Top 5 Holiday Cocktails

Top 5 Holiday Cocktails

Plus a non-alcoholic option!
In no particular order....
(Follow links for full posts on all of these--they are my favorite "Pinterest" cocktail recipes for the holidays!)

I'm one of those people who likes everything to be festive at the holidays, even the desserts, table settings & cocktails! If you can relate or you just want one signature holiday cocktail at your Christmas celebration, these are for you. :) 
Cranberry Mimosa
Delicious, a little sweet, light & refreshing!
Cranberry Juice
Sparkling White Wine (I like Spumante cause it has a little sweet to it but Brut would work too)
Optional green sugar for rimming glasses

If rimming glass moisten glass and roll it in sugar
Pour cranberry directly into fluted glass - fill about 1/3-1/2 of the way
Top off with Sparkling Wine
Serve Immediately

Similar to above but easy to serve for a crowd & very festive with the frozen strawberries!

1 bottle of chilled champagne
1 bottle of chilled ginger ale
2 packages of frozen strawberries, partially thawed.

Mix in large punch bowl & enjoy!

Classy martini with a touch of holiday whimsy

2 oz. White Cranberry Juice
1 oz Gin or Vodka {I prefer vodka but choose whichever one you like best!}
A few frozen cranberries
Add a few frozen cranberries to a martini glass.
Fill a martini shaker with ice.
Pour white cranberry juice and gin {or vodka} into the shaker. Shake.
Pour contents of the shaker into the martini glass, over the cranberries.

Deep, dark & fruity

1 pomegranate, seeded (see my hint below)
6 ounces fresh cranberries
1 pear, cut into small pieces
1 small green apple, cut into small pieces
1 bottle red wine (I prefer Cabernet or Red Zinfandel)
3 cups ginger ale
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash allspice

Remove and keep the seeds of the pomegranate.  Make it easy by removing the seeds while holding the fruit under water in a large bowl.  The seeds sink, the white stuff floats, and the seeds that pop won't spray all over you.
Cut pear and apple into small pieces.  Don't peel them - the green peels look pretty in the finished product
Put all the fruit in a large pitcher
Add spices
Add wine, and stir to mix. Make sure fruit is covered by the wine to prevent browning.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate and wait to finish the sangria closer to the start of your party.
Close to serving time, add the ginger ale
Stir well and serve in clear glasses.  Spoon fruit into the glasses if it's not pouring well.

Zesty & spicy

bottle of dry red wine (like a Cabernet Sauvignon) 750 ml

cranberries (1 cup)
apples (1 sliced into rings)
oranges (1 sliced or zested with juice added, add more peels for garnish)
lemons (1 zested or peeled, add more peels for garnish)
limes (1 zested or peeled, add more peels for garnish)

nutmeg (1 roughly grated)
cinnamon sticks (2)
cardamom pods (2, press with the flat side of a knife to bruise them first)
whole cloves (4)
star anise (2)
vanilla bean (halved lengthwise)
ginger root (small slice)
bay leaves (1-2)

Other add ins:
apple cider (4 cups)
brandy (1/4 cup)
honey or sugar (1/4 cup)
water (dilute to taste)

Now, all those measurements are for one bottle of wine, but remember, they are just a starting point. When doing a mix and match like this, it's best to start on the lower end of a measurement and then add to taste. You can also put the spices into a cheese cloth bundle if you want the flavor but don't want them floating around in drinks (some people like that look, others don't). Add all the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium heat until almost boiling (make sure your sugar dissolves if you add sugar). Then bring to a low simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve warm and enjoy!

Something for the kids & those who choose not to drink!

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 cups skim milk

In a large sauce pan combine sugar, water, cocoa, marshmallows and chocolate chips
Over medium heat, bring to a low boil, stirring constantly
Put mixture in a 6 quart crockpot
Add the milk and stir to combine
Heat on high for 2 hours or until hot

Truthfully, all these drinks will carry you throughout the entire holiday season with minor tweaking--for example, instead of green sugar on the rim of your mimosa, find silver or gold at a craft store and use that for New Year's!

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