Onyx Mexican Hot Chocolate at Taqueria Tavern. (Courtesy Onyx / December 18, 2012)

Onyx Spirits' Hartford-area "Twelve Days of Onyx" Holiday Cocktail Crawl started last week, but it's not too late to start crawling.

There are eight more days of custom holiday-themed cocktails to be imbibed at eight more great restaurants. A portion of the price of each Onyx Moonshine bottle and cocktail sold on one of these 12 days will go to local nonprofit End Hunger Connecticut!

When I attended a Moonshine Mixology event at Glastonbury's Pond House Grille over the summer, I was amazed at how well the locally produced spirit mixed with anything: lemonade, Moscato, cranberry juice, sweet potatoes. I ended up throwing together some Moonshine over rocks with a green olive and some hot sauce; it became my go-to drink for a while.

The cocktails you'll sample this week are a little fancier, made with delectable ingredients (no hot sauce, but there's cayenne pepper in one). Here's a rundown of the remaining dates, restaurants and cocktails. Help yourself, and please: drive safely.

Dec. 20: Tisane Euro Asian Cafe, 537 Farmington Ave., Hartford, (860) 523-5417, mytisane.com. The featured cocktail is the "Onyx Gingerbread Man," created by Eric Williams, with Moonshine, Amaretto Disaronno, fresh cream, gingerbread syrup andreal white chocolate.

Dec. 21: Taqueria Tavern, 140 Park Road, West Hartford, (860) 899-1981, taqueriatavern.com. Get this: the featured cocktail, created by Louis Delgado and Dave Blanck, is "Onyx Mexican Hot Chocolate," with Moonshine infused with bittersweet homemade Mexican hot chocolate, fresh whipped cream and cayenne pepper, served in a mason jar.

Dec. 22: Plan B Burger Bar, 120 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, (860) 430-9737, planbburger.com. Kim Wessel gave her cocktail the PG-rated name "About Friggin' Time": fig-infused Moonshine, simple syrup, Bitterman's Hiver Amer and fresh thyme, served on the rocks. Wow.

Dec. 25: Front Street Bistro, 39 Front Street, Hartford. Yup, on Christmas, if you can get to Front Street, try the "Onyx the Snowman," created by Justin Morales: candy cane-infused Moonshine, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, Kahlua and golden egg nog, served in a martini glass and garnished with a cute little candy cane. Frosty.

Dec. 26: City Steam Brewery Cafe and Restaurant, 942 Main St., Hartford, (860) 525-1600, citysteambrewerycafe.com. Boxing Day blues disappear with the help of Anthony Sousa's "Naughty Onyx," made from Moonshine, an orange rind strip, whole cranberry sauce, Solerno blood orange liqueur and club soda, served in a gibraltar glass with a floating cranberry/orange rind garnish.

Dec. 27: Pond House Grille, 2935 Main St., Glastonbury, (860) 657-4527, pondhousegrille.com. Emily Kilroy's "Rosy Kringle" is served in a rocks glass rinsed with Chartreuse and rime of crushed peppermint, with Moonshine, muddled mint, cocoa, Ramazzoti Averna and agave nectar, topped with seltzer and garnished with mint leaf.

Dec. 28: Firebox Restaurant, 539 Broad St., Hartford, (860) 246-1222, firehouserestaurant.com. John Lagoz-Sinclair prepares his "Fig Nog" with Moonshine, butternut juice, fig and ginger syrup, tiki butter and egg whites, and he serves it in a rocks glass.

Dec. 29: Republic, 39 Jerome Ave., Bloomfield, (860) 216-5852, republicct.com. Jared Cohen's final-day cocktail is a "White Chocolate Candy Cane Martini," made with Godiva white chocolate liqueur, white crème de cacao, peppermint liqueur and raspberry coulis, served in a martini glass with a candy cane rim.



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