Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Disaronno Amaretto, vanilla and agave nectar are shaken together with milk. Chef Desmond Queen of the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Hotel has a special place for this sugar cookie-inspired libation.
“As a young culinarian my first Chef who is a mentor had a Polish grandmother who would make the cookies for him as a child,” said Chef Queen. “He would tell the SAME STORY every time as he handed them out to the staff for the holidays while singing Christmas songs.
“The cookies were always buttery and soft with the perfect amount of sweetness and accompanied by a chilled glass of egg nog,” he added. “I would ask the Chef for his recipe, but he would tell me its grannies secret, after a few years he gave in and told us how to create this wonderful treat.
"For the last 20 years or so I have been making them for my family telling his story with a slight twist.”
Maple Pecan Old Fashioned: Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon meets the flavors of butter pecan and maple with just a touch of black walnut bitters.
At the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Chef Sabrina Pena-Morales influenced this special recipe.
Chef Sabrina’s holiday cookie gets its origin from where most great recipes come from, her family elders.
During the holidays every year when she visits her nephew and niece, they always insisted she make these awesome cookies. As a result, when Chef Sabrina thinks of a great holiday cookie she thinks of family, passing it on, and of course an awesome holiday cookie.
Orange Spice Amaretto: Mount Gay Black Barrel, Disaronno Amaretto, orange juice and a cookie butter syrup are shaken with Constant Comment orange spice tea. Chef Dean Sprague of the Texas’ Omni Corpus Christie came up with this recipe.
“These cookies were inspired by the ones my grandmother would make around the holidays,” said Chef Sprague. “She always had some type of cookie ready when I would visit, and her short bread ones were always my favorite. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she would be a big influence on me, and probably set me on this path.
"These rich light cookies are delightful, and the salty almond, paired with the spice of the pepper give them an added depth of flavor.”
Sparkling Kolaczki Bellini: This sparkling cocktail blends Absolut Elyx with a touch of elderflower liqueur, peach puree and orange bitters then topped with Moet & Chandon Brut.
Chef Jonathan Stutzman at the Omni Tucson National Resort is inspired by a family recipe
“This cookie is exactly how it was passed to me, exactly how I do it with my kiddos now,” explained Chef Stutzman. “Traditions passed down. My mom cut this recipe from a magazine in the 80's.
“My kids and I make these at Christmas, the shapes hold true, never gets tough, pull apart if you ball, so interactive and fun family time,” he added.
“While doing this today, I saw the same joy in cooks’ eyes learning as I see in my children.
Inspired by Omni Hotels & Resorts holiday cheer?
You can make the Sugar Cookie Cocktail at home or for your next holiday event.
Sugar Cookie Cocktail Recipe:
- 1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- 0.5 oz. Disaronno Amaretto
- 0.25 oz. Monin Vanilla Syrup
- 0.5 oz. Agave Syrup
- 1.5 oz. milk
Green sprinkle rim and nonpareil colored swirl.
- Combine all ingredients in mixing tin and shake well.
- Double strain into rimmed martini glass.
- Garnish and serve.