SwitcHouse Plates & Pours is located inside the Houston CityPlace Marriott in Springwoods Village. It’s an upscale restaurant with expertly curated cocktails, including a smoke box which infuses artisanal whiskeys for a unique and amazing flavor. Click here or here for more information.

Tiffany Kirk and Stephen Moneyhan offer some tips on preparing ingredients for your upcoming holiday cocktail party…for instance, when juicing for large batches, make sure to soak your fruit in lukewarm water for 10 – 15 minutes. It will render the most amount of juice and make the citrus more pliable. Also you should put the juices in glass containers with sealed tops, which will be freshest within 24 hours (throw out after 48 hours).

When using fresh herbs, smack the herbs to release their aromas. Remove all the stems before adding, and press, don’t muddle, the herbs. Pressing releases flavor without bruising, while muddling ruins the herbs and makes the drink acidic and grassy. Always double-strain using a fine mesh cone strainer and Hawthorne strainer.

To make Holiday Simple Syrup, us a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar (1 cup water + 2 cups sugar). Simmer the water, add the sugar, reduce heat, add spices like nutmeg and clove, starting small and adding more flavors to taste. Do not boil!

You can use Bitters to add flavor to drinks without using alcohol…Bitters are not necessarily bitter, so experiment!

Tiffany makes us a Milk & Cookies cocktail:

- 1 oz Cognac

- .75 oz Amaretto

- .75 Licor 43

- 1 oz Cereal Milk

- .75 Holiday Syrup

Stephen makes us a Gingerbread Man-Hattan cocktail:

- 2 oz Bourbon

- .75 oz Port

- 1 oz Holiday Syrup

- 2 Dashes Sarsaparilla Bitters