Festive Holiday Drinks
There are many opportunities to serve holiday drinks. This time of year, it seems there are parties, potlucks, family visits, friends stopping by with gifts, or maybe you are hosting a get together or dinner. No matter the situation, serving or bringing a light, festive holiday cocktail is a welcomed conversation starter. It gets the mood kicked off to one of wonder and celebration. It gets you away from the same old same old, and into something new and refreshing.
I created the first two recipes and found the third one in myreicpes.com that was from a 2010 Cooking Light article. There are many websites to peruse in order to find a cocktail that suits you. When searching I look for tastes and ingredients I like or have on hand, combinations that sound appealing, recipes that are simple and quick to make, and refreshing without a lot of sugar or syrup to weigh you down.
I created this drink (Up Top) a few years ago last minute when I found out some of the guests didn’t drink alcohol. I happened to have pomegranate on hand, along with soda water and limes. I assembled my attractive cut crystal cocktail glasses and started pouring just before they walked into the door. I loved the taste and so did they. It is refreshing with a little tartness from the pomegranate yet light with the soda water. The lime gives it that third subtle flavor. If a guest finds it too tart, then have a sugar bowl with sugar spoon on the drink tray or on the bar. You can easily add 1/2 tsp. if needed.
Pomegranate Spritzer (Non-Alcoholic)
8 oz. tumbler or cocktail glass, filled with ice
3 oz. 100% Pomegranate juice
2 oz. soda/spritzer water
1 slice of lime
To measure cocktail glasses you have, take your measuring cup, fill it to 1 cup with tap water and pour that amount into the glass. One cup measures 8 oz. Eyeball it and see how close it is to 8 oz. From there you can guestimate and convert this recipe to suit.
So in an 8 oz. short glass, pour Pomegranate juice to about 1/3 of the glass. Imagine a 1/3 marker on your measuring cup. Then add about ¼ cup spritzer water, which would bring it up to in between 1/2 and 2/3 cup. Squeeze lime into the drink, add ice on top, place the lime on the side of the glass and shake or stir. The red and green are the perfect festive look for the season.
Lemonade wine cooler
1 Tbsp. Sugar
8 oz. tumbler or cocktail glass filled with ice
4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 oz. white wine
Fill with ice
Optinal: Sprig of mint
We created this recipe at the end of culinary class one day. We had leftover lemons that were going to be trashed. We squeezed them to make a large pitcher full. Then we added a little bit of sugar and stirred. Then we added a little wine to taste. Then poured it over ice. It was so good, we all stood there and drank it all! Now we didn’t measure, but when I tried it at home, I just eyeballed the glass and poured what I though looked right.
Like the pomegranate spritzer, it is a light, balanced, slightly tart drink that goes well with hors d’oeuvres and is great during cocktail hour. While it has wine, there is only a small amount, just enough to smooth out the intense lemon flavor. A sprig of mint would be festive and add a nice extra flavor.
Cranberry Kir Royale
Such a beautiful drink with mysterious colors that sometimes run clear and other areas turn red. Plump shiny whole cooked cranberries floating on top make it elegant and sexy. While this takes planning ahead to make the base, it is well worth the effort. They will never forget this cocktail!
Use leftover cranberry sauce to concoct this lightly sweet classic French Kir Royale with a little homemade flavor. Allow four days to steep the liqueur. Save a few whole cranberries for garnish.
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup leftover whole-berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup vodka
4 cups dry prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled
Combine 1/4 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; stir in cranberry sauce. Let cool. Stir in vodka; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4 days.
Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a small jar; discard solids. Cover jar with an airtight lid; chill until ready to use.
To make cocktails, spoon 2 tablespoons cranberry liqueur into each of 8 champagne flutes. Top each with 1/2 cup wine. Serve immediately.