Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Mixology

So every holiday 'hostess with the mostest' has their special something to make their party shine.  Each year I try to keep things lively and give guests something new to ooh and ahh about.  Last year I added sweets to the menu and baked pumpkin pecan chocolate chip cookies (yummy – will give this recipe later).  This year I want to liven the mood with a few new drinks to the cocktail menu.  After a bit of research I have picked my top choices and did a test run on how they would taste.  After a few tweeks for my personal preference I have a few new signature cocktails to add to my mixology lab.

Cherry Gingria

  • 4 ounces of cherry syrup (this ended up being the whole 4 oz bottle I purchased)
  •  ½ a wine glass of gin (yes, I used a regular wine glass as a measurement tool)
  • 20 ounce bottle club soda (I used Schweppes)
  • Glass of red wine (one glass of Robert Mondavi Merlot – I had at home)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries (I had frozen)

I used a pitcher so that I could make a batch rather than the 1 drink as per the original recipe made.  Just an FYI ladies, in the kitchen when I am creating, I am like Emeril – I don’t really measure I use ‘a little bit of this’, ‘a few shakes of that,’ and literally a glass – which equals a cup of anything.  When baking I am more precise, but with cooking and mixing I can be more free :).  

Pour the cherry juice and gin into the pitcher and stir.  Next add the club soda.  I added about 12-15 ounces.  I just eye balled it, because you don’t want the mixture too light as this is a sangria, so red is the way to go. Next pour in the red wine of your choice and stir.  I had Merlot on hand so that’s what I used.  Next throw in the cherries and raspberries and violá you are done!

For an extra kick I actually added the cherries and raspberries in and let it sit over night (like a real sangria).  Also, when I serve this for my holiday party I plan on taking a few Bellini tumblers and adding a sugar rim just to make it a little prettier.  Again this was made for my taste.  I have a HUGE sweet tooth.  If you would like it less sweet cut back on the cherry syrup and use more wine and club soda.

Pomecranapple Bellini’s

I always serve a non alcoholic drink that looks fancy as a courtesy to the designated (person who picked the short straw) driver.  They keep us and everyone around us safe and off the road for the holidays and deserve a treat.  So instead of letting them have a simple soda I try to make non-alcoholic cocktail just so they can have something to toast with at the end of the night. This recipe originally comes from Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network but I made a few changes.  It originally used cranberry juice and to me cranberry is a little bitter, so I swapped it out for cran-apple juice and it worked just fine.  So I call these my Pomecranapple Bellini’s (long word I know)  Also, I make this as a batch but I hide the pitcher in the fridge and allow the designated drivers to know where to find it.  Last time I made a designated driver punch bowl and put it out with the rest of the holiday spread it was spiked before the end of the night :).

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened cran-apple juice
  • 1 (25.3 fluid ounces) bottle sparkling water
  • Pitcher or punch bowl (at your own risk)

Add the pomegranate juice and cran-apple juice to pitcher and stir well. Slowly pour in the sparkling water and let chill.

Although the original recipe calls for 1 ½ cup of a simple syrup I only used 1/2 cup because when I changed the cranberry juice for cran-apple it took away a lot of the bitter tang you get and it became sweeter.  

So these are my mixology holiday specials for my party!  Hope you have a chance to try and enjoy!!


  1. I love trying out new drinks and these look fabulous. Thanks!

  2. One of my favorite things about the holidays are all of the amazing cocktails! YUM!