I love hosting during the holidays. The key to a successful gathering, aside from inviting wonderful people, is a festive signature cocktail. To achieve this, I like to add a bright cranberry simple syrup and fresh garnishes to recipes I already love. Despite the fact that I can’t join in on the merriment this year, I’ll be able to delight in my guests enjoying these delicious drinks.
Cranberry Simple Syrup: Take one bag of fresh, washed cranberries, one cup of sugar, and one cup of water and bring to a slow boil (until the skins break). Pour the liquid into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and let cool. I like to do this the morning of the party to make sure the syrup has plenty of time to cool.
The Christmas Cranberry Cooler: Pour 1-2 tablespoon(s) of simple syrup and 1-2 oz. of vodka into your favorite cocktail glass and stir. Add ice, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and top with soda water. Garnish with fresh cranberries and mint. I love to add a squeeze of orange juice to mine as well – feel free to adjust to your own personal taste!
The Cranberry Champagne Cocktail: In champagne flutes, pour 1 tablespoon cranberry simple syrup and top with champagne. Garnish with fresh cranberries. I like to add a sprig of rosemary as well, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, a small pour of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur really does the trick!
Adult Apple Cider: Last week we went to our friends’ house for a belated Friends-Giving celebration. My dear friend Rachel had this cider simmering on the stove when we walked in, and it smelled absolutely divine. After enjoying a delicious fried turkey and amazing conversations, she poured a glass for everyone to accompany dessert. It was so special because even though I am pregnant, I was able to enjoy a cup (sans brandy). It is so easy to make – just follow the directions on the bottle and add a splash of brandy. I like to garnish this drink with a slice of fresh apple or a cinnamon stick and whipped cream.
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