Paul Morrison, lead bartender at L.A. Jackson, a stylish rooftop bar overlooking Nashville’s downtown and Gulch district, knows a holiday cocktail needs all the components of a regular cocktail: flavor, drinkability, and Instagram-bait beauty. “But the trick to a good holiday cocktail is to add a hint of nostalgia,” he says. “People love to be reminded of a movie, song, or moment that brings them joy.”
Hence his creation of Help Me…I’m Feeling, a reference to the live-action movie version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, during which the titular fiend utters the memorable phrase upon being gobsmacked by the notion that Christmas is about more than gifts. “Nothing says Christmas quite like the Grinch,” Morrison says.
Light, refreshing, and herbaceous with hints of melon and cherry, Help Me…I’m Feeling is a twist on the classic Last Word, a gin-based cocktail containing green chartreuse, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur. Naturally, the drink is vibrantly green, though a decidedly more pleasant shade than the ill-tempered ogre’s fur. (You are a mean one, Mr. Grinch.)
Fortunately, the classic Grinch theme song’s descriptors of greasy black banana peel and arsenic sauce do not go into the mix. Instead, even the suggested garnish is so full of holiday cheer it might have boosted the Grinch’s bad attitude even before he schemed to burgle Whoville.
“A lot of our guests love a holiday drink that combines childlike wonder with the adult practice of having a cocktail,” says Morrison. “For this one, we do it with peppermint candy cane.”