Put a little spirit and sparkle into your holiday hosting with some festive beverages. Here are some easy cheat cocktail ideas and a few quick recipes for holiday spirits that will have all your guests toasting with Christmas cheer and New Year's joy!
For the Kids: A Holiday Hot Cocoa Bar
A fun idea for your younger guests is to put out a Holiday Hot Cocoa bar with whipped cream and toppings to complete the fun. I found a yummy Peppermint Hot Cocoa mix by Stonewall Kitchen at AJs Fine Foods. For the toppings, put out whipped cream and the new mini marshmallow product by Kraft called Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits that are sold at grocery stores. The Mallow Bits look like tiny bits of snow. Kraft makes this new product in flavors that include vanilla, chocolate and peppermint. Display India Tree Party Decoratifs Winter Wonderland bits that look like tiny snowflakes, along with the other red, green and white sugar sprinkles by India Tree called Christmas Past. That line is sold at AJs Fine Foods.
Green Holiday Drink Ideas
The experts at Total Wine told me about a cocktail that is a pretty festive green can be served in a martini glass. Use Parnasse Absinith Superiore Spirits mixed with 1 part Sprite and 1 part Vodka and you've got a green glass of holiday cheer.
Or go low calorie and serve 1 to 2 parts Jordan's Skinny Mixers Appletini mix with 1 part vodka, then garnish with cherries and you've got a red and green cocktail that is skinny and tasty.
For an added festive touch, run a lime slice around the rim of the martini glass and then line it with red or green sugar, using the red, green and white sugar sprinkles by India Tree called Christmas Past that I recommended for the hot cocoa bar that sells at AJs Fine Foods. To do this, use a fine sugar, then fill a saucer or bowl with the sugar. Hold the glass parallel to the table and dab the rim into the sugar while slowly turning the glass so that only the outer edge is covered. Some stores sell the sugar rims ready to go in easy to apply circular tin containers. I have seen them in the past at Cost Plus World Market and at Urbayn store in the Casa Paloma Shopping Center Chandler located at Ray Rd. and the I10.
Red Sparkly Sprits with Beautiful Bubbles
Champagne just looks festive all on its own because of the pretty sparkly bubbles. So for a super easy cheat, try AJ's limited Moscato Caldirola Italian Moscato white sparkling wine because it comes in a decorative bottle adorned with Santa, Christmas trees and snowflakes. To make a festive red bubbly drink. simply add equal parts champagne with cranberry juice and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and cranberries. The rosemary actually tastes good in the drink and with the cranberries, it looks very celebratory.
Lolita Glassware & Recipes
*Lolita Hand Painted Wine and Cocktail Glasses (see prices and styles at www.designsbylolita.com) are perfect for the Holiday entertaining and for gift giving. Each hand painted wine and martini glass comes with a fun recipe on the bottom of the stem. Plus Lolita has tons of other types of glasses and gift ideas as well, that sport fun designs for every type of personality you can think of. We tried out one of the recipes in the segment and it was yummy and has a pretty holiday red hue color. The recipe is on the bottom of the martini glass called "Shop-a-Holiday" and the decorative and functional glass sells for $24 on www.designsbylolita.com. Watch the segment to see the recipe in action.
Eggnog with Extra Spirits Incorporated
For a good cheat eggnog that comes spiked with the good stuff, try Total Wine's Winterhaven Farms Eggnog that sells for $8.99 a bottle. Extras like rum, brandy and whiskey come already combined in the bottle that will have your guests asking for more. Top off each serving of this eggnog with a little sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Holiday Themed Wines & Wine Accessories
For a ready to go wine that tastes great too, Total Wine sells the Donner and Blitzer Cabernet for $7.99 a bottle and the Dasher and Dancer Chardonnay for the same price. This is a great wine line to serve or to bring to the party hostess.
While I was out and about shopping for the sips for this segment, I found some cool wine and party accessories that work for gift giving and for entertaining. Total Wine sells pretty ornament wine glass charms for $6.99 a box or select the cute knit scarves charms and bottle toppers that are also sold at Total Wine by the Flip line.
For a great case that will keep your traveling wine chilled, check out the Built Cheer Wine Bottle Tote that sells for $16.99 at www.builtny.com. This unique carrier is made from material that wet suits are constructed with and it can be machine washed. This Built brand will keep your wine chilled for up to 4 hours. Pair this with a bottle of wine and you have a nice hostess gift.
I also like the Origami Wine Tote because the attractive and unique design compresses flat and has a convenient handle for easy storage and travel. Plus it has a nice look, so it makes a great wine gift. This one can be ordered at www.builtny.com for $24.99.
What are your holiday beverage ideas? Share here in the comments section and remember to check my website at www.managedmoms.com for more holiday ideas, recipes, beauty news, pet stuff and more. I toast to you and wish you Happy Holidays!