Cocktails Feed

Shimmering Dessert

There will be a lot of champagne flowing over the next few days!  Whether you are toasting on New Year's Eve or sipping Mimosas at your New Year's Day brunch, it's always fun to serve and drink.  

Here is a tasty twist on the traditional Mimosa. 

Mimosa Granita

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Yield: 8 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  water
  • 3  cups  fresh orange juice (about 10 oranges)
  • 2  cups  Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Add orange juice, Champagne, and lime juice; pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Remove mixture from freezer; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape the entire mixture with a fork until fluffy, and garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's!  Welcome 2010!  

I am taking a short break for vacation but will be back very soon!  See ya next year!


(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)
 


Christmas Party

This weekend we had our Christmas Potluck Party.  I kept decorations simple and went with a red and aqua snowflake theme and it looked great!  The colors were fun and really popped against each other.  I ended up using one of my manzanita branch centerpieces.  They are just so versatile, I couldn't resist.  Hope you enjoy the pics!

Dining Table/Centerpiece

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Plates from Hostess Jo

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Red and aqua snowflake napkin rings from Print Your Party.  These were a big hit.

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Red glitter snowflake ornaments.

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Peppermints made the perfect filler for the base.

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Drink Station
 

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Pretty AND tasty Champagne Punch-get the recipe here.

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Check out more photos on our Facebook page.  

Hope this inspires you to try different color combos for the holidays!  These colors would also be great for New Year's and winter themed parties.
 


Candy Cane Cocktail

There are several recipes for Peppermint Martinis BUT have you ever seen one with strawberry vodka??  Surprise your guests this holiday season with this twist on the original.

Candy Cane Cocktail

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Ingredients

Makes one cocktail

  • 1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish
  • 2 ounces strawberry vodka
  • 4 dashes white creme de menthe
  • 2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.
(photo and recipe from martha)


 


Holiday Punch

If you are entertaining anytime over the holidays here is a great punch to serve your guests.  I like serving punches or sangria versus having a bar because you can serve a crowd without spending a fortune on several different kinds of alcohol, mixes, etc.  With its frozen cranberries, oranges and champagne this one is sure to please everyone.

AJ's Christmas Punch

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Serves 10

Ice (in block form if possible, if not, large chunks)
4 oz. Cointreau
4 oz. brandy
2 oranges, cut into wedges
1 cup frozen cranberries (optional)
2 bottles chilled champagne

1. Add ice to a large punch bowl. If using chunks (as opposed to a large block of ice), fill the bowl just under half way.
2. Add Cointreau and brandy. Using a ladle or long spoon, stir briefly.
3. Add orange slices and cranberries (if using) and then pour in the champagne.
4. Stir 12 times and let sit for a minute, so the ingredients can get acquainted.

(photo and recipe from fineliving.com)
 


Cranberry Craze

Well my previous post got me searching for cranberry recipes.  There are a ton of cranberry sauce and cranberry muffin recipes out there... but how many of you have ever used cranberries in your appetizers?  Here a couple of yummy ones I've found so far...and of course the cocktails to go with them!

(click titles for recipes)

Cranberry Salsa

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Cranberry Apple Spritzer

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Cranberry Turkey Crostinis

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Sparkling Cranberry Blush

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Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

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Crantini

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Friday's Fall Cocktail

Try a Falling Leaf Fiz at this fall's gatherings.  It's so pretty and sounds so tasty!  Sure to impress your guests.

Falling Leaf Fiz

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Ingredients per cocktail:

  • 1 part Grey Goose La Poire (pear-
    flavored vodka)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin
    butter
  • Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • 4 parts of sparkling wine
  • Garnish: dried apple chip
  • Prep

    1. Place vodka, pumpkin butter, spice and syrup in the bottom of a Champagne glass. Stir well.
    2. Top with sparkling wine and garnish

    Spiced Pomegranate Sipper

    There is nothing like a hot beverage in cool weather to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.  Many new recipes are popping up for them I would like to try.  This one sounds especially good to me.  How could you go wrong with pomegranate and pineapple juice?!  BONUS:  the cinnamon and cloves simmering on your stove will make your house smell divine, naturally.  Simmer right before your guests arrive to fragrance your home.

    Spiced Pomegranate Sipper

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    Prep: 10 min., Cook: 18 min.

    Makes about 8 cups

    Ingredients

    • 1  (2 1/2-inch-long) cinnamon stick
    • 5  whole cloves
    • 5  thin fresh ginger slices
    • 2  (16-oz.) bottles refrigerated 100% pomegranate juice
    • 4  cups  white grape juice
    • 1/2  cup  pineapple juice
    • Garnishes: pineapple chunks, orange rind curls

    Preparation

    1. Cook cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until cinnamon is fragrant.

    2. Gradually stir in juices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a heat-proof pitcher; discard solids. Serve warm. Garnish, if desired.

    Note: For testing purposes only, we used POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and Welch's 100% White Grape Juice.

    Tipsy Hot Spiced Pomegranate Sipper: Prepare recipe as directed. Stir in 1 1/4 cups almond liqueur just before serving. Makes 9 1/4 cups.


    (image and recipe frommyrecipes.com)
     


    Fang-tastic Cocktail

    Just finished up the first season of True Blood  on dvd and I am addicted!  Also, super excited about New Moon next month.  With both of these and Halloween right around the corner, I've got fangs on the brain.  This cocktail is perfect for Halloween, True Blood or New Moon parties.

    I love Effen Vodka.  If you like black cherry flavor without the sweetness you will love it too.

    Dracula's Kiss

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    • 1 oz black cherry vodka (Effen Vodka)
    • 1/2 oz grenadine
    • cola
    • maraschino cherries for garnish

    Preparation:

    1. Coat the bottom of a highball glass with grenadine.
    2. Add ice and vodka.
    3. Fill with cola. Garnish with cherries. 
       

    (photo)


    Italian Pot Luck Part 2

    As you know, tomorrow is my Italian Pot Luck Birthday Party.  I've decided on my dish and have been searching for an after dinner drink.  It is tradition for us to serve an after dinner drink at our potlucks.  Of course this one had to be Italian!  I learned last night from my dad about Sambuca with Flies or Sambuca con mosca.  It is Sambuca liqueur with toasted coffee beans dropped into it.  Traditionally it has three beans meaning:  health, happiness and prosperity.  Great things to toast to huh?  You can also chew the beans to increase the flavor of the Sambuca.  I like that this drink is unique and has tradition.  Perfetto! 

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    Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!


    (photo from here)
     


    Autumn Punch

    Sangria is just perfect for parties.  It serves a crowd and the pitcher of colorful wine, juice and fruit looks so pretty on your table or bar.  This sangria recipe would be tasty any time of year but the vanilla, plums and cranberry juice give it that fall feel.  Try it warm in the cooler months for a special treat.  If you're not a fan of plums, try apples instead.

    Autumn Punch

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    Makes: 10 to 12 servings

    Prep: 20 minutes
    Chill: 4 hours

    Ingredients

    • 2  teaspoons whole cloves
    • 1/2  of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    • 1  64-ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
    • 4  medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
    • 1  750-ml bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine*
    •   Ice cubes

    Directions

    1. Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

    2. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heatproof mugs.) Makes 10 to 12 servings.

    *Nonalcoholic Option: Substitute two 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale for the Gewurztraminer, and serve over ice.


    (photo and recipe from bhg.com)