Israeli Bartenders Share Their Creative Winter Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

Pumpkin and pie spices star in these drinks that are sure to impress.

Roni Kashmin
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Winter cocktails.
Winter cocktails.Credit: Courtesy
Roni Kashmin

Israelis may be fashionably late to the party, but they’ve slowly been adopting the custom of celebrating New Year’s Eve. Israeli bartenders created these cocktails that focus on North America’s ultimate festive winter vegetable - pumpkin - in order to help revelers get into the holiday spirit. Here, they’ve been generous enough to share their recipes.

Port Amsterdam

Recipe by Oron Lerner, from the Tel Aviv bar French 57

The Port Amsterdam is a variation of the more familiar Manhattan cocktail, and is inspired by seasonal pumpkin pie spice mixes, explains Lerner. The technique is a complicated one, and involves using fat as a vehicle for infusing alcohol with spice.

Oron Lerner’s cocktail Port Amsterdam contains pumpkin-infused bourbon.Credit: Courtesy


  • 45 ml Four Roses Small Batch bourbon, infused with butter, pecans and roasted pumpkin (recipe to follow)
  • 20 ml good port, such as Warre’s
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon syrup
  • 2 dashes of Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
  • Orange zest for serving

Mix the ingredients with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with grated orange zest on top.

To prepare the bourbon:


  • pumpkin
  • brown sugar
  • a cinnamon stick
  • sugared pecans
  • butter
  • Four Roses Small Batch bourbon

Place 6-8 small cubes of pumpkin (1-centimeter or 1/2 inch square), brown sugar, a cinnamon stick, sugared pecans and a small cube of butter (20 grams) in a small baking dish. Cover with tin foil and roast in the oven at 160-180 degrees Celsius until the pumpkin is soft. Remove the tinfoil and put the roasted pumpkin into a large container. Pour a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch bourbon into the bowl, and place in the freezer for a day. When the bourbon is removed from the freezer, the pumpkin and butter will be frozen. Strain out the solids, including the butter, and return the seasoned bourbon to its bottle.

Optional: To serve inside a butternut squash, remove the top of the squash, and scoop out the seeds. Remove a slice from the bottom of the squash so that it will stand upright. Fill with the cocktail and garnish with herbs.


Recipe by Nadav Aviam, from the Tel Aviv bar FullHouse

This cocktail also makes use of wintry pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.


  • 45 ml Wild Turkey whiskey
  • 45 ml pumpkin juice
  • 15 ml Green Chartreuse
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • dash of maple syrup
  • dash of sesame oil
  • dash of black sesame seeds
  • star of anise

Mix together the whiskey, the pumpkin juice, the Chartreuse, the lemon juice and the maple syrup and pour into a cup. Garnish with the sesame oil, the sesame seeds and the anise.

Nadav Aviam’s cocktail Calabaza is infused with pumpkin pie spices. Credit: Nadav Aviam
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Oron Lerner’s cocktail Port Amsterdam contains pumpkin-infused bourbon.Credit: Courtesy
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Tzachi Ben-Amram’s cocktail El Agua de los Muertos is served on occasions including Halloween and New Year’s.Credit: Courtesy
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Daniel Deri’s cocktail Saraswati was submitted to the semifinal of World Class 2015 cocktail competition. Credit: Daniel Deri

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