Tuesday, December 15, 2015

8 Cocktails for any Holiday Gathering

Grab a glass, throw on your favorite holiday playlist and start planning the perfect shindig.

It’s the season for making merry, and what better way than with the perfect cocktail for any occasion? While I have my personal favorites (the Aviation, hands down), not every cocktail is suited for every situation. Our Holiday Cocktail and Punch recipes have the perfect drinks for any crowd. Grab a glass, throw on your favorite holiday playlist and start planning the perfect shindig — whether it’s a cozy night in, a formal affair or a fun fling for all.

Hosting your boss and colleagues for the holiday team gathering? Finish off the year on a good foot by greeting them at the door with a Sherried Cranberry Smash. Make hosting a breeze by pre-shaking the cranberry syrup, cranberry juice and sherry, then simply top off with sparkling water and cranberries when guests arrive. Oh, and have a plate (or five) on hand of these Sweet Potato Bacon Bites — trust me.
Cider 75
Cider 75 is a sassy spin on the French 75 featuring gin and Champagne stars hard cider, sparkling wine and honey. Serve to your closest gal pals for your annual holiday gathering and pair with aged cheeses and charcuterie.
Spiced Almondmilk Punch
Houseguests for the holidays? Step up brunch at home with Spiced Almondmilk Puncha lighter twist on the classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch. If brandy isn’t your family’s thing, replace it with Cognac, dark rum or bourbon.
Cranberry Eggnog
Cozy up with your family to enjoy this creamy Cranberry Eggnog for Friday night family night. Adults might consider adding a generous splash of brandy, bourbon or rum after the kids’ bedtime!
Fresh Cranberry Punch
Neighborhood block parties can extend beyond summertime to an indoor holiday open house with Fresh Cranberry Punch. Parents and kids alike will flip if you pair with Pigs in a Blanket with Cranberry-Mustard Dipping Sauce.
Cardamom-Carrot Sparkling Cocktails
If the classic mimosa and your favorite not-too-sweet juice blend had babies, they would be Cardamom-Carrot Sparkling Cocktails. Invite your family over for a Christmas-morning style brunch turned modern. Consider pairing with a Wild Mushroom Tart and light green salad or a sweeter, make-ahead option like Baked French Toast with Pine Nuts and Apples.
Invite your whole contact list for an open house dessert party, and serve up Apple-Pomegranate Fizz for your favorites. Bonus points if you have a nonalcoholic version for kiddos and those who are hitting multiple parties in one night. 
Honeyed Beet Sparklers
Like-minded veg lovers (maybe your Saturday morning farmers’ market crew) will flip if you take beets off the plate and into the glass — and we don’t mean your morning green juice! A little elf told me your guests will love Honeyed Beet Sparklers with Red Lentil Crackers with Spicy Vegan Cream Cheese.