Monday, December 7, 2015

Favorite Holiday Party Cocktails

I just love Christmas, and holiday parties add to the fun! Bringing friends and family together to celebrate the season makes me happy. As I sit and peruse various recipes that I'll use for easy-to-eat finger foods, delicious dips, oppulent mains served with sizzling roasted veggies and sides, I'm also considering various cocktails that will be served during this year's festivities. Here are some that I thought I'd share. What are some of your favorites?

Sparkling Charleston Cosmopolitan

This might be one of my favorite combinations and really easy to make. It's easy to celebrate Christmas in the Lowcountry with a delicious and refreshing, drink.

1 cup crushed ice
3 tablespoons vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons peach nectar
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 tablespoon white cranberry juice
2 lemon wedges
2 tablespoons sparkling white wine
Garnish with an orange slice

Pear Basil Crush

This one uses a muddled basil and pear combination that is fabulous any time of year. Various restaurants downtown have their version of this delicious cocktail, but it's also easy to make at home.

3 fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup crushed ice
4 tablespoons pear nectar
3 tablespoons pear-flavored vodka
3 tablespoons lemon-lime soft drink
Garnish with fresh basil sprig and/or pear slice

Alcohol Free - Berry Good Ginger Ale

This one is for those who choose not to imbibe and is a refreshing alternative to alcohol. Serve it to the kids for a specialty cocktail of their own! Delicious!

5 fresh raspberries
4 fresh blueberries
2 fresh blackberries
1 1/2 tablespoons light agave nectar
5 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup crushed ice
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger ale
Garnish with fresh raspberries and blackberries

Homemade Eggnog

We love eggnog in our house. This recipe is just one of the fabulous ways to make this rich and creamy cup of holiday cheer at home.

6 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 pasteurized egg yolks
2 cups sugar
Praline or bourbon liqueur
Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg

Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic

Easily one of my favorite drinks, gin and tonics can also be decorated for the holiday. Add a few simple ingredients and voila!

1 (2-inch) orange rind strip
1 tablespoon fresh (or frozen) mashed cranberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup ice cubes
3 tablespoons gin
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/4 cup tonic water

Pomegranate Mimosas

This one is easy and delicious. Add a splash of pomegranate juice to mimosas instead of orange juice to add a bit of holiday cheer for your guests.

Pomegranate Juice (mix to taste)

Kris Kringle's Candy Cups

Want to feel like a kid again? Make these jolly little cocktails and garnish with your most colorful candy canes.

5 cups orange juice
1 cup vodka
1/3 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
Garnish with fruit flavored candy cane sticks, cherries with stems, orange and/or lemon slices

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