The holiday season is one of the busiest times of year when it comes to hosting friends and family. While hosting can come naturally to some, I'm looking at you Martha Stewart, others can find it a stressful and daunting task. Planning the meals, the place settings and the dessert can be more than enough for one host to manage, not to mention keeping guests happy with a steady flow of beverages.
Rather than serving the standard fair of rum & eggnog or wine and beer, unique cocktails bring a flair to the party that will be sure to impress your guests, even if the turkey is slightly overcooked.
Here are four simple, but elegant cocktails that will help elevate your holiday party from good to extraordinary:
Galaxy Espresso Negroni:
A creative twist on a traditional Negroni, this cocktail works well as both a welcoming drink or paired with a chocolate or fruit based dessert.
- 1 oz. Star of Bombay Gin
- 1 oz. Martini Rosso
- 1 oz. Campari
- 0.5 oz. coffee
- Orange peel (garnish)
- Coffee beans (garnish)
- Served in a chilled coup glass
Stir the Gin, Martini Rosso, Campari and coffee with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a chilled coup glass. Rim the glass with the orange peel and garnish; add two or three coffee beans as garnish. Serve chilled.
Crystal Holiday Mule:
Substituting the traditional lime juice in a Moscow Mule for cran-raspberry adds a holiday flair to this timeless classic.
- 1.5 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
- 2 oz. ginger beer
- 0.5 oz. cran-raspberry juice
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup
Mix vodka, simple syrup and juice together and pour over ice. Top glass with ginger beer. Garnish with sugared cranberries skewered with a sprig of rosemary for a festive addition.
Grey Goose Fireside:
This very unique cocktail brings a Canadian element to the holidays with the inclusion of maple syrup. The combination of rosemary and maple syrup add for a nice contrast of flavour.
- 1.5 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
- 0.3 oz. No 2. Organic Maple Syrup
- 1 sprig of rosemary - leaves pulled off
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1.75 oz. freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
In the bottom of a rocks glass briefly crush the rosemary leaves into the maple and salt. Fill with good quality ice and add the Grey Goose. Top with fresh pink grapefruit juice and stir well. Garnish with an extra sprig of rosemary.
The Seelbach is not only a delicious drink it comes with an interesting story. This drink was rumoured to have been accidentally created at the Seelbach Hotel (of Great Gatsby fame) in 1917 and rediscovered in 1995; the story was debunked by the bartender himself years later, stating he just wanted to make a signature drink for the iconic hotel. Nevertheless, it's a great drink and fun little bit of trivia.
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1.5 oz. Cointreau
- 7 dashes Angostura bitters
- 7 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- Lemon peel (garnish)
Stir bourbon, Cointreau and bitters briefly over ice; strain into a chilled flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with lemon twist.
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