Spicy Seasons Greetings

The Fat Lady uses scotch and ginger to warm up wintertime.


The Spicy Holiday Gingerlixer.

Lori Eanes

Bring on the snow and cue the jingle bells. Winter is coming, and the season of scotch has begun in the East Bay. At The Fat Lady, a third-generation, family-owned restaurant near Jack London Square, patrons are treated to warming spirits that set holiday festivities aflame. In previous years, this decadent Victorian-style venue has been a frosty wonderland with 100 paper snowflakes floating overhead and twinkling lights setting the scene for a perfect celebratory cocktail. This year, the magic of the North Pole is in full force and bartender Alexandros Stavrianopoulos is serving happiness in a glass. Just order The Spicy Holiday Gingerlixer, a lemon-and-honey drink balanced with Obon scotch and a sizable portion of ginger.

Photo by Lori Eanes

Alexandros Stavrianopoulos mixes lemon, honey, ginger, and scotch for a holiday cocktail.

“I personally enjoy ginger very much, and I really like to get it super spicy,” Stavrianopoulos said. “The spiciness, I thought, was something nice for the season. Also the dark liquor is usually a little bit better for the winter times, a little warmer in flavor.” A riff on a traditional Penicillin cocktail, the Gingerlixer is an homage to cold nights, palette-heating drinks, and the joy of scotch. “I wanted to use a heavy, but not a terribly heavy, scotch, and Obon kind of has that bite to it.”

Maybe it’s not possible to take a horse-drawn sleigh to this delicious destination while catching snowflakes on your eyelashes. But once you’re settled in your cozy seat (if at all possible, scoot into the super VIP two-person booth just left of the host station), you’ll forget how you even got there. You’re about to be handed a ginger-lemon-honey cocktail that will ignite a fire in your chest and unstoppable revelry in your heart. Whether you’re naughty or nice, jaded or jolly, the countdown to the holiday break has started, and it’s time to raise a glass. Make sure yours is filled to the brim with The Spicy Holiday Gingerlixer.

The Fat Lady Bar & Restaurant,  201 Washington St., Oakland, 510-465-4996,  www.TheFatLadyRestaurant.com.


The Spicy Holiday Gingerlixer

1.5 ounces Obon scotch

2 sugar cubes worth of ginger

.5 ounce lemon juice

.5 ounce honey syrup

Muddle the ginger in a mixer then add the Obon scotch. Let it infuse for a few moments to extract the flavor. Add in the lemon juice and honey syrup. Shake and double strain into a scotch glass.


Published online on Dec. 22, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.