CUISINE to Hard Rock Cafe’s mixologists, no one’s cup or glass will be empty. Look for two new specialty liquor- and whiskey-laced coffees - mugs o’ cheer - the Iced Caramel and an Irish Kiss, accented with spiced brown sugar syrup. Santa’s been known to rock out with the Twist & Shout Shake, a blend of Guinness, Crème de Cacao, ice cream crowned with whipped cream, caramel and chocolate syrups, and bacon crumbles. All are edgy and tasty concoctions, but I’m a traditionalist. I’ll toast with the Pomegranate Prosecco – a glass of prosecco with pomegranate seeds and a sprig of rosemary, a Hard Rock libation I consider a holiday gift since it’s easily recreated at home. Avant-garde Holiday Ham: For decades, the spiral-sliced, sugar- encrusted honey ham ruled the buffet table. A wonder in its day, the glazed ham has become a little ho-hum, causing foodies to crave and search for throwback hams like Grandma use to bake - house-cured, smoked and hand-sliced like hams produced by Dalie’s Smokehouse chef and general manager, Craig Basler, who takes the old timely favorite and dresses it with a bacon blanket. The blanket is a woven mat of bacon placed over the ham before it’s baked, resulting in a bronzed, crisp finish. Indeed, an avant-garde touch adding a subtle flavor without becoming overpowering, which makes this holiday ham a merry addition to the buffet table. Christmas Cannoli: Cookie trays are getting a makeover this year, thanks to the pastry chefs at Piccione Pastry who believe you “cannoli resist” for so long the temptation to include cannoli on your Christmas dessert trays - an Italian tradition that I recommend as a must-have on the holiday table. My choice is a selection of the mini cannolis, delightfully petite and available in a variety of flavors, including classic vanilla, St. Louis gooey butter, and the seasonal, obligatory pumpkin spice. All are sweet picks that can be packed into Piccione’s gingerbread cottage gift box, a quaint presentation carrier designed to hold enough sweet treats to gift Santa or the hostess setting this year’s holiday table. Corbett is the author of “The Gilded Table,” “Pushcarts & Stalls: The Soulard Market History Cookbooks” and “Unique Eats and Eateries of St. Louis.” She can be contacted at Hard Rock Café's Pomegranate Prosecco Polar Express Magical Dinner at St. Louis Union Station SAVVY I SOPHISTICATED I SASSY 55