#CirocTheHolidays: Total. Cocktail. Yum.

This week, I got invited to a Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka Holiday School of Mixology, held at St. Felix in Hollywood. How awesome is that?

ciroc the new year mixology school

It was a mix of bloggers and editorial writers, there to learn about all of Cîroc’s new flavors, and about their initiative to #CîrocTheNewYear. Diddy– the rapper, businessman and all around kinda cool guy– is the worldwide branding chief for Cîroc and came up with this idea.

Every time you tweet the hashtag, $100 will be donated by Cîroc to safe driving initiatives in conjunction with the ridesharing app über, up to one MILLION bucks. Once they hit 10,000 pledges for safe driving, Diddy will tweet out a discount code at midnight EST on the 31st for new über users to redeem for their safe rides.

Pretty badass, especially for those of us who live in cities with little to no public transit. (Though, it’s first-come, first-serve, so if a million East Coasters use their code before it’s midnight in LA… well, we’re SOL.)

Oh, and every tweet that heads out with the hashtag #CirocTheNewYear gets displayed on a billboard in Times Square. That little thing.

Now, in case you don’t know anything about Cîroc, lemme splain. Vodka is a spirit that can be distilled from pretty much anything– wheat, potatoes, etc. Cîroc is distilled from grapes, and that lends the vodka with a super smooth, and a little bit sweet, flavor. David drinks it in martinis, and I like it in… well pretty much anything. Gimlets. Gimlets are great.

We got to sample *seven* different cocktails during our time at St. Felix. (Note: I only sipped mine. No sense in getting drunk at an event that is there to promote safe driving. Duh.) The first one up is the riff on a piña colada:

ciroc pina colada

Cîroc Coquito

  • 1.5 ounces Cîroc Coconut
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce coconut cream
  • 1 ounce milk
  • 1 dash each cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
  • Coconut flakes
  • (Optional) 1 egg white

Place all the ingredients into a shaker completely filled with ice and shake until well blended. Our bartender made ours a little bit fancier by adding the egg white, so that the drink was super thick and foamy when it came out of the shaker. Garnish with coconut flakes and make it snow!

The spices made this taste almost like an eggnog, which was amazing. I can totally see this being a hit with holiday drinkers. My other favorite thing about this cocktail was the fact that it didn’t require purchasing a ton of other ingredients that you would never use again. Most of Cîroc’s custom cocktails are great examples of drinks you can have in your repertoire that don’t require buying specific liqueurs and ingredients that you will never use again.

The Coquito was served to us at St. Felix’s ancillary bar, The Powder Room. The bar is super cool looking– nearly all white with amazing LED lights, and a wooden back bar, and it is dedicated to serving artisan mixed drinks. Also, the bartender we had was really, really cute. Just sayin’.

My other favorite cocktail at the event was:

ciroc electric midnight

Cîroc Electric Midnight

  • 1 ounce Cîroc Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Aperol
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Sparkling Wine
  • Grapefruit twist
  1. In a shaker over ice, combine the vodka, Aperol, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake until well frosted and then strain into a Champagne flute.
  2. Top with Sparkling Wine.
  3. Add the grapefruit twist for garnish!
Because we were sampling the flavored vodkas, many of the drinks were sweet. This one was divine, because the Aperol’s herbiness cut through the sweetness of the sparkling wine. It was seriously yummy.
And finally, Cîroc was introducing a relatively new flavor for their vodka: Amaretto. Amaretto is one of my holiday cocktail secrets: the almondy flavor blends really nicely into most sweet drinks, and often is the strongest aromatic in a multi-layered cocktail. We riffed on a sidecar for one of the Cîroc Amaretto drinks:
Ciroc Sidecar Cider
Cîroc Sidecar Cider
  • 1 3/4 ounces Cîroc Amaretto
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2  ounce Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 orange wedge
  • Sugar
  1. First, prep your glass. Slit the orange wedge and run it around the rim of your cocktail glass. Then, invert the glass and dip into the granulated sugar in a saucer. Your glass is now rimmed with orange-scented sugar!
  2. In a shaker over ice, combine the Cîroc Amaretto, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and simple syrup. Shake until well frosted and then strain into your glass.
  3. Top with four dashes of bitters, and garnish with an orange peel!
All in all, I was really tickled to be invited to the Cîroc Holiday School of Mixology*. It was a great refresher course in all of the bartending skills I learned so so many years ago, and it was awesome to get to be “behind the scenes” at St. Felix and The Powder Room! 
What do you do to stay safe on New Year’s Eve?
*I was not compensated (except with a bottle of Cîroc Coconut) for attending this event. All opinions are my own.

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