Recipe Redo: Dan Aykroyd’s Cranium Cocktail

12/12/2013 at 02:39 PM ET

Alie and Goergia Dan Aykroyd Cocktail
Courtesy Alie & Georgia

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, a.k.a. Alie & Georgia, host Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia. Visit PEOPLE.com every Thursday for their playful spins on celebrity recipes, cocktails, entertaining ideas—and, of course, lots of laughs!

We have all the respect in the world for Dan Aykroyd. Heck, we once attended an event for his vodka brand, Crystal Head, and shamelessly asked him to pretend we were all besties for this photo opportunity.

Alie and Goergia Dan Aykroyd Cocktail
Courtesy Alie & Georgia

We even used his skull-bottle spirit in our spooky Halloween cocktail, the Zombie Gut Punch. But that doesn’t mean we’re always in the mood to drink vodka. Last year, we flew to England to tour the Beefeater and Plymouth gin distilleries and work with master mixologists on the nuances of mixing gin cocktails, and since then we’ve been kind of partial to the juniper-y spirit.

So this week, we took the Cranium Cocktail that Danny (okay, he doesn’t let us call him that) created and we tweaked it—dare we say improved it?—by swapping out the vodka (sorry, Danny) for gin. The spirit’s wonderful juniper and citrus notes are just perfect for a holiday drink.

We also added fresh citrus juice to deliver a hint of sour, and opted for muddled pomegranate seeds rather than cranberry juice as our tart ingredient. After a splash of soda—just like in Dan’s recipe—the mixture turned out to be a fizzy, tangy cocktail with a complex, herbaceous backbone. We’re into it.

Let’s just hope ‘ol Danny Boy doesn’t find out we nixed his vodka, or (Crystal) heads might roll.

Gin-gerly yours,

Alie & Georgia

Alie & Georgia’s ‘Gettin’ Ginny With It’ Winter Cocktail
Makes 1

2 oz. gin
½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ oz. maraschino liqueur
10 pomegranate seeds
Splash of soda

1. In a cocktail shaker without ice, add the first four ingredients. Muddle the pomegranate seeds to extract the juice.

2. Add ice and shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Top with the splash of soda and toast to cold winter drinks around a warm fire.

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