December 20, 2023

Ask A Mixologist: Elsa Taylor’s Perfect Winter Cocktail

Recipe: Elsa Taylor

Elsa Taylor of The Roost in Winnipeg shares the perfect holiday cocktail.

Q: I tried the Figgy Pudding cocktail at The Roost and it tasted like the holidays in a glass. I’d love to have the recipe to recreate it at home! — NORA, Winnipeg

A: Cognac, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia and Angostura bitters mixed with the richness of fig and vanilla bean evoke the flavours of a classic Christmas pudding. “It’s a balance of rich and tart, with a hint of baking spice and a smooth, warm finish,” says Elsa, who created the cocktail. You make your own Salted Vanilla Syrup, which also works in coffee and on desserts.


Salted Vanilla Syrup (batch)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 1 1/4 oz. cognac (Elsa recommends Courvoisier VS)
  • 3/4 oz. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
  • 3/4 oz. unfiltered apple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. Salted Vanilla Syrup (see above)
  • 1 tbsp fig jam
  • 1 tsp Angostura bitters
  • Apple slices, for garnish


Yield: 1 cocktail

Make Salted Vanilla Syrup

  1. Add granulated sugar and water to saucepan, followed by vanilla bean paste and salt.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring, about 1 to 2 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.
  4. Once cooled, pour syrup into container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.

Make Cocktail

  1. Measure all ingredients into cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill with ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into chilled coupe. Garnish with fanned apple slices. Enjoy!
Author: Alexandra Whyte

Jessica Champion-Taylor