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With a twist

As the number of local distilleries GROWS, our options to “drink local” keep expanding.

Lockhouse Distillery, Buffalo’s first distillery to open since the Prohibition, creates quality gin and vodka using local ingredients. Black Squirrel Distillery makes rum from New York State maple syrup, and recently released its newest offering: 90-proof Mapleshine, made from maple sugar. Tommyrotter Distillery, which recently set down roots in Larkinville, handcrafts high quality gin and vodka.

What better way to ring in the holidays than with some locally-inspired cocktails? Here are some fun recipes to get you started.

Black Squirrel Buttered Rum

For a steamy treat, boil ¼ cup of water, then add 2 tbsp. of light brown sugar. Bring heat down to low and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add 1 cup of fresh apple cider and a dash of nutmeg, ground clove, and cinnamon to the pot, and bring the combination to a boil.

Once the liquid is boiling, add a shot of Black Squirrel Rum, then bring the heat down to medium/low and stir in a tablespoon of butter until the top is frothy.

Pour into a glass, sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick and cherry.

Black Squirrel’s sugar from the maple syrup adds a special kick to the cocktail.

The Tommyrotter Sparkler

For something fizzy and festive, mix together the juice from half a lime, a shot of Tommyrotter Vodka, 2 Tbsp. of White Whale The Mob Man Bold Mixer (a great flavor enhancer that combines apple juice, cherry juice, black currant juice, and more), a dash of Angostura Aromatic Bitters and a splash of maraschino cherry juice.

Then top your glass with fizzy ginger beer, rub a lime wedge around the rim and garnish it with blue sprinkle shavings for a “winter” look.

The Lockhouse Grinch

If you like mint ice cream, you’ll love this creamy cocktail. Combine ¾ cup of fresh cream, ¼ cup light cream, ¼ cup of crème de menthe syrup, ½ tsp. of anise extract and a shot of Lockhouse Gin in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until mix is a light green color.

Coat the rim of a glass with crème de menthe syrup, and rub in crushed peppermint candies. Pour the liquid into the glass and garnish with star anise for an extra touch.

All cocktail recipes make about one glass. All ingredients can be found locally — either at the distillery, your grocery store or Kegworks, a specialty drink supply store in Buffalo.

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