Five Seasonal Holiday Cocktails

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With the holiday season looming ever nearer, many people are busy making their shopping lists and checking them twice. In addition to deciding what gifts to give, you may also need to decide what the holiday feasts will consist of, and that includes the libations. Here are five festive cocktail ideas perfect for the season.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Virtually everyone loves pumpkin pie, and this cocktail won't disappoint. Moisten and dip the rim of a martini glass into crushed cinnamon graham crackers, and then add the following to a cocktail mixer filled with ice cubes:

Shake thoroughly and then strain into the prepared martini glass. Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Hot Peppermint Patty

When the stockings are all hung by the fire, sit back and relax with this grown-up hot cocoa. Prepare hot chocolate from scratch or a use a convenient mix. To each mug, add 1 jigger of peppermint schnapps, and ½ jigger each of crème de menthe and dark crème de cacao, which is chocolate-flavored, with just a hint of vanilla. Top with whipped cream and add a candy cane to serve as a decorative, edible stir stick.

Caramel Apple Mimosas

These autumn-inspired cocktails are a good accompaniment to a light Thanksgiving Day brunch before the big event. Dip the rim of champagne flutes into prepared caramel sauce and then into cinnamon sugar. In a 2-quart container, mix one standard bottle of champagne with one cup of caramel-apple–flavored vodka and one cup spiced apple cider. Fill glasses two-thirds full, and garnish each glass with an apple slice that has been sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Gingerbread Eggnog

Use a store-bought eggnog for convenience and safety to create this spiked, spicy cocktail. Crush gingerbread cookies and then dip each moistened rim into the cookies. Mix two jiggers of prepared eggnog with one jigger each of vodka, Kahlua, and blackstrap molasses in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice. Shake thoroughly to incorporate all of the ingredients. Strain into a rocks glass, top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with powdered ginger.

Hot Mulled Wine

This hot beverage is perfect for the season's last time around a backyard bonfire or when gazing at the stars on a clear winter evening. Slowly heat one bottle of a bold red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, with three cups of apple cider, one cup honey, two cinnamon sticks, four star anise, five whole cloves, and the juice and zest of one orange. Garnish each glass mug with an orange peel and carefully ladle the mulled wine into each one.  

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18 November 2016

Keep Your Home Bar Stocked Even if You Rarely Drink

My wife and I recently bought a new house in a new state, and it came with a large home bar in the basement. Being new to the neighborhood, we were excited when a nice neighbor decided to stop by one day for a drink... I was unprepared for his visit and only had a beer to give him. He casually mentioned he enjoyed scotch but that the beer would do for the moment. To his surprise, the next time he stopped by I had purchased a bottle of scotch to keep on hand just for his visits. He was grateful and we became great friends. I now keep a fully stocked bar and have a drink ready for anyone who swings by! I decided to start a blog to share what I have learned about cocktails and spirits.