I love hosting parties during the holiday season. Convincing your nearest and dearest to schlep all the way to your place, imbibing in festive beverages and then ending the night just steps away from your own cozy bed? The best.
The only drawback to having people in your home, is, of course, the fact that you have people in your home, and now you’re expected to be an adult who knows how to throw a dinner party.
I may not always succeed on this front (sometimes I just put out chips and guac and say ta-da!) but there’s an easy trick that seems far more prepared than you actually are, and that’s getting everyone buzzed on the same drink.
So break out the punch bowl. I know, who am I? Martha Stewart? But seriously, preparing a drink before your guests arrive is the number-one way to establish a great party vibe, and you’ll be amazed how happy everyone is when they are handed a drink at the start of the night — or morning. Brunch? Set up a Bloody Mary bar. Holiday party? Mulled wine is impressively festive.
You don’t need to stress out by buying a carton of wine or stocking a full bar. Instead, pick one festive cocktail that people don’t normally get a chance to drink.
Here are a few favorite drink recipes, and we encourage you to try them all.
Bourbon Punch with Pink Grapefruit and Mint
1/3 cup water 1/3 cup sugar 15 fresh mint sprigs, divided 4 cups strained fresh pink grapefruit juice 2 1/2 cups bourbon 12 dashes angostura bitter 1 cup club soda 1 ice block
Stir 1/3 cup water and sugar in small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add 5 fresh mint sprigs. Remove from heat; cool syrup completely.
Strain syrup into punch bowl. Add juice, bourbon, and bitters; mix in soda and 10 mint sprigs. Add ice to bowl. Makes 8 to 10.
Cardamom Rose Cocktail
1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin) .75 oz of
Rose syrup (make at home with rose water and simple syrup or buy locally) .25 oz of Fresh lemon juice .75 oz of Fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red preferably) 2 dashes of Peychauds bitters (Peychaud is credited with first creating the cocktail) 1 Cardamom Pod
Lightly muddle 1 cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker (not too much muddling or it will overpower the drink). Add the rest of the ingredients, ice, and shake for 20 seconds. Strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod; add a splash of seltzer water, and garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge.
Pear Nectar and Thyme Mimosa
1 Chilled bottle of Prosecco or Champagne 12 oz. pear nectar 4-6 sprigs of Thyme
Fill each glass with 3 ounces of peach nectar and a sprig of Thyme. Top with Prosecco or Champagne and add an additional sprig of Thyme to garnish. For entertaining, combine chilled wine and pear nectar in a pitcher with 6 sprigs of Thyme. Cheers!
About the writer:
A typical Scorpio, Elizabeth is a
writer/producer/film snob from Toronto.