By Maggie Walters
Happy Holidays! I know at this time of year the countdown commences to jolly Saint Nick coming down the chimney and everyone getting to enjoy an epic feast with loved ones. But there are so many other traditions, holidays and gatherings to attend or host. That's why I wanted to write about some holiday cocktails to make your season merry, bright and easy. Whether you're hosting the entire family or having your girlfriends over for a cookie swap party, these recipes are sure to add something special to your event! Cheers!
Crock-Pot Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle red wine (I like to use Garnacha de Fuego)
- 1 sachet of mulling spices (I use whole spices, just tie them up in a cheese cloth wrapped in twine for a sediment-free beverage)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
- 2 oz all spice Dram
- 4 oz simple syrup
This is such a warm treat! AND it's a "set it and forget it" kind of cocktail. No fuss! Simply add all ingredients together in a crock-pot and turn on low. I like to create a little station with a tray of mugs, a small jar of cinnamon sticks for garnishing, and a spoon rest with a ladle. Place a festive table cloth or a yard or two of your favorite festive fabric underneath everything and you've got quite the inviting, self-serve beverage station.
Note: keep an eye on the temperature of your mulled wine. I find that I have to alternate my crock-pot from off to low every hour or so.
Dolin Blanc Spritzer
This is a Colonial staff favorite!
- Dolin Blanc Vermouth
- orange slices
- sparkling water (optional)
This is oh-so-simple but, also, oh-so-good! Let's talk vermouth. Vermouth is a wine that's been fortified and aromatized, which means that it's been infused with herbs and spices. Vermouth is fuller on the palate compared to table wines, and has lovely notes of vanilla, mint, and something reminiscent of alpine ... AKA ...winter in a glass.
I like to have a tray full of stemless wine glasses at the ready before guests arrive. Fill glasses with ice, vermouth and an orange slice. If you want to make this cocktail a spritzer top with soda water. It's such a nice gesture to greet guests with a tray of welcome cocktails, AND this particular cocktail is an aperitif, which means it helps get your stomach ready for food and aids in digestion, what is a great excuse to drink a cocktail!
Build Your own Champagne Cocktail Station
I'm stealing this idea from a friend. We had a wine swap with a few friends and she greeted us all with a build-your-own Champagne cocktail station. It was fabulous! It immediately got guests talking and enjoying themselves while my friend finished up the cheese platters in the kitchen.
Want a refill? The station is self serve so there are no constant checkups to make sure everyone's glasses are full.
- A couple of bottles of your favorite bubbles in ice buckets, and an ice bucket with just ice
- Decorative bowls with festive cocktail accompaniments: slices of grapefruit peel, pomegranate seeds, and cucumber slices.
- A row or two of glasses for your guests
- Cocktail napkins
Grab a glass, fill with ice, pick your accompaniment (try one or all three) and finally, top with sparkling wine!
As a guest this made me feel so special that our host setup such a fun activity.