Christmas cocktails & merry mocktails

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With holiday celebrations in full swing, I thought it would be fun to find some recipes for Christmas cocktails.  Plus I’ve included some spirited sips that are non-alcoholic and fun for all ages.  Watch the segment to see how to make these simple cocktails and merry mocktails.

Super simple spirits for the grown-ups
Something red -- Cranberry Sparkler from Reader’s Digest:
Cranberry Juice 
Champagne or sparkling wine
I added a rosemary sprig and cranberries for a pretty and festive garnish

Pour equal amounts of chilled sparkling wine or champagne and cranberry juice into a champagne glass.  Add a cranberry and rosemary sprig for garnish.  Lovely and tasty.  I taste tested this one with a friend and she said that it also smells like the holidays!

Something green -- The Good Grinch from cocktailsabout.com
2 oz. midori
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp. simple syrup
maraschino cherry for garnish

1. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with cherry.

Something warm & wonderful – Minty & Nutty Baileys & Coffee
1 oz. Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate brand
1 cup hot coffee
1 dollop whipped cream
sprinkle nutmeg
one cinnamon stick

Add Baileys to coffee and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Then place a cinnamon stick on top of the whipped cream leaning on the edge of the cup.  It looks festive and the drink will include a bit of cinnamon to compliment the nutmeg.  Easy, warm and wonderful.  

Something with egg nog – White Christmas Eggnog from about.com
4 oz. eggnog, well chilled
1/2 oz. white chocolate liqueur
1 oz. Southern Comfort
edible gold flakes or chocolate flakes for garnish

Build the ingredients into a Snifter glass and stir lightly.  To build means to pour the ingredients one by one on top of each other in the order the recipe lists the items.  Garnish with flakes.  To get my flakes, I shredded mini chocolate chips.

Festive, frosty & frothy drinks for kids
Something simple and sparkling – Welch’s Sparkling White Grape Juice
This is about as easy as it gets.  Simply buy the Welch’s Sparkling White Grape   
Juice Cocktail that is non-alcoholic and sold with a spirited snowman label.  Sold in grocery stores.

Something festively frothy – Snowy Cocoa
*Kids love hot cocoa and to make it festive, swirl a mountain of cocoa on top, add a few mini marshmallows and top with green and red sprinkles.  Easy and pleasing.  Or top with coconut for a snowy look.

Something frosty – Peppermint Punch from allrecipes.com
1 quart peppermint ice cream
1 cup cold milk
2 liters ginger ale

1. Place ice cream in punch bowl and allow to slightly soften.
2. Blend in milk and ginger ale
3. Stir until frothy.

Cheers to you this holiday season.  I toast to you in gratitude for watching our show and reading my column!  Wishing you spirited sips, good health and lots of festive fun this holiday season.