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Top cocktail makers at Burgundy Lion and Kafein reveal recipes for their favourite seasonal tipples

The Burgundy Lion and Kafein are getting into the holiday spirit with their new Christmas cocktail menus. Here, two master cocktail makers offer up one their menu's most delicious elixirs, perfect for entertaining at home this holiday season.

Red Rum
The Burgundy Lion | 2496 Notre-Dame West

Why does a pub have one of the city's best cocktails lists? "Although our focus is beer and whisky, we concentrate on cocktails because we feel it's important to cater to all tastes," says Burgundy Lion partner Toby Lyle.

For Christmas they’re spicing things up with a multicoloured, layered cocktail of cranberries, rum, cinnamon and red wine. To Drahos Chytry, the pub’s cocktail maker extraordinaire and man behind the cocktail’s recipe, Red Rum is the perfect Christmas drink: “It’s simple but beautiful, and really easy to make at home. It’s a Christmas party while sipping on it."

Thanks for the liquid Christmas party, Drahos. And if you love his cocktail, see him compete at Montreal's upcoming MadeWithLove cocktail competition (Dec. 17 at Marché Bonsecours). Or get him to make you one himself at the Burgundy Lion where it’s available until spring.

2 oz spiced rum (Chytry recommends Captain Morgan's Private Stock, but any spiced rum will do)
1 oz simple syrup (dissolve one cup of any sugar in one cup of boiling water and let cool)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Red wine (preferably dry), about 3-4 oz
Decorations: 4-5 fresh cranberries, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 anise star and a lime wheel

Drop 4 or 5 fresh cranberries in a rock, cognac or highball glass and fill it to the top with ice. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker, pour the spiced rum, simple syrup, lemon juice. Add more ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into the glass filled with the ice and cranberries. Top up the glass very gently with red wine to create a floating red layer on top of the yellow base. Garnish with a lime wheel and an anise star. Mix the whole drink with the cinnamon stick and enjoy the holidays. Tip: If making as a welcome drink for friends at home this holiday season, decorate a tray of these cocktails with pinecones to serve.

Le Maupassant (Ginger pomegranate kir)
Kafein | 1429 Bishop

At Kafein, the classic French 75 cocktail gets a Christmas twist. The Maupassant is an easy-to-make, easier-to-drink cocktail with an antioxidant hit from fresh pomegranate juice. ‘Tis the season for comfort, cream and all things egg-y, but “it's important to have fresher drinks in the mix that won't leave you feeling full and in need of a nap,” says manager Chris Whitlow. “If you really want to get adventurous add 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh thyme.”

Need some extra pointers on how to make this drink for a crowd at your next holiday party? Drop by the bar and ask either Chris or Kafein bartendress Sydney to give you a cocktail tutorial. Or just ask them to make you one and watch the masters in action. The Maupassant will be available until January.

1 oz vodka
2 oz freshly squeezed pomegranate juice
½ oz strained ginger syrup **
1/2 oz cointreau
Sparkling wine or Champagne
Decorations: Twisted strip of orange rind and orange zest

In your martini shaker, combine vodka, pomegranate juice, 1/2 ounce ginger syrup (double strained so you don't have ginger bits floating around in it) and cointreau. Add ice, shake hard and strain into a Champagne flute or chilled martini glass. Top with sparkling wine or Champagne.

Drop in 3 pomegranate seeds, then peel a long, thin orange rind, twist it around a skewer so it stays curled and garnish the cocktail with it. Grate some orange peel on the top.

**Ginger Syrup
This simple syrup takes about 15 minutes to make and becomes more aromatic the longer you keep it in the fridge.

2 inches fresh ginger root
2 cups water
2 cups white or raw sugar

Peel and finely chop the ginger. Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, add the ginger and lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often until it becomes syrup. Then transfer to a container until it cools. Strain before using.