Los Angeles Times

’Nog one back!

Christmas brews, $4 each
The Map Room, Bucktown's brew-heavy hang, pours Sierra Nevada Celebration, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, and Three Floyds Alpha Klaus from taps, and offers Goose Island Christmas in bottles. Manager Chad Wulff says, "Christmas beers are generally stronger, so you get red-cheeked a little quicker."

Halo, $12
In a bar with a haute couture theme, it's natural to want to be just a little more fabulous than everyone else. So Moda's mixing up this concoction of champagne and Triple Sec, splashed with cranberry juice and served in a sugar-rimmed flute.

Holiday hurricanes, $3
OK, so Chicago will never see a hurricane, but that doesn't mean we can't drink one! 115 Bourbon Street serves up these fruity drinks in the jolliest of colors--yup, you guessed it, red and green. The red hurricane is a sweet mix of Bacardi rum, orange juice, fruit punch and lemon juice. The green hurricane, available only through January, is melon liqueur, Bacardi rum, OJ and lemon juice. The drinks are served up with gold and green beads around the glass--and you don't even have to flash anyone for 'em.

Peppermint Patty, $10
What would you do for a peppermint patty? If it's Crew's new martini, probably just about anything. The refreshing mix of Stoli vodka, peppermint schnapps and Godiva dark chocolate, poured in a glass rimmed with chocolate powder, will get you feeling minty fresh in no time.

White Christmas, $9
Even if it's not set to sprinkle on the 25th, you can enjoy a white Christmas anyway. Bartenders at Brownstone dreamt up this mixture of Stoli Vanil, white creme de cacao, Godiva white chocolate liqueur and cream. Settle in with one of these and listen for those sleigh bells in the snow.

Scrooged, $4
The folks at Gaslight Bar and Grille might be on to something: Maybe the reason ol' Ebenezer's face was always so pinched up was because he drank shots of sour apple pucker. To help tone down the tartness, bartenders here make the shot with a dash of cinnamon schnapps.

Chaucer's Mead, $6
During the winter months, bartenders at the Clark St. Ale House keep a Crock-Pot filled with this traditional honey wine, which they ladle, piping hot, into mugs. The taste is vaguely similar to hot apple cider, but at 16-percent alcohol, mead definitely has a bigger kick.

Eggnog martini, $8
At Cajun hotspot Red Pepper's Masquerade, bartenders put a spicy spin on a holiday classic. This martini mixes Ketel One vodka, Captain Morgan spiced rum, egg nog and a splash of Bailey's. It's topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Mint hot chocolate, $7
At Morseland they take their hot chocolate seriously, whipping it up to order with a cappuccino maker. A plain mug will warm you up just fine, but for honest-to-goodness holiday cheer, try this concoction spiked with Rumplemintz and garnished with a mint leaf.

Winterkiss martini, $8.50
Nothing says holiday spirit like twinkling lights. Try Bistro 110's cheery cocktail and you'll find a blinking bulb in your pale pink concoction of Vox raspberry vodka, Grand Marnier, white creme de menthe and cranberry juice.

Candy cane martini, $6.50 ($5 on Fridays)
What list of holiday cocktails would be complete without a nod to the most iconic holiday treat? The version at Gannon's Pub is a simple mixture of Skyy vodka and peppermint schnapps, garnished with--what else--a candy cane.

Santa's Little Helper, $4
This seasonal sipper at Sean's Rhino Bar will help get you through the holidays. This potent potable combines vodka, peach schnapps, Southern Comfort, Midori, cranberry juice and 7UP with a candy cane garnish. At only four bucks, a few of these and you'll need your own helper to peel you off the floor.

Mark Sinclair is a metromix special contributor.

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