Toast the Season in Holiday Style

Toast the Season in Holiday Style

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE

It may be snowing outside, but cozy up to the hearth with a mug of fruity, spiced wine. This toasty drink will warm you from head to toes.

1 bottle fruity red wine
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brandy
3 cinnamon sticks, broken
4 slices dried ginger
4 whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
thick slices of zest from one orange

Combine everything in a stockpot over low heat. Warm and stir until honey is dissolved and everything is fragrant. Strain and serve warm in small mugs with a cinnamon stick garnish.

THE EVERGREEN

Cool and crisp as a winter evening, the Evergreen combines a floral gin and tart lime with the essence of rosemary for a sophisticated sip.

2 ounce floral gin
1/2 ounce rosemary simple syrup (see note)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juicedash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Note: To make rosemary simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water with 3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out rosemary. Store extra syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator for two weeks.

CRANBERRY KISS

Sweet, spicy and pink–this one’s for the girls! A cosmo riff that combines seasonal cranberries with vodka and a chile sugar rim. Stay close to the mistletoe.

2 ounces vodka
1 lemon wedge
2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground chile powder
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
cranberry cinnamon simple syrup (see note)

Use lemon wedge to wet the edge of a small martini glass. In a small saucer, stir together sugar, chili powder and salt. Dip the rim of the glass into the mixture and set aside. Combine vodka, lemon juice and cranberry cinnamon simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into rimmed glass.

Note: For cranberry cinnamon simple syrup, combine 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries and 2 broken cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until cranberries split open. Mash the berries with the back of a spoon and let steep for 5-30 minutes. Strain syrup and store extra in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT

Brandy and bitters add flavor to sparkle for a cocktail that combines the aroma of winter with everyone’s favorite New Year’s Eve drink.

1/2 ounce apple brandy
sparkling wine
8 drops orange bitters

In a champagne flute, pour brandy and top with sparkling wine. Add bitter drops to the top. Garnish with a thin apple slice, sliced horizontally to show off the unique pattern.

– Samra Teferra

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