The Story Behind The Nutcracker Old Fashioned

When it comes to spreading holiday cheer, nothing does the trick quite like a classic whiskey cocktail. Created by Ivy Mix for Sleyenda, the holiday pop-up operated by Brooklyn bar and restaurant Leyenda, the Nutcracker Old Fashioned sees three types of nuts stirred into the mix, which provide the cocktail with a nuanced layer of savory sweetness.

This holiday drink swaps out the usual bourbon for a split base of hazelnut bourbon and Pecan Appleton Signature rum, which immediately provide a rich mix of baked apple pie, pecan, hazelnut, and vanilla flavors. A touch of sweetness comes with the addition of Macadamia Nut Syrup, made with orange blossom water, which brings a refreshing brightness to the party. With both Angostura and aromatic bitters stirred in to complete the build, the resulting cocktail is spiced, sweet, and ideal for any holiday festivity.

This recipe is part of our 2023 Holiday Cocktail Countdown. Click here to see all of the festive recipes as they publish throughout December.


  • 1 ounce Hazelnut-Infused Bourbon*
  • 1 ounce Pecan-Infused Rum**
  • 1 tablespoon Orgeat Works Ltd. Macadamia Nut Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters
  • Garnish: orange twist


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube.
  3. Garnish with orange twist.

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Updated: 2023-12-04

*Hazelnut-Infused Bourbon Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 bottle bourbon (Mix likes Old Forester)

*Hazelnut-Infused Bourbon Directions

  1. Roast hazelnuts for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to blanch.
  2. Add blanched hazelnuts to bourbon and seal.
  3. Infuse for 3 days. a
  4. Strain contents and rebottle infused bourbon.
  5. Option: Sub in purchased hazelnut infused bourbon
The Nutcracker Old Fashioned

**Pecan Infused Rum


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 bottle rum (Mix likes Santa Teresa)


  1. Toast pecans for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Add toasted pecans to rum and seal.
  3. Infuse for 24 hours.
  4. Strain contents and rebottle infused rum.
  5. Caution: Be sure not to over infuse the spirit or it will become tannic.