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3 Ways to Drink Your Candy Canes (and Other Holiday Cocktails)

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- 'Tis the season for merry spirits, and mixologists across the country have handcrafted cocktail menus featuring all sorts of holiday delights. Drawing inspiration from winter fruits, sweets and seasonal icons, these libations incorporate innovative techniques and ingredients and are sure to delight. TravelsinTaste brings you these from around the country.

If you're looking for cocktails with a flair, it's best to start in Las Vegas. With its distinctive design and special effects technology, Tabu has sparked a nightlife trend capturing worldwide attention -- and the drinks are just as enticing. Their White Mint-tini is a minty cocktail that will keep guests warm this blustery season. The chilled drink consists of Frangelico, Rumplemintz and cream, strained into a martini glass and garnished with a dash of cinnamon.

The Venetian and The Palazzo, meanwhile, offer a specialty cocktail: the Gondolier Blanco. This "Winter in Venice"-inspired cocktail features white chocolate liqueur, white creme de menthe, white creme de cocoa, white chocolate syrup and cream, shaken and strained into a candy cane-rimmed martini glass.

If you'd like to celebrate the chill, the place to be is the Minus5 Ice Bar at Monte Carlo. Its Terry Fator's Darth Fator Christmas cocktail features a delightful blend of Skyy Vodka, Dark Creme de Cacoa and Gaetano hazelnut liqueur served in the famous Minus5 ice glasses.

Would you prefer to stay inside and savor a snowflake? Hyde Bellagio's Snowflake is a delicate and pure drink that packs an icy bite thanks to a splash of liquid nitrogen. Served in a glass "frosted" by freshly fallen coconut "snowflakes" and sweetened with Malibu rum, the cocktail is as delicious to sip as it is to admire. If you'd prefer something of a different color, tart and seasonal pomegranate juice gives the Ponce di Granada its rich holiday color, while lychee liquor adds a sweet twist. The star of the cocktail is Le Grand Saint Sparkling Vodka, an effervescent liquor also known as the champagne of vodkas.

Candy canes and Grinches are making the rounds this holiday season. The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, R.I., has its own twist on the candy cane with its Candy Cane Martini -- an alcoholic version of the iconic holiday candy. This concoction includes Skyy Vodka, peppermint schnapps, White Chocolate Godiva with a splash of milk. It is shaken and served on the rocks, or straight up. Meanwhile their Scrooge-Driver is a tasty combination of Stoli Blueberi, orange juice and pineapple juice, which is served on the rocks. Grinch got your tongue? Their Grinch's Stolen Spritzer combines Stoli Pomegranik, Triple Sec and green apple puree with a splash of pineapple juice. It is shaken well and finished with Dooryard Apple Cider. How's that for apple inspiration?

The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, also has its take on the Grinch. Theirs is a winning combination of Chartreuse, St. Germain and Cold River Gin combined with a squeeze of orange and an orange twist and served on the rocks. If you're looking for something with a little more spice, try its Spicy Hot Chocolate Martini with Godiva Dark Liqueur, Navan cognac, Absolut Peppar and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. You'll think you've got the best hot chocolate anywhere, although this one is for adults only.

New York is always a favorite for the holidays, from the tree in Rockefeller Center to the decorated store windows on Fifth Avenue. Steps away is The Surrey hotel, where assistant food and beverage director Stephen Stritch created his version of the candy cane. This one is pure gold: He combines Goldschlager with cream and housemade grenadine and garnishes it with a mint leaf. His Candied Apple combines 10 Cane Rum with sour apple liqueur and apple juice and is garnished with granny smith apples -- a refreshing tart way to start your evening off right. His spin on the traditional egg nog, meanwhile, is the Surrey Nog, which he creates by combining housemade egg nog with Courvosier, 10 Cane Rum, Hudson Rye Whiskey and garnishing it with fresh ground nutmeg. This will certainly jump-start your evening.

Who can resist a cocktail that's both merry and modern? That's what The Modern Honolulu is celebrating the holidays with its festive Merry and Modern cocktail. The newest flavor of Grey Goose, Cherry Noir, is bound in fresh hand-pressed lime juice and the elegant St Germain Elderflower liqueur is bruised to perfection in flash-infused Madagascar vanilla bean white cranberry juice.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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