Entertaining Friends

Holiday Cocktails From Mixologist Ted Kilgore

We’ve officially arrived at that brief time of year that you could call the calm before the fall and winter party storm. Although with Halloween last weekend – the storm has already begun for some of you!

Fall Cocktails from Ted Kilgore

We all like to have fun and throw a great party that is personalized but without getting too complicated. That includes everything form the decorations, to the food and the drinks  Social media is taking center stage as one of the newest ways to plan and execute a home soiree. Event hashtags along with elaborate party photo shoots and creative party details appearing on Pinterest are trending this year. I know I love to get inspired!

But at the same time – entertaining can seem overwhelming! Many party experts say people are anxious for gatherings to be less expensive with a more casual cocktail party approach, rather than a sit-down dinner, because it allows guests to mingle more freely. Hosting a cocktail party with easy make-ahead foods, simple decorations, and yummy cocktails are sure to hit the spot.

Another idea when hosting a holiday get together is to make some unique and simple DIY infusions before the party begins in order to create personalized and fun cocktails. Infusions, or the process of soaking any combination of botanical ingredients in spirits, are a simple way to make all-natural flavored liqueurs not available in stores– and there’s no end to the creative possibilities. Herbs, spices and fruits are most commonly used for infusions.  It’s a great way to make your party different instead of serving the same old cocktails and, you can send guests home with these infusions packaged in a cute apothecary bottle or mason jar! I love sending my guest home with party favors! A mini bottle of an infused liqueur would be a hit!

SFall Cocktails from Ted Kilgore

You can also dress up your drinks with unique garnishes, such as fresh cranberries skewered on toothpicks or cinnamon sticks.  For the table, use brown craft paper that you can write on and indicate where your guests can go for the different flavor infusions and draw a line connecting the best food pairings for each flavor.

I was able to chat with mixologist Ted Kilgore. He shared with me some of his recipes!

The Last Word is anchored by the continued drive and obsession of Ted Kilgore, spirits and mixology professional. In the 12+ years that Ted has been in the business of drinks, Ted has become one of the most recognized mixologists in the Midwest. Ted can be found mixing drinks at Planter’s House in the beautiful Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, MO.

Fall Holiday Infusion Recipes

Chai Milk Punch


  • 1.5 oz Chai Vodka (below)
  • .5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 3 oz Milk


Shake all with shaker and strain into highball glass. Top with Grated nutmeg.

Fall Cocktails from Ted Kilgore

Chai Vodka


  • 10 oz Everclear
  • 10 oz Filtered water
  • 4 oz 1:1 Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup or 6 Bags of Chai


Combine Everclear and water. Add Chai and steep for 1-2 hours checking strength every half hour. Steep time will vary with strength of Chai. Strain off and add simple syrup. Bottle. Makes apx. 24 oz of 80 proof Vodka. (40% alcohol )

Holiday Highball


  • 1.5 oz Fall Flavors Vodka (below)
  • Club soda
  • Slice of Red Delicious Apple
  • Slice Granny Smith Apple

SFall Cocktails from Ted Kilgore


Combine Vodka  and club soda in highball. Stir briefly. Garnish with apple slices.

Fall Flavors Vodka


  • 10 oz Everclear
  • 10 oz Filtered water
  • 4 oz 1:1 Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 cup chopped Granny Smith Apple
  • 3/4 Cup copped Red Delicious Apple
  • 3/4 Cup chopped Cranberries
  • 2 allspice
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick


In food processor or with a knife, chop cranberries, and apples. Add all to 10 oz Everclear. Add spices.Give a good shake. Let steep for 24 hours. Strain off and add water and simple syrup. Bottle. Makes apx. 24 oz of 80 proof Vodka. (40% alcohol)


1.5 oz Orange Spice Vodka (below)

.5 oz Creme de Cacao

.75 Ginger Liqueur (Domain de Canton)

.5 lemon juice

Add all to Shaker and shake hard.  Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with candied ginger and or candy corn.

Fall Cocktails from Ted Kilgore

Orange spice Vodka


  • 10 oz Everclear
  • 10 oz Filtered water
  • 4 oz 1:1 Simple syrup
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 4  cloves
  • 4 allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean split


Steep cloves, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest to 10 oz Everclear. (Use a micro planer on oranges to get just the zest) Let steep for 24 hours. Strain off. Add 10 oz of waster and 4 oz simple syrup. Bottle. Makes apx. 24 oz of 80 proof Vodka (40% alcohol)

(42) Comments

  1. Oooh the Holiday Highball looks delicious! Definitely pinning to make very soon, Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don’t drink but they do look good!

  3. The highball sounds so yummy! Id have to make a virgin version of it though since I dont drink!

  4. Holiday Highball sounds amazing & refreshing!!!

  5. My family doesn’t typically drink during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a drink at home from time to time! These look great!

  6. How scrumptious are these recipes?! Love them!

  7. Party season has definitely hit around here!! I love the idea of the mini bottles – so cute!

  8. these all sound amazing. If I had to pick one to try out right now it would be the Holiday Highball!

  9. Stacey says:

    And cheers to you, too! Let me know if you try one of the recipes out!

  10. CourtneyLynne says:

    Oooo now this is my kind of post!! I’m definitely going to have to try afew of these out! Cheers!

  11. Debra says:

    These are so fun! We don’t drink, but we love making mocktails!

    1. Stacey says:

      There are some amazing cocktail recipes out there. Some of my best friends don’t drink alcohol either. I always have one of their favorite drinks on hand for them.

  12. I like mixed drinks!! I like your recipies.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks Nikka!

  13. I don’t drink mixed drinks but these look amazing! Thanks for sharing

    1. Stacey says:

      Cynthia, thanks for visiting and reading!

  14. These holiday drinks sound delicious. They will certainly make your holiday celebration very festive. I would like to try them.

    1. Stacey says:

      I think the fruit and spices of the Holiday Highball sounds yummy!

  15. Who doesn’t love a good cocktail! These all look delicious!

    1. Stacey says:


  16. I’ve been trying to come up with holiday cocktails for this Thanksgiving. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Stacey says:

      You’re welcome. Maybe one of these will be it.

  17. These sound SO tasty! Yes please to all of them! <3

    1. Stacey says:

      I hope you get a chance to try one out this holiday season.

  18. Great ideas for cocktails. Steve always makes a signature cocktail for our gatherings and it is such a hit.

    1. Stacey says:

      That is so awesome that Steve makes the signature drinks! My hubby, too. My favorite one year was the Godiva chocolate martinis. Yum!

  19. What a great play on holiday drinks! I will have to try some of these!

    1. Stacey says:

      So true! I like the Holiday Highball.

  20. That Holiday Highball sounds delicious! You have really lucky friends!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks Trish! I think I am a pretty lucky lady 😉

  21. I love unique cocktails. I find that it’s an easy way to impress people at a home gathering! Have you ever considered taking a mixology class? My friend did as a part of team building event at her work and said it was a lot of fun!

    1. Stacey says:

      I have not ever taken a mixology class although I have thought about taking one with my husband. I love a good mixed drink but my hubby takes care of that. Plus a best friends’s husband loves to be in charge of the signature cocktails at our gatherings. Between those two – my job is to pour the wine.

  22. Great recipe ideas, I would love to come to one of your parties x

    1. Stacey says:

      Sure! I need to get usb planning our big annual Christmas party.

  23. Not really a fan of using Everclear as the base for my infusions–I prefer to start with something I’d drink normally (just like when you cook with wine you want to use something you’d drink, not just some cheap stuff). For the last party I did a prepared non-alcoholic punch, a prepared alcoholic drink in a pitcher for self-serving, and a custom cocktail that I could mix up in a rocks glass per guest. That turned out to be a good mix. (pun unintended, lol)

    1. Stacey says:

      Jenn, that sounds wonderful. Yes, I use a good vodka for infusions. I would think with the Everclear you would be using less in the mixed drinks as it is strong stuff. You cannot buy the higher proof Everclear in California anyways. I do like the mix of fruits and spices that Ted uses for his infusions.

  24. That Chia Milk punch sounds delicious. Parties can be stressful, but being prepared can help to relive some of that stress.

    1. Stacey says:

      I love how these can be made ahead and used for as mixers! That helps!

  25. What creative drinks those are. That orange spice vodka cocktail looks especially festive, colorful and flavorful for fall holidays like Thanksgiving.

    1. Stacey says:

      It is pretty isn’t it! I like the infusion of apples and cranberries!

  26. Susan says:

    Receiving a mini bottle of your unique cocktails would be wonderful. These would make fun neighbor gifts, too.

    1. Stacey says:

      I know I have a few friends that would love a small bottle of liqueur!

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