A dozen drinks for the holidays

La Belle Vie bartending star Johnny Michaels has created a new lineup of holiday cocktails.

The drinks were unveiled Dec. 12 for the restaurant’s “12 Drinks Before Christmas.” A new cocktail will be unveiled each day. They will be on the menu until New Year’s Eve.

A classic favorite, the Mistletoe, will be on the list again. Michaels unveiled the drink when La Belle Vie moved into the Groveland four years ago. It will be available at Solera this year, too. It’s a sparkling citrus pomegranate vodka martini.

The Grinch Nog is making an appearance on the holiday cocktail menu for a second year. “It’s the anti-holiday drink that packs a punch,” Michaels said.

The martini is made with rye whiskey, gin, cherry brandy, absinthe, lemon and bitters.

A new cocktail on the menu this year is the First Frost — a fresh take on a root beer float with white brandy, minted maple syrup and local root beer.
New drinks with especially clever names include “Over the River and through the Holidazzle Traffic,” “Your Family is Insane (but I love you anyway)” and “Sure Mr. Scrooge, I Can Work Christmas Eve.”

“We try to be like a cocktail dating service — we ask some questions and match people with drinks we think would appeal to them,” Michaels said. “My hope is that they just love the drinks, and that along with everything else at La Belle Vie, they just enjoy themselves and have a great time. That they leave super happy.”


Holiday cocktails at La Belle Vie

The Mistletoe • Sparkling citrus pomegranate martini

The Grinch Nog
• Whiskey, gin and cherry brandy, among other things

Over the River and Through the Holidazzle Traffic
• Gingerbread hot buttered rum

Purple Santa • Hot white chocolate

The Flu Shot • Lemon-ginger-zinc-echinacea mini martini

Lump of Coal • Bourbon amaro mint julep

Merry Christmas Mr. Burns • Prune-infused gin with Christmas tonic

Santa’s Little Helper • Two shots of espresso vanilla hazelnut vodka topped with caramel cream

Your Family is Insane (but I love you anyway) • A sugarplum brandy old fashioned with Christmas bitters

Sure Mr. Scrooge, I Can Work Christmas Eve • Whiskey, brandy and black coffee

The Christmas Shovel • Taro-chai hazelnut milk

First Frost • White brandy with minted maple root beer cream

Sugar Plum • Gin, plum wine and champagne

* Bartender Johnny Michaels was asked to make 12 drinks for the menu, but he came up with 13.

La Belle Vie  
510 Groveland Ave.