Hosting family for the holidays? At some point, someone's going to need a drink.
Escape to Dosa for an "Aaraam Se," which translates to "take it easy and relax." This Southern Indian version of the Hot Toddy combines your choice of rum, whisky or brandy with house-made spiced agave, clove, star anise, hot water and a lemon wedge. 995 Valencia and 1700 Fillmore
The Brandy Mash-Up at Plaj Scandinavian Bar and Restaurant features Xante pear brandy, Geijer Glogg (a traditional Scandinavian liquor), and rhubarb bitters garnished with star anise and pear. 333 Fulton
Sneak away to The Ice Cream Bar for the seasonally-spiced Pfeffernüsse cocktail ($10), a complex concoction of Cardamaro Vino Amaro, Bonal Gentiane-Quina, orange juice, blackstrap molasses, and a long list of extracts and tinctures including bitter almond, black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger and cinnamon. 815 Cole
Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, where Hopscotch is riffing on a recent holiday tradition with the Elf on a Shelf cocktail ($11), made with rye, armagnac, and Genepy. 1915 San Pablo Ave., Oakland
As long as you're in the East Bay, check out FIVE restaurant's 12 Cocktails of Christmas, including the Eight Maids Milking Martini, made with Kahlua, vodka, Bailey's and cream. Drink all 12 cocktails in December and get a gift certificate for Sunday Brunch for two in the new year. 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley
Elixir is also offering an impressive line-up of holiday cocktails, including Hot Butt Rum ($10), made with a house-made batter of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and vanilla ice cream, mixed with water or cider and English Harbour Rum. 3200 16th Street
San Francisco Mead Company can accommodate your entire crew. The Meadery is open every Saturday from noon to 6pm, offering free tours of the facility and samplings of Apple Pie, Orange Blossom, and California Gold mead. 1180 Shafter Ave.
If all else fails, Locanda's Holiday Prosecco Cocktail ($13) is sure to bring back Mom's sparkle, with terroir gin, blood orange shrub, lemon, Campari, and Murgo sparkling nerello mescalese, garnished with a thyme sprig. 557 Valencia
Finally, we recommend the Mistletoe Martini ($12) at Plin as a conversation starter. It's made with cinnamon- and pear-infused vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup, shaken, strained and served martini style in a sugar- and nutmeg-rimmed glass garnished with fresh mint and a cinnamon stick. 280 Valencia