Whether you crave the warmth of spiced toddies, the sweetness of peppermint, or the tangy zest of seasonal fruits, your tastebuds are sure to be delighted with these holiday cocktails in Frederick, Maryland.
Tenth Ward Distilling Company
Tenth Ward Distilling Company, located on East Patrick Street in the heart of Frederick’s historic downtown, has four seasonal cocktails to brighten your December. During a recent visit, I enjoyed the “Cran-Merry Swizzle,” which blends Tenth Ward’s Genever Gin with cranberry juice, lemon juice, and a hint of rosemary-matcha syrup. The gold cranberry garnish added a festive bling. To warm up on a cold night, my husband picked the “Let the Toddy Hit the Floor,” a warm drink with Maryland Rye, Winter Liqueur, winter spiced caramel tea, orange oleo, and a merry garnish of pecan, candied orange peel, and Hawaiian red sea salt.
Other options include the “Winter Mule,” a concoction of Tenth Ward’s Winter Liqueur, along with orange oleo, house ginger beer, and singed rosemary, and the “Very Berry XMas,” a mix of Springtime Liqueur, house Orange Liqueur, blackberry-cinnamon syrup, and a dash of lemon juice.
Agave 137, just around the corner from Tenth Ward on North Market Street, welcomes the holidays with three distinct cocktails to suit your mood. Indulge in “The Nutcracker,” a harmonious blend of Jim Beam, Amaretto, and light brown simple syrup, with a zing of lemon juice, or choose the “Winter-ITA,” a mix of Altos Reposado, cinnamon syrup, cranberry juice, and lemon juice, topped off with a cinna-sugar rim.
If you dream of a holiday in the sun, try “Christmas in Cabo,” a concoction blending Captain Morgan, Blue Curacao, lemon juice, coconut cream, and pineapple juice—a tropical paradise in a glass, complete with a sugar rim.
Brewer’s Alley is pulling out all the stops this holiday season with four beer offerings. The Three Kings Winter Ale boasts a medley of mulling spices that dance on the palate, while the Black Frost Barleywine is a complex beer rich in fruit with little hop. Resinator DIPA, an annual favorite, makes its seasonal return, along with both 2022 and 2023 versions of the malty Scotch Ale.
If beer isn’t your thing, try the Gambrill Egg Nog. This house-made cocktail with eggs, cream, brandy, Jim Beam Bourbon, Myer’s Dark Rum, and a sprinkle of nutmeg and sugar on top will surely put you in the holiday spirit.
McClintock’s Back Bar
Cozy up in McClintock’s Back Bar, located next door to its brother McClintock’s Distilling Company, which just celebrated its seventh anniversary of producing flavorful, pre-Prohibition-era spirits. Although the Back Bar doesn’t have a printed holiday drink menu, its bartenders can whip up a beverage to suit your tastes.
During a recent visit, I tried a fruity concoction that used McClintock’s Epiphany Vodka with raspberry simple, cranberry juice, and a hit of Sprite, along with muddled oranges and cherries. My husband enjoyed coffee liqueur, cold brew, and cream mixed with the Epiphany Vodka and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Both drinks made us smile as we headed out to tackle some Christmas shopping.
Just a short drive from downtown Frederick is Dragon Distillery, tucked in an industrial park across from the airport. This unassuming spot boasts an extensive cocktail menu year-round, with several additions for the holiday season.
Choose a martini flavored like campfire s’mores, sugar cookies, or coffee espresso, or maybe you’d prefer the Gingerbread Old Fashioned made with Dragon Distillery’s Everyday Whiskey, muddled orange, black walnut bitters, and gingerbread syrup.
Unique to Dragon are the spiked hot chocolate flights, where you can sip from three decadent flavors: the Medieval Mint Chocolate Vodka, the Holiday Happiness Orange Chocolate Vodka, and the Chainmail Black Cherry Almond Vodka.
If your holiday shopping takes you east of Frederick, grab a cocktail at New Market’s Vintage. Their Winter Cosmo, made with Maryland-distilled Scotty’s Vodka and infused with the zing of blood orange liqueur, white cranberry, and lime juice, is a citrusy delight. The Spiced Holiday Margarita may fit the bill for those craving a unique twist. This concoction blends Mi Campo Blanco Tequila and triple sec with a citrus sour punch, cranberry juice, and a tantalizing cinnamon-clove simple syrup.
To truly indulge in the festive spirit, try the Peppermint Mocha Espresso Martini, which marries Ketel One Vodka, Kahlua, cold brew, white chocolate cream liqueur, and a refreshing kick of peppermint syrup. And the peppermint sprinkled on the rim? Yes, please!
The Main Cup
Middletown’s The Main Cup is known for its delicious comfort food, but it also serves up some creative cocktails. This holiday season, delight in their Peppermint White Mocha, an indulgent cocktail blending Stole Vanilla and Peppermint Rumchata. For those seeking a classic with a seasonal twist, the Holiday Old Fashioned is a must-try.
Springfield Manor Winery, Distillery, and Brewery
Perched in the mountains with a glorious view, Springfield Manor Winery, Distillery, and Brewery offers four fun holiday flavors this December.
Step into a winter wonderland with the “Jack Frost,” a blend of Springfield Manor’s 318 Vodka mixed with blue curacao, white cranberry juice, and a refreshing touch of peppermint. For a fruity punch, the “Merry Margarita,” crafted with 318 Vodka, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, lime, and a splash of triple sec, brings joy to every sip. “The Cocktail That Stole Christmas” is as green as the Grinch it’s named after and features a fusion of 318 Vodka, pineapple juice, blue curacao, and Sprite. Finally, “The Melted Snowman,” blending 318 Vodka, white chocolate mocha syrup, and milk, is a merry concoction for the season. You can choose your favorite to enjoy or try all four as part of a flight, which we did during a recent trip.
About the Author
Heidi Glatfelter Schlag is a marketer, history lover, and traveler who can often be found exploring museums, parks, small towns, and farms. She founded Culture-Link Communications, where she helps local nonprofits and small businesses build their brands. Heidi lives in Frederick, MD, with her husband and two dogs.