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STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING – COCKTAIL + MOCKTAIL RECIPES

The holidays are quickly approaching and that means it's time to start planning your holiday parties. Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner party or a big holiday bash, you’ll want to make sure you have the right food and drinks to make your event a success. One way to add some fun and flair to your gathering is to serve up some delicious cocktails and appetizers. Cocktails are a great way to get your guests in the holiday spirit. For a festive drink, you can’t go wrong with a classic holiday cocktail like eggnog or mulled wine. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can get creative and mix up some unique cocktails like a peppermint martini or a gingerbread mule. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, you can always offer a few tasty mocktails like a cranberry spritzer or a pomegranate punch. Appetizers are also an essential part of any holiday get-together. To keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with some classic finger foods like mini quiches, cheesy dips, or vegetable platters. If you’re looking to add a little extra pizazz to your party, you can whip up some festive appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates, mini tarts, or stuffed mushrooms. Hosting a holiday party doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few delicious cocktails and appetizers, you can create a festive and enjoyable atmosphere for your guests. So, get creative and have some fun mixing drinks and making appetizers that will keep your guests in the holiday spirit!


Here are some easy cocktail + mocktail recipes to try out this holiday season.

Peppermint Martini


Ingredients:


1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted

1/4 c. crushed candy canes

6 oz. white chocolate liqueur

4 oz. vodka

2 oz. peppermint schnapps

2 tbsp. heavy cream

Ice

3 small candy canes


Instructions:

1. Pour melted chocolate onto a shallow plate, and place crushed candy canes on another shallow plate. Dip rims of martini glasses first in chocolate, then in candy canes. Pour remaining chocolate into the bottom of glasses and swirl to coat the bottom ⅓ of glasses with chocolate. Place glasses in freezer while you prepare the drink.

2. Combine white chocolate liqueur, vodka, peppermint schnapps, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Fill to the top with ice and shake until cold. Divide drink between 3 glasses and garnish with a candy cane before serving.


Gingerbread Mule

Ingredients

Gingerbread Simple Syrup

· 1 cup water

· 1 cup fresh ginger peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

· ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar

· ⅓ cup unsulphured molasses (not the blackstrap variety)

· 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

· 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

· ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gingerbread Mule Cocktail

· 2 ounces bourbon or preferred spirit vodka, dark rum, white rum, reposado tequila also recommended as substitutes

· 1 ounce gingerbread simple syrup

· ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

· Ice

· 6 ounces chilled ginger beer

· Cinnamon stick for garnish, optional

· Fresh rosemary sprig for garnish, optional

Instructions

Gingerbread Simple Syrup

1. In a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, dark brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Stir every so often to help dissolve the sugar.

2. When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.

3. Strain the syrup to separate the solids. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Gingerbread Mule Cocktail


1. In a copper mug, add the bourbon or preferred spirit, gingerbread simple syrup, lime juice and a handful of ice.

2. Using a bar spoon, stir until condensation builds on the glass, about 15-20 seconds.

3. Pour in the chilled ginger beer. Gently stir to combine.

4. If desired, garnish with the cinnamon stick and rosemary sprig. Enjoy!


Cranberry Spritzer


Ingredients


For simple syrup

1 c sugar

1 c water


For cranberry spritzer

½ c cranberry juice see notes for more info

1 tbsp simple syrup 2 tbsp if using 100% cranberry juice

2 cubes ice

¼ c sparkling water

1 slice lemon

3 each fresh mint leaves


Instructions


Make simple syrup

1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and heat until the sugar has dissolved completely on medium-high heat.

2. Carefully pour the syrup into a clean container and chill over an ice bath or in the fridge.


Make cranberry spritzer

1. In a rock glass, add cranberry juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water and give it a few stirs.

2. Add ice cubes, a lemon slice, and mint leaves. Serve immediately.


Pomegranate Punch


Ingredients


8 cups lemon-lime flavoured carbonated drink use sparking wine if making an alcoholic version

1 ½ cups pomegranate juice

¼ cup sugar

2 large oranges sliced thinly, use the middle slices, not the ends

½ cup pomegranate arils

4 cups ice

Garnish: fresh mint


Instructions


1. In a large bowl or pitcher mix the carbonated drink (or sparkling wine if making an alcohol-friendly version) with the pomegranate juice and sugar. Add sugar slowly if using carbonated drinks in case it bubbles up. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

2. Add the orange slices and pomegranate arils. Mix again.

3. Right before serving add the ice.

4. At the last minute add the mint. It will over-power your drink if you add it too soon. Stir well.







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