With the holiday season fully under way, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle. If there's a nagging little voice in your brain whispering, "Stop, slow down," then heed the call and seek out some liquid refreshment. These four drinks are worth taking the time to savor. Even if they don't lead to any sort of seasonal introspection, they will bring some serious joy -- if not to the world, then certainly to your palate.
4. Holidays on Ice at Hinoki & the Bird
If L.A. does get hit by another chilly patch this month, then Holidays on Ice will warm you up. Its combination of Buffalo Trace bourbon and the distillery's single-barrel Eagle Rare offers a one-two punch of booze, but the strength of the drink is balanced by lemon, curacao and the infinitely seasonal addition of cinnamon-sugared butternut squash juice. 10 W. Century Drive, Los Angeles; (310)552-1200.
3. Zapatero at Crossroads
Mezcal for Christmas. Why not? Here in L.A., tequila and mezcal are cocktail darlings any time of year. At Crossroads, the Zapatero -- meaning shoemaker -- meshes cultures with Silencio mezcal and Booker's high-proof bourbon in a veritable melting pot of holiday cheer. Orgeat, an almond-based syrup frequently used in tiki drinks, adds a creamy, nutty character, while Angostura bitters grounds the drink and Fee's Aztec bitters spices it up. 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323)782-9294.
2. Santa's Little Helper at Trattoria Neapolis
Seasonal goodwill is in full swing at Pasadena's Trattoria Neapolis, with rum taking center stage. Santa's Little Helper features rum, brown sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. And for some pumpkin pie in a glass -- dessert anyone? -- there's a pumpkin cream pie cocktail, with pumpkin-infused rum, pumpkin butter, allspice dram and cream. 336 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; (626)792-3000.
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1. Baby It's Cold Outside from Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Well, the weather outside isn't exactly frightful -- this being Southern California -- but Baby It's Cold Outside is definitely delightful. Myers Dark Rum, Hennessy VS, cream, egg, nutmeg and simple syrup -- eggnog-ish goodness in a martini glass. 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles; (310)909-1644.
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book "Gin: A Global History." Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.