That's the Spirit!

"Hear no evil, speak no evil - and you'll never be invited to a party." 
-- Oscar Wilde {writer, poet}

It is a terribly taunting thing when a young teenager is in a restaurant and flips through the desserts and drinks menu only to be denied permission to order one of the beautiful alcoholic concoctions. For as long as I can remember, I have been infatuated with the alluring colors and delectable presentation of cocktails. They always looked so harmless; they couldn't possibly have been any more dangerous than a Shirley Temple or the rich, purple grape juice I used to pour into wine glasses when I wanted to look sophisticated at the ripe, old age of eight. In high school, Gabi and I would fantasize about having a cocktail-making party and discovering our own gloriously intoxicating recipes. One Christmas, each of us gave the other an illustrated cocktail recipe book (we had not planned on giving the same gift!). It became a running joke with my parents for me to ask to order a drink nearly every time we went out to eat. I was always promptly scoffed at and reminded of my age, which always included that dreadful number one in the tens digit place.

But, behold! I am now a delightful twenty-one years old! (Oh, how long it has taken to get here...) I am now legally permitted to purchase the pretty drinks that grace the menus. I can even get into a bar where they serve nothing but potent spirits and boozy inebriants, poured from the glistening glass bottles illuminated along the top shelves behind the counter. I am still growing accustomed to this privilege even after three months. When the waiter doesn't card me I get that sneaky feeling like I've gotten away with something scandalous. Or, when Michael and I pull up to a liquor store, my initial reaction is to stay in the car to avoid getting caught. So this holiday season I am going to indulge in the luxuries of my age and taste the eggnog (and whatever else looks Christmas-y!) I don't even care if they are laden with calories!

Read on for some scrumptious holiday cocktails to accompany your twelve days of Christmas and let's get this party started.


P.S. Upon rereading this post I realized how positively puritanical I sound and it made me chuckle.

Autumn Spice:

1 oz. vodka
2 oz. sparkling apple juice
0.5 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice
Serve in a chilled martini glass

1.5 oz. vodka
0.5 oz. peppermint schnapps
0.5 oz. creme de cacao
Crushed candy cane rim
Garnish with miniature candy cane

1.5 oz. vodka
0.5 oz. amaretto
0.5 oz. white creme de cacao
Crushed Butterfinger rim
Garnish with maraschino cherry

1.5 oz. brandy
1 oz. honey
1 oz. amber liquor
0.5 oz. lemon juice
Garnish with a twist of lemon, cloves, and a cinnamon stick

1 measure of Frangelico 
1 measure of Disaronno
1 measure of Kahlua 
1 measure of Bailey's Irish Cream
1 measure of white rum
1 measure of butterscotch schnapps
Shake with ice
Sprinkle with cinnamon

1.5 oz. cherry-infused vodka
0.5 oz. white creme de cacao
4 oz. hot cocoa
1 oz. half 'n half
Top with whipped cream
Garnish with maraschino cherry

6 eggs
1/4 cup bourbon
1-1/4 cup superfine sugar
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup brandy
1 cup dark rum
1 pint vanilla ice cream

1.) In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until thick. Beat in the rum, brandy, and bourbon, then the cream. 
2.) In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir into the eggnog. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled (overnight).
3.) Transfer to a punch bowl. Place the entire ice cream intact in one piece into the eggnog. Grate nutmeg over the eggnog and serve immediately. Makes about twelve servings. 

*Note: This eggnog should be chilled for at least four hours, and served within 24 hours. 

4 oz. hot apple cider
1-1/2 oz. apple brandy
1 tsp. honey
1 oz. sugar syrup
Heat apple brandy and cider in a saucepan and stir until dissolved
Pour into a warm mug and sprinkle with ground nutmeg and cinnamon
Garnish with baked apple slice

4 cloves, whole
2 tsp. brown sugar
1-1/2 oz. gold rum
1 cup apple cider
1 lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
In a warm mug add sugar and a little cider that has been heated to boiling point
Stir until sugar is dissolved and add cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel, and rum
Fill with hot cider, stir
Top with small pat of butter and grated nutmeg

1/3 oz. green creme de menthe
1/3 oz. grenadine
1/3 oz. peppermint schnapps
Layer ingredients in this order: grenadine, green creme de menthe, peppermint schnapps. 

*Note: Click here for instructions on how to float a drink!

1-1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. pear liqueur
1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
1 tbsp. champagne
Shake over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass
Top with champagne

1/2 oz. Cointreau
3 oz. cranberry juice
Add chilled Cointreau and cranberry juice to chilled champagne glass
Stir and top with champagne just before serving
Optional: add 1 oz. vodka for an extra kick

Photos, from top: One-Four; Five; Six; Seven; Eight; Nine; Ten; Eleven-Twelve.     

No comments:

Post a Comment