Toasting the holidays with seasonal drinks
It may be early November but it’s never too early to get started on the drink selection for your holiday party.
From mulled wines and fruity sangrias to flavored martinis and pumpkin-spiced everything, holiday cocktails have come a long way from the hot buttered rums and Brandy Alexanders of yore. So if you’re looking for a few ideas for your own bash, boot up the laptop and log onto some of the following videos for a few pointers.
Martha Stewart has a few on her website (www.marthastewart.com/252489/holiday-cocktails), as she is joined by New York bartender Charles Corpion to demonstrate the making of three drinks – the Candy Cane, the Winter Solstice and something called the Blizzard, which is Irish whiskey, Frangelico, Baileys and coffee topped with Grand Marnier-infused whipped cream. Delicious and formidable.
If you’re looking for something that packs a little less of a punch, Amanda Storey of MyRecipes.com has her “5 to Try Holiday Cocktails” (www.myrecipes.com/how-to/5-to-try/5-to-try-holiday-cocktails), among them an easy-to-make homemade eggnog, a blood orange sangria and a champagne pomegranate cocktail – a combination of pomegranate juice, ginger ale, a little brandy and champagne. She calls it “an absolute festivity unto itself.” You be the judge.
For those trying to stay on the straight and narrow and avoid the “holiday 15” this November and December, Health.com (www.health.com/food/healthy-holiday-cocktails) has what it calls some “healthy-ish” drink options, the arguably healthiest being the Sparkling Greyhound – a mix of vodka, grapefruit juice and club soda for a total of 87 calories. And that’s with a half-cup of liquor.
On the decidedly more caloric side, there is Andrew Rea of “Binging With Babish” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=LftLcYM6Fzw) – the YouTube content creator who specializes in re-creating noteworthy meals from classic movies and TV shows – who goes to great trouble and detail to mix up a homemade eggnog from eggs, steamed milk, cream, homemade whipped cream, spices, bourbon and white rum. It looks delicious but be prepared to invest some time in this project.
If wine is your preference, Food and Wine Executive Editor Ray Isle has some suggestions for tasty holiday wines for under $15 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp_E-GZZ9ZQ). Impress your friends and family with your wine savvy.
Not to be forgotten are beer drinkers, who also have some options at their disposal when it comes to holiday suds. Check out Food and Wine, which has its “20 New High-Alcohol Beers to Warm Your Bones This Fall and Winter” (www.foodandwine.com/beer/craft-beer/high-abv-craft-beers). You might want to eat something first, though.