The garnish on this cocktail is as festive as it gets, but the flavor is what will really impress your guests this holiday season. Sweet floral St. Germain mingles with earth matcha tea for a luxe coup of Christmas cheer.
Ingredients in a Festive Wreath Holiday Cocktail
A neutral spirit to showcase the other ingredients in this cocktail. There for the booze, and not much else!
I love this floral liqueur, it has a touch of grassy greenness while still staying sweet and flowery. I find it adds complexity to many cocktails. It partners especially well with matcha in this case. Any elderflower liqueur will work here!
I picked matcha for this recipe, obviously, for its color, without the green there wouldn’t be anything to make a wreath with! Matcha also adds a little kick of caffeine and a mellow nutty and earthy flavor to ground the cocktail.
Lemon adds a balancing sourness to this festive holiday cocktail. It should be fresh squeezed rather than bottled to pair with the freshness of the St. Germain.
The egg white adds body to the cocktail as well as creating the silky foam canvas to draw the wreath upon. To get the most out of the egg white’s contributions make sure to follow my shaking protocol!
Why Dry Shake a Cocktail?
Cocktails that use egg whites often employ a technique called the dry shake. This allows the egg white to get fluffy and aerated without the dilution from ice deflating the foam. For the tightest fluffiest egg white topper, shake without ice. Then finish the cocktail by shaking with ice just long enough to get it chilled.
Tips for Making a Festive Wreath Holiday Cocktail
There are a few tips to ensuring your holiday cocktail both looks and tastes amazing.
Straining the Cocktail
Because we want a nice thick froth on top of the cocktail make sure to leave plenty of space between the strainer and the lip of the shaker. (See picture below.) If the strain is held too tight to the shaker lip the egg white can’t get out and there won’t be anything for you to draw a wreath on!
Making the Matcha
If you’re a matcha lover (like I am!) you’ll notice the recipe has you make a dense tea. This isn’t the same ratio of water to tea as you’d use in your daily cup of matcha but it is perfect for this cocktail. We’re looking to add concentrated color. Plus when the matcha is shaken with the other ingredients it disperses and becomes less concentrated.
Making Multiple Festive Holiday Wreath Cocktails
During the holidays you might be shaking up cocktails for a group. However, for this recipe I don’t recommend making more than two cocktails in one shaker. To get the frothiest egg white from your dry shake the ingredients need space in the shaker to move around and aerate.
Equipment for Making a Festive Wreath Holiday Cocktail
There are a few special items you need to make this cocktail that might not be part of your usual bar routine.
Squeeze Bottle or Dropper
The same plastic squeeze bottle you might use for a syrup or sauce works for dropping the dots of matcha on this cocktail. If you have an extra dropper and bottle that will work too. I find its easier to pour the hot matcha into a wide mouthed squeeze bottle than a dropper bottle but either will work!
Toothpicks aren’t hard to come across but in this case they are very important. Don’t try to use something thick like a butter knife to draw the wreath through the matcha on this holiday cocktail. You’ll have more precision with a small implement like a toothpick.
Standard Shaker and Strainer
Whatever shaker and strainer you typically use on your home bar will work here. Just make sure to leave that separation between the strainer and the lip of the shaker when straining!
Festive Wreath Holiday Cocktail
- Squeeze Bottle or Dropper
- Shaker & Strainer
For the Matcha
- 2 tbsp 175-170 degree water
For the Festive Wreath Holiday Cocktail
- 1½ oz Vodka
- 1 oz St Germain
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- ½ oz Simple Sugar
- ½ oz Matcha from above
- 1 egg white
- Remaining Matcha & Peychaud’s Bitters for garnish
- With a matcha whisk, whisk, or frother mix together the 1 tsp matcha powder and 2 tablespoons very warm water. Mix until a light green froth forms on the matcha. Set aside.
- Add 1 ½oz vodka, 1 oz St Germain, 1 oz lemon juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and ½ oz matcha in a cocktail shaker. Add an egg white and shake for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Open the strainer and check that the mixture appears frothy. Add ice and shake just until the drink is chilled, about 15 seconds.
- Strain into a wide mouthed coupe glass. Use the remaining matcha to dot the top of the cocktail foam in a circle about a ¼ inch from the rim of the glass.
- Using a toothpick draw a circle through all of the matcha dots. Depending on the size of your “wreath” you may want to draw two circles through the dots. Using a dropper, place three red “berries” on the surface of your cocktail with Peychaud’s Bitters.
- Serve and enjoy immediately!
- Be careful when straining! Make sure the egg white froth can flow between the strainer and the lip of the shaker.
- Enjoy immediately! This cocktail can’t be batched or pre-made
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