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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Holiday Cheers! Gail Simmons' Fave Festive Drink

The 'Top Chef' judge picks her go-to concoction for the season.

Cheers! Whether you're toasting to the holidays or the New Year, the time is right to serve up a favorite concoction and toast with family and friends.

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Each day this week, we're sharing some of our Bravolebrities' favorite holiday-appropriate drinks. Today, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons shares her must-try bourbon libation.

I do a lot of cocktails for the holidays. I'm a believer that at parties you should do one signature cocktail and people can otherwise have beer or wine. If you do one, make it in a batch so you're not running a bar.

This time of year, I love to do a bourbon cocktail with maple and lemon and simple syrup. I add bitters and a drizzle of maple syrup sometimes too. That makes it feel festive.

At parties, make one signature cocktail in a batch so you're not running a bar.”

It's kind of like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. I've seen plays on this drink in bars before. To make the simple syrup, it's one cup of sugar, a cup of water, put it on the stove with some lemon peel and a big squeeze of lemon juice and then strain it.

Add the bourbon and then a little bit of maple over a big block of ice. Serve with a big piece of maple candy.

Another drink I love: take a white spirit, like tequila or gin or vodka, add ginger maple syrup and pomegranate juice, along with the seeds, and serve it with a cinnamon stick.

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