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Comforting holiday cocktails

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, from left to right, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, from left to right, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the juicy dreams cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the juicy dreams cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows a bourbon orchard cocktail in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows a bourbon orchard cocktail in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, clockwise from top, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, clockwise from top, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, from left to right, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the juicy dreams cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows a bourbon orchard cocktail in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows the rooted and brewed cocktail in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drink is made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Oct. 28 , 2013 photo shows, clockwise from top, the Juicy Dreams, bourbon orchard, and rooted and brewed cocktails in Concord, N.H. The cold-weather-oriented drinks are made with bourbon. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

The definition of the ideal summer cocktail? Easy to make, refreshing to drink. Come the winter holidays, there’s one change in that definition: The ideal winter cocktail is easy to make and comforting to drink.

While we look for bright and fruity in the heat of summer, at Thanksgiving and Christmas and the onslaught of holiday gatherings in between, we want whatever is in our cups to put us at ease, leave us feeling warm and play nicely with whatever food is on the table.

For cold weather holidays, bourbon works well. It has all the qualities we’re looking for – warming, festive, affordable and compatible. And because of those qualities, you don’t need to do much to it to create a terrific cocktail you’ll want to nurse your way through during the party.

Here’s a trio of holiday-friendly bourbon cocktails to get you started. The root beer in the rooted and brewed cocktail may seem unusual, but it is quite delicious and does not impart an overly sweet flavor.

BOURBON ORCHARD

ice

2 ounces bourbon

4 ounces apple cider

1 teaspoon agave nectar

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Shake well for 30 seconds, then strain into a tumbler. Serves 1.

ROOTED AND BREWED

ice

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce coffee liqueur

root beer

Fill an 8-ounce drinking glass with ice. Add the bourbon and coffee liqueur.

Stir, then slowly pour in enough root beer to top off the glass.

Gently stir again. Serves 1.

JUICY DREAMS

ice

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce Lillet

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2 ounces pomegranate juice

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, Lillet, lemon juice and pomegranate juice. Shake, then strain into an ice-filled tumbler. Serves 1.

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