You have heard it before; “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”
During the holidays there is plenty of stirring, shaking and even twisting going on; all in the form of drinks that is. The holidays invoke the festive spirit in even the most Grinch-like of us all. Cocktail parties are a tradition of the holiday season. What a perfect time to host a party for friends, family, or business acquaintances.
Hosting a party intensifies the anxiety level in many, yet a party is simply defined as a gathering of invited guests for conversation and refreshments. Refreshments can be as basic as cheese and crackers or bowl of peanuts. The choice is yours. Refreshments are merely a tool for alcohol absorption and buffer between guest conversations. What your guests will rave about are the cocktails you serve.
The Peppermint Snowball is a creamy concoction that will absolutely melt in your mouth. I am not particularly a chocolate lover, but this cocktail sent me tipping the bottle for just a bit more Godiva. Van Gogh captures the essence of flavor exquisitely in its entire line of vodkas. Do not be tempted to skimp on quality when it comes to the vodka in this recipe. In the Peppermint Snowball, the espresso is the first flavor to wash over the taste buds before the rush of peppermint takes over. It is in the final seconds after sipping that the Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur soothes the senses in complete indulgence.
1 oz Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1-1/2 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
Finely Crushed Candy Canes
Thin Chocolate Covered Peppermint Stick
Dip the rim of an old fashioned glass lightly in peppermint schnapps. Roll edge of the glass into the crushed candy canes. (Candy Canes may be finely crushed in a clean coffee grinder.) Fill the old fashioned glass two-thirds full of ice. Build cocktail in the order given. Gently stir with a ready made thin chocolate covered peppermint stick.
Cocktails made ahead of time are perfect for parties. There is more mingling time for the host and everything is pre-measured, so guests may self-serve without over pouring. Mix and serve your cocktail in a pitcher rather than punch bowl for ease of pouring and aesthetic value.
The Crazberi Cocktail is perfect for a pitcher, since it mixes well without having to stir frequently. The deep raspberry flavor and color of the Chambord along with the cranberry are an excellent combination in keeping with the holiday season. The Crazberi Cocktail is tart and sweet at the same time with enough depth of character to keep one sipping at a slow pace.
1 oz Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Chambord
1 oz Cranberry Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 Fresh Cranberries for Garnish
For single cocktail: Combine first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled one-third full with ice. Shake fifteen to twenty seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three fresh cranberries skewered on a cocktail pick. For pitcher: Do not place ice in the pitcher. Multiply the recipe (times 20 for a 96 oz pitcher) and refrigerate at least two hours prior to your party. Serve the Crazberi Cocktail in old fashioned glasses filled two-thirds full of ice. Place pre-made cranberry skewers next to the pitcher for guest to serve themselves.
Do not forget wine and beer. Fun labels add to the festive spirit of the holiday season. World Market carries an exclusive holiday label wine, Electric Reindeer in Chardonnay, White Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and new this season; Sparkling Wine. These merry wines add entertainment and taste to your holiday celebration. As for holiday beer and ale, look for Rogue – Santa’s Private Reserve Ale, Bad Elf – Winter’s Ale, or Lump of Coal – Dark Holiday Stout to name a few. These ales and more may be found at many area liquor stores.
Start planning your holiday cocktail party before the season slips away and the new year is upon us. That is another party altogether!