Three Ways to Toast the Season

Illustrations by Pauline de Roussy de Sales.

The holidays bring with them a lot of celebrations and, relatedly, a lot of raised glasses. And while we are all for a classic cocktail, this season we’re shaking things up a little. That our signature VS holiday drinks have a sweet thread running through them is because they were conjured by esteemed pastry chef Sumaiya Bangee, who, in addition to curating the sparkling VS flagship champagne bar, has also logged time in some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants (Eleven Madison Park, The Pool, L.A.’s Ink, and Hong Kong’s Vea, among others) and now runs her own pastry consulting business for major restaurant groups and works with the culinary non-profit Emma’s Torch. Her three cocktail creations (each one named for a VS scent)—one shaken, one stirred, and one straight up—can be served with or without alcohol. So how you get in the spirit is entirely up to you.


The Crème Cloud
  • 1/2 can Coconut Cream 
  • 1/2 can Evaporated milk 
  • 1/2 can Condensed milk 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 4 cinnamon sticks 
  • 2 cloves 
  • 2 TK nutmeg  
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Optional Alcohol: ½ cup dark rum

1. Toast all your spices in a pan.

2. While spices are toasting, mix together all your milks, vanilla extract and yolks.

3. Once spices are nice and toasted, add to the milk/yolk mixture and stir. Ideally, leave in the fridge overnight to really infuse the flavors.

4. When ready to serve, strain, shake with some ice and serve nice and chilled.

5. To booze it, add in dark rum (1/2 cup).


Enchanted Apple Cider
  • 1/2 gallon filtered apple cider
  • 1 TK nutmeg
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Rind of one orange
  • Optional alcohol: ⅓ cup rum

1. Toast all spices.

2. In a separate pan add spices and orange rind to apple cider, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Serve hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

4. To booze it, add ⅓ cup rum.


Cocoa Soiree Hot Chocolate
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup 70% chocolate (Valrhona if you can find it)
  • Optional alcohol: ⅓ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

1. Heat milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon on low heat.

2. Once it’s at a low simmer, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it melts.

3. Serve warm with more cinnamon sprinkled on top and, if you’d like, marshmallows.

4. To booze it, add ⅓ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream.