The Holidays are a great time to up your cocktail game. Sure Egg Nog is a festive tradition, but when you're looking to really impress, a simple cocktail can do wonders and the right recipe may even lead to new traditions. To help us create a holiday cocktail that's easy to make, but also well beyond the ordinary, we went to Brooklyn bartender Ivy Mix . Ivy Mix is Co-Owner of Leyenda, a pan-Latin inspired cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Ivy has been bartending for 18 years, written a book, Spirits of Latin America , and in 2016 was named Mixologist of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. So when it comes to creating cocktails\u2014 she knows her stuff. Ivy infused Elijah Craig's Straight Rye with toasted hazelnuts and the result was exactly what we'd hoped. Infusing might sound elaborate, but it's really just a super simple bartender hack that everyone should know. Infusions are a great way to plus up your home cocktail and introduce unique notes and flavors to any drink. Q: What do you think makes a good holiday cocktail? Ivy Mix: I think good holiday cocktails should be creative and not redundant. There are reasons that certain flavors remind us of the holidays but it\u2019s important to not be too over the top about it. It\u2019s a good idea to pick one theme, then work on that, not pile many on top of one another and try to force the flavors to work. Q: What goes into your process when testing and trying new cocktails? IM: Depending on the time, I generally start with the base of the cocktail and take tasting notes and work on that, using the base spirit as a canvas to work off of. From there, I kind of Mister Potato Head my way to a complete drink, using other ingredients as bridges to one another to create a full cocktail with a unique story arch. Q: What would you call this cocktail and how did you come up with this creation? IM: I call it the Cavalier On Point\u2013 named after one of the characters of the Nutcracker Ballet. I came up with it by going through the tasting of the Rye and pulling out flavors of spice and cereal. I wanted to sweeten it but I thought the spice was a bit like the skin of a nut, like a pecan or a walnut. But given that I wanted something more sweet and rich, I decided on doing an infusion with hazelnuts. To this I added some palo cortado sherry for some more rich nut notes, then some maple syrup, Myris nutmeg liqueur and aromatic bitters for some baking spice notes. This drink definitely is indulgent and reminiscent of some holiday pastries, that was the point! Q: Do you think people can easily infuse alcohol at home? Or without bartending skills? IM: It\u2019s super easy to infuse at home! I love this recipe and infusing with hazelnuts in particular because it\u2019s hard to over-infuse and become too tannic. Simply roast the blanched hazelnuts quickly in the oven and pour the bottle on top. Leave it in a cupboard for a few days and strain out the nuts and you\u2019re good to go! Q: What did you think of the Elijah Craig Straight Rye? IM: I\u2019ve always been a huge Elijah Craig fan and the Rye is delicious. It\u2019s great for mixing or sipping neat and it\u2019s at a great price point. I love it! Ivy's Cavalier On Point Cocktail Ingredients Serves 1 2 oz Hazelnut Infused Elijah Craig Straight Rye .5 oz Palo Cortado sherry .5 tsp Maple Syrup 1 tsp Myris Nutmeg Liqueur or Nutmeg Simple (see below) 2 dashes Angostura Bitters Stir in a mixing glass, strain over a big rock in a double old-fashioned glass and serve with an orange twist. How to Make Nutmeg Simple Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp nutmeg. Heat to dissolve. Keeps refrigerated up to 4 weeks. How to Infuse Your Rye 1. Toast one cup of blanched hazelnuts for 10 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven on a baking sheet. 2. Let cool, then combine the blanched hazelnuts with the Rye in a container. 3. Set the container in the fridge or cabinet to rest for 3 days. 4. S train and bottle.