"When creating holiday cocktails, keep it bright and fresh," says award-winning mixologist Victoria D'Amato Moran, who has been recognized for her delicious work in Santé Magazine, Wine Enthusiast and San Francisco Magazine. "Create cocktails and punches that not only quench guests' thirst, but ones that also serve as décor for the table or bar!"
The mixed drink expert suggests Christmas cocktail party menus that reflect refreshing and seasonal ingredients, like cinnamon, peppermint and cranberries. "During the holidays, I like to make homemade cranberry juice," she adds, recommending the following cranberry juice recipe for cocktails that call for a splash or more of the brightly-hued juice.
Makes about 1 quart
1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 quart water
Lightly boil until the cranberries all pop and begin to breakdown. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and store the juice in a glass bottle . Juice will last, refrigerated, for a month or longer.
This luscious fruit-based punch is courtesy of mixologist Victoria D'Amato Moran.
8 ounces Midori Melon Liqueur
4 ounces pear liqueur
4 ounces Flor de Cana Rum Platino
8 ounces pear juice
8 ounces white cranberry juice (or homemade cranberry juice above)
Fresh pear slices (pierced with whole cloves)
Winter melon balls
Stir together melon liqueurs, rum and juices in a punch bowl. Add fruit and cinnamon sticks. Add Champagne, if desired.
Refreshing, herbaceous and sweet, this minty drink is another Victoria D'Amato Moran creation.
1 ounce Midori Melon Liqueur
1 ounce Skyy Vodka
3 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce peppermint schnapps
6 fresh basil leaves, gently torn in half, plus one whole leaf for garnish
1 fresh raspberry
1. Combine liqueur, vodka, juices, schnapps and basil in a chilled shaker glass. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds.
2. Strain into a Collins glass and garnish with a basil leaf and one raspberry sitting in front of basil in glass.
Serves a small crowd
Warm your belly and be merry with a steamy mug of this warmly spiced Irish whiskey cocktail.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
3 pieces cardamom
2 pieces anise
1 tablespoon allspice
1 very small vanilla bean (or half a large one)
Tullamore Dew Irish Whisky
Fresh twists of lemon peel
1. In a pot over medium heat, heat brown sugar and water to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Stir in spices. Cut vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise and scrape the insides into the pot.
2. Mix 1-1/2 ounces of hot "Toddy Mix" with 1-1/2 ounces of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Garnish with a lemon peel, possibly flamed, or a cinnamon stick.
Courtesy of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, this cranberry-kissed Irish whisky-tini is a festive change from the usual martini.
1-1/2 ounces Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
1/2 ounce DeKuypers Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps
3 ounces cranberry juice
Place ingredients in a shaker glass with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
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