Friday, November 14, 2014

5 Festive Cocktails


We've officially started celebrating in our house.  The kickoff with our Jack turning 10 this week!   We started his day with these birthday pancakes and ended it with pizza out with 10 boys.  It was a great day! We have another birthday next week for our Finn and then the holidays are knockin' and I'm ready!
Nothing says celebration like a festive holiday cocktail. These well-balanced cocktails are inspired by the best of the season’s ingredients, infused with fresh herbs and fruit.  What's not to love!  Try serving the drinks with these appetizers that I wrote about earlier this week.
All the recipes are courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, one of my favorite places to shop for kitchen essentials.  Check out this shaker-I love it!  

HARVESTED APPLE COCKTAIL
• 1/4 fl. oz. St. Germain
• 3/4 fl. oz. Calvados (apple brandy)
• Sparkling wine
• Apple slice for garnish

Pour the St. Germain into a coupe glass and fill halfway with sparkling wine. Top off with Calvados and garnish with an apple slice. Serves 1.

CRANBERRY MARTINI
• Ice cubes
• 1 cup vodka
• 1/4 cup dry vermouth
• 1/2 cup cranberry juice
• 8 cranberries, frozen
• 4 lemon zest twists

Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour in the vodka, vermouth and cranberry juice. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for about 10 seconds. Strain into the chilled glasses, dividing evenly. Garnish each glass with 2 frozen cranberries and a lemon twist. Serves 4.

POMEGRANATE CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
• 1 fl. oz. pomegranate juice
• 1/2 fl. oz. Grand Marnier
• Sparkling wine
• Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Pour the pomegranate juice and Grand Marnier into a Champagne glass or flute. Top with sparkling wine and add a few pomegranate seeds. Serves 1.

APPLE-CRANBERRY HOT CIDER
• 32 ounces apple juice
• 3 cups of cranberry juice
• 2 cups of sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 cup rum

Pour all ingredients into saucepan except for rum. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in rum and serve. Serves 12 to 15.

THYME COCKTAIL
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 fl. oz.  gin
  • 1/4 fl. oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Riesling as needed
  • Lemon-lime soda as neededFresh thyme sprig for garnishTo make the thyme-infused simple syrup, in a saucepan over low heat, combine the water and sugar and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the thyme sprigs. Let steep for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature before using. You will need 1/2 fl. oz. (15 ml) thyme-infused simple syrup for this cocktail; refrigerate the rest for making more cocktails.Pour the gin, the 1/2 fl. oz. (15 ml) thyme-infused simple syrup and the lemon juice into an ice-filled highball glass. Top off with equal amounts of Riesling and lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a thyme sprig. Serves 1.


Hope you enjoy the weekend with one of these in hand! 
Cheers!

Take a look at my favorite cocktail must-haves:
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