EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: Recipes: Hosting Drinks for the Holidays #2016HolidayGiftGuide #holidayrecipe

Recipes: Hosting Drinks for the Holidays #2016HolidayGiftGuide #holidayrecipe

This is by far our favorite time of year to host parties. From Thanksgiving, all the way through New Year's Day, we just can't get enough of the festivities. While planning the right food menu is crucial to any great party, I find the beverage planning to be a smidgen more fun around Christmas time. This year, we're featuring six seasonal Holiday cocktails that will get guests in the holiday spirit as soon as they walk through the door! Check them out below...

Villa Pozzi Nero d'Avola
This one's for our full-bodied red wine drinkers! The Nero D'Avola has a fruity aroma of cherry, hints of vanilla and figs, and a nice acid balance. My husband picks up a bit of blackberry in it as well. I know this will be a win with our guests. Grab a few bottles and use it in two ways-served by the glass and as a muled wine!

Jingle Jangle Juice
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Villa Pozzi Nero d'Avola
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries

  1. Combine wine, cider, zest, juice, cloves, nutmeg, honey, and cranberries in a crockpot. Place cinnamon sticks in a cheese cloth and add to crockpot. 
  2. Cook on low for about 2-3 hours, until cranberries are tender.
  3. Remove cheese cloth of cinnamon and turn crockpot setting to "Keep Warm" (This should be the lowest setting on your crockpot.)
  4. Pour into mugs or coffee glasses. Scoop out 2-3 cranberries to add to each mug. Serve and enjoy!

Full disclosure, I've been to this winery and I love their red wine, so I'll be hard pressed to mix this into a cocktail. That being said, it is so delicious as a glass on it's own, but does make a fabulous winter cocktail ingredient. This cabernet is rich with dark fruits, cinnamon, clove an subtle oak aroma. It also has notes of cherry, blackberry and vanilla with a finish of  soft tannins. The description alone makes it an obvious choice for the winter season! 

Hanukkah Hug
  • 4 oz Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1oz cold soda water
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Pink rimming sugar
  1. Rim glass with pink sugar. 
  2. In shaker, mix lemon juice and sugar until dissolved. 
  3. Slowly mix in the wine. 
  4. Shake well. 
  5. Pour into martini glass and top off with soda water.
We always consider pinot grigio the wine crowd-pleaser because it's a great choice to meet most wine tastes in the middle. This pinot grigio has a floral aroma, along with lemon, honeydew melon and ripe apples. It's got a bright acidity which is balanced with a warm mineralogy, to give each sip a crisp finish. Great on it's own or in our Merry Margarita!

Merry Margarita
  • 2 oz. Barone Fini Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 3 oz. sour mix
  • Green rimming salt
  1. Pour Barone Fini, tequila, lime juice and sour mix in a shaker and mix well. 
  2. Rim glass in green rimming salt.
  3. Fill glass with ice and pour shaker mixture over ice.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

This is a great festive wine, the type you expect to see at a holiday party! It's fruity and floral, with scents of pear, green apples, peach, honeysuckle and citrus notes. They've created a nice balance of acidity and sugar, making it the perfect mixer for our drink below!

Prancer's Punch
  • 1 bottle of Enza Prosecco Extra Dry Sparkling Wine
  • 1 c orange juice
  • 2 c fresh, peeled, sliced peaches
  1. Several hours before your party, in a punch bowl, combine all ingredients
  2. Place in refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. 

The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc
This white wine has hints of bell pepper, passionfruit and citrus. It's a really interesting blend that isn't typically the type of wine we go for, but the bell pepper adds an interesting dimension. It has a nice balance of fruitiness and crisp mineral finish.

Sassy Snowman
  • 1 oz The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 3 to 5 raspberries
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice 
  • 1 1/2 oz soda water
  • Red or pink rimming sugar
  1. Mix lemon juice and raspberries in a shaker.
  2. Muddle the berries.
  3. Add vodka and Sauvignon Blanc.
  4. Add ice and shake well. 
  5. Rim a chilled martini glass with sugar.
  6. Strain into martini glass.

Rye whiskey is a classic alcohol that used to be very popular before prohibition. It's making a big time comeback in the US and makes for a trendy spirit at any holiday party. This particular rye whiskey, which is aged for 2-2.5 years, is a flavored rye spice with light floral and citrus notes. There's a slight mint finish to it that we find really unique in this high proof liquor. A fun little note about the packaging, they note the batch number on the label to reinforce the art that goes into producing it as well as the bottle number to demonstrate the attention to detail in this whiskey.

Wonderland Whiskey

  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz bitters
  • 1 oz apple cider
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  1. In a shaker, add ice, Redemption Rye Whiskey, bitters, apple cider, lemon juice, and simple syrup. 
  2. Shake well. 
  3. Strain cocktail into ice-filled glass.

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