Holiday Cocktails: Christmas Drink Recipes and More | PBS Food
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Holiday Cocktails: Seasonal Drinks from Top Mixologists

Humble Pie Cocktail
Photo Credit: Ariana Gast

Humble Pie

Contributing Bartender: Sean Hoard of Teardrop Cocktail Lounge; Portland, OR

“Humble pie was inspired by an apple pie my girlfriend’s aunt made last Thanksgiving. We were up in Seattle for the holiday and I was lucky enough to spend the entire weekend in the kitchen watching her family cook. After watching what all went in the apple pie filling, and tasting the finished product the next day, I knew I had to make a cocktail that incorporated the same flavors for our holiday menu at the bar.”

Humble Pie Cocktail

Humble Pie is a cocktail that's far from modest in flavor. Find out how Sean Hoard (the bartender who created this recipe) became inspired from a classic American dessert. Discover other holiday cocktails in our collection of original recipes from the top bartenders across the nation.



  • 1 ounce apple brandy
  • 1 ounce blended scotch
  • .25 ounces ginger syrup (see tips section)
  • 1 teaspoon rich demerara syrup (see tips section)
  • 4 dashes pimento (allspice) dram
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 2 grinds black peppercorn
  • Candied ginger


  1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a stirring vessel and add ice, stirring until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is chilled.
  2. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with candied ginger (when available).
  3. To make the ginger syrup, soak raw ginger in warm water and peel it (the back of a spoon works really well). Run peeled raw ginger through an extractor. Strain ginger juice and add sugar. Stir until incorporated.
  4. To make the demerara syrup, boil water and then remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until fully incorporated.


For apple brandy, Sean Hoard (the bartender who created this recipe) uses Bonded Lairds Applejack. For Scotch whiskey, he prefers Famous Grouse Blended Scotch and for bitters, he suggests Angostura Bitters.

Ginger Syrup: Equal parts cane sugar and ginger juice (by volume)

Rich Demerara Syrup: 2 parts demerara sugar to 1 part warm water (by volume)


Meet the Bartender

Sean Hoard

Sean Hoard was born in Portland, Oregon but learned how to make drinks in New York City. He worked at the East Village’s PDT before moving home and splitting time between Clyde Common and Teardrop. He currently manages Teardrop in NW Portland. (Headshot Photo Credit: Vicky Wasik)


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