This Little Jack Horner cocktail is available at Harvest. | Courtesy

Whether or not you’re ready for all the tinsel and mistletoe, the season is upon us even before the turkey’s been stuffed. It gets dark early, it’s cold, and one local radio station has already started on the Christmas music.

Instead of hibernating for the next two months, why not embrace it? OK, perhaps that’s a little drastic.

Why not pick and choose a few events here and there, especially when they involve bourbon and good cheer? One such neighborhood merriment is the fourth annual Four Roses NuLuDays Holiday Cocktail Challenge, which is now underway through Saturday, Dec. 1.

Garage Bar’s Go Easy on the Pepsi is made with bourbon, Pepsi syrup and bitters. | Courtesy

This event comes with a mission, too, and it’s an easy one: Try the signature cocktails at all 10 spots (listed below) and vote for your favorite.

The bartenders in NuLu have been working just as hard as those creepy elves, concocting holiday-themed cocktails using any of the three Four Roses expressions — Small Batch, Single Barrel or regular (formerly known as “Yellow Label”).

The winning mixologist gets $1,000, a Four Roses barrel head and a signed bottle, plus bragging rights for a year.

There’s a second and third place as well, so every vote counts.

And voting doesn’t require anything more than a hashtag on social media. Just snap a photo of your drink of choice, and make sure you use #NuLuDays, tag Four Roses and let people know what bar you found it at. The competition officially started on Nov. 10, so you’ve got about three weeks to imbibe and make those tough decisions.

Just perusing the list, we’d like to check out the Bourbon Ball Iced Mocha at Toast and the Mother Parker at Goodwood, made with ginger-habanero syrup, lime juice, bourbon and Shoot Your Eye Out Milk Stout.

Take a look at the list below and let’s get started.

  • Against The Grain — Time After Thyme (by Trisha Torpey)
  • Galaxie Bar — Santa’s Nightcap (by Lauren Conley)
  • Garage Bar — Go Easy on the Pepsi (by Jeremy Salmon)
  • Goodwood Brewing Company — Mother Parker (by Alanna Fugate)
  • Grind Burger Kitchen — Oh Poi, It’s Fall (by Kia Nishida)
  • Harvest — Little Jack Horner (by Kelly Lynch)
  • Nouvelle — Triple Dog Dare (by Aaron Dawkins)
  • Taj — You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out (by Heather Morgan)
  • Taste Fine Wines and Bourbons — Holiday at the Beach (by Mark Duffy)
  • Toast — Four Roses Bourbon Ball Iced Mocha (by Amber Roe)

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."