Queen Bee Mixology

Reviving Classic Cocktails: A Post-Holiday Twist on Old Favorites

Reviving Classic Cocktails: A Post-Holiday Twist on Old Favorites

The holiday season has come and gone, leaving behind wonderful memories, and piles of wrapping paper. Now that the new year has rolled in, it’s time to start fresh and embrace the possibilities of a brand-new cocktail menu. What better way to kickstart your post-holiday spirit than by reviving classic cocktails with a modern twist? Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or just someone who enjoys a good drink, join us as I explore some exciting ideas to breathe new life into old favorites.

Introduction to Classic Cocktails

Before I dive into the exciting world of revamped classics, let’s take a moment to appreciate the timeless beauty of classic cocktails. These drinks have withstood the test of time for a reason—they’re delicious and well-balanced, and they’ve been enjoyed by generations. From the sophisticated Manhattan to the refreshing Margarita, classic cocktails have a special place in our hearts.

The Revival: A Modern Twist

Brandy Manhattan

The Brandy Manhattan caters to those who appreciate a robust and spirit-focused beverage. With a history spanning more than a century, this classic cocktail offers a delightful twist on the original Manhattan. Brandy offers a silky, subtly sweet foundation, perfectly complemented by sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. This blend introduces a harmonious blend of herbal and spicy notes, resulting in a well-balanced, flavorful cocktail.

Smoked Old Fashioned

The foundation of the Smoked Old-Fashioned cocktail relies on rye whiskey, known for its almost peppery, earthy taste, which harmonizes beautifully with the smoky undertones introduced during the smoking procedure. There are numerous approaches to infusing a cocktail with a smoky essence, but I recommend trying a cocktail smoking cloche that streamlines the process effortlessly!

Cranberry Margarita

Margaritas can be enjoyed year-round, and this tangy variation of the classic recipe is ideal for the cooler months. With just three essential ingredients, you can whip up this delightful cranberry margarita in a jiffy! Margaritas can be enjoyed beyond the warm months; this tangy twist on the classic cocktail recipe is ideal for the cooler part of the year.

Tools of the Trade

Before you start shaking up these post-holiday delights, make sure you have the right tools on hand. Here’s a quick list of essentials for your home bar:

  • Cocktail Shaker: A must-have for mixing ingredients efficiently.
  • Jigger: Ensures precise measurements for a perfectly balanced cocktail.
  • Muddler: Great for mashing fruits, herbs, or spices in your drinks.
  • Cocktail Strainer: Keeps ice and solids out of your glass.
  • Bar Spoon: Essential for stirring and layering cocktails.
  • Glassware: Invest in a variety of glass types for different cocktails.

Final Sips

As we bid farewell to the holiday season and embrace the fresh start of the new year, there’s no better time to get creative in your home bar. Reviving classic cocktails with a post-holiday twist is not only a fun way to experiment with flavors, but it also keeps the festive spirit alive a little longer.

Cheers to a year filled with amazing cocktails and memorable moments!


Author Meet Kelly Sparks, the creative mastermind and cocktail influencer behind @QueenBeeMixology. While mixology may not be her day job, it is her passion. As the Founder and CEO of VMG Studios, a successful and award-winning creative agency and video production studio, Kelly brings her expertise in creativity to the world of cocktails. As a self-taught and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, Kelly makes the journey to amazing cocktails accessible to everyone. And when she’s not hard at work, you can find her sipping a delicious drink with her husband.

To mix drinks like a pro, check out my go-to bar tools and glasses.