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December 7, 2010

Cocktail and Mocktail Recipes for the Christmas Holiday Season

December is the month of Christmas parties, gatherings and celebrations and to go along with all the parties, so must Christmas Cocktails or Mocktails.  When we have a party or get - together it's fun to have a signature cocktail to go along with the party theme or season.  I found some seasonal cocktail recipes on Food Network that look like a lot of fun and wanted to share them with you.   
 
 
Candy Cane Cooler
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients


For Infusion:

2 cups fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed
1 bottle quality vodka

Directions

Thoroughly wash mint leaves and place in a decanter or jar. Empty vodka into container and muddle slightly to release the essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days - longer if you want a stronger taste.

For cocktail:

1 tbs. crushed candy cane or peppermint candy
1 1/2 oz. mint-infused vodka
1/2 oz. B&B (Benedictine and brandy)
1/2 oz. half-and-half
Ice
Peppermint stick
Mint sprig for garnish

Place crushed candy cane bits into pint glass. Muddle the candy cane slightly, breaking up the bigger pieces. Do not over-muddle into a powder. Add vodka, brandy and half-and-half and stir. Pour into a shaker with ice. Shake lightly to chill and strain into old-fashioned glass full of ice. Add a peppermint stick and stir. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Notes

Cocktail started with vodka already infused.


Low Fat Eggnog









Ingredients


2 cups nonfat milk {you all know I would use the whole milk}
2 large strips orange and/or lemon zest
1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
White rum or bourbon (optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Directions

Combine 1 1/2 cups milk and the citrus zest in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and pod to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl until light yellow.

Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer the eggnog to a large bowl and place over a larger bowl of ice to cool, then chill until ready to serve.

Remove the zest and vanilla pod. Spike the eggnog with liquor, if desired, and garnish with nutmeg.

Per serving (1/2 cup): Calories 90; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 96 mg; Sodium 59 mg; Carbohydrate 13 g; Fiber 0 g; Protein 5 g



Ginger Snap

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients

1 oz. ginger beer
Ice
1 tsp. ginger juice
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1 tsp. cinnamon schnapps
Pinch of ground cloves
1 egg white
Cinnamon stick
Crystallized ginger square
Finely ground gingerbread cookie

Directions

Pour enough ginger beer into a saucer to cover and dip a martini glass into the saucer to coat the rim. Dip into a saucer with ground cookie. Scoop ice into shaker. Pour ginger juice, rum and cinnamon schnapps into a shaker. Add a pinch of ground cloves. Separate an egg and add egg white to shaker. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds until drink is frothy and foamy. The longer you shake, the foamier the drink. Add ginger beer and stir slightly. Pour into glass.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and crystallized ginger square, and sprinkle the top with finely ground gingerbread cookie.

Notes

You can substitute brown sugar or cinnamon sugar to rim glass.

*RAW EGG WARNING

Cranberry Punch Pizazz










Ingredients





8 cardamom pods
4 4-inch cinnamon sticks, broken
12 whole cloves
1 can (about 11.5 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
4 cups merlot or other red wine
1/3 cup honey
Cranberries and orange slices, for garnish


Directions


Cut a 6-inch square from a double thickness of cotton cheesecloth to make a spice bag. Pinch the cardamom pods to break. Center the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves on the cheesecloth, bring up the corners and tie closed with clean kitchen string.


In a 3 1/2-to-6-quart slow cooker, mix the cranberry juice concentrate with water according to the directions on the can. Stir in the wine and honey; add the spice bag. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or on high 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Ladle the punch into glasses and garnish with cranberries and orange slices.






Hot Buttered Spiced Cider











Ingredients



1/2 gallon {8 cups} apple cider
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 1 strip zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 strip zest
3 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Bourbon, rye or whiskey {omit for the mocktail version}
Cinnamon candy sticks, for garnish {optional}


Directions


Combine the cider, citrus juices and zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a large pot. Simmer over medium heat, about 20 minutes; do not boil.


Ladle the cider into mugs, leaving the zest and spices in the pot, and add about 1/2 teaspoon butter to each mug. Spike the adults' drinks with a shot of bourbon and garnish with cinnamon candy sticks, if desired.



Poinsettia Cocktail



 Ingredients



1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup Champagne
1/2 cup cranberry juice
Crushed ice
2 strips orange zest, each about 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long


Directions


Combine the vodka, Champagne and juice in a large-stemmed red wine glass. Add crushed ice and stir until the mixture is well chilled. Twist the orange strips over the glass, drop them in, and serve.


What's your favorite Christmas cocktail or mocktail?  Do you go for something creamy like eggnog or something refreshing like the Poinsettia Cocktail?



Happy Tuesday!  Cheers!


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