Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: Colorful Drinks for the Holidays

Three more days to go, so I am starting to get into a festive mood. That being said - here are some fun ways to liven up your holiday parties with some fancy colorful drinks.  It's nice to have just one specialty drink when you are entertaining, something that not only tastes good, but looks pretty too.  Here are some colorful drinks that are sure to bring that splash to your table.


How about this version of a hot toddy with an orange, studded with cloves and a bay leave. They make it look so pretty and I'm sure so fragrant.  Made with hibiscus leaves and agave nectar.


Bon Appetit- The Laureate

Ingredients

  • 4 orange slices
  • 40 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1 cup añejo tequila (such as Gran Centenario)
  • 4 tablespoons agave nectar

Preparation

  • Stud each orange slice with 10 cloves. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add hibiscus flowers; cover and let steep 2 minutes. Strain hibiscus tea into measuring cup; cover to keep hot. Run 4 brandy snifters under hot water until snifters are warm. Place 1 clove-studded orange slice and 1 bay leaf into each snifter; pour 1/4 cup tequila, then 1/4 cup hot hibiscus tea into each. Stir 1 tablespoon agave nectar into each. Serve

This would be so beautiful on any table for the holidays, Pomegranate Champange Punch.

Bon Appetit
Ingredients

Preparation

  • Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely.
  • Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste. Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Add ice block to bowl.
This Blood Orange Champange Cocktail is so pretty, like a mimosa but a rich deeper color. 
  
Martha Stewart

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
  • 2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled

Directions

  1. Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each champagne flute. Fill flutes with champagne, and serve.
This will warm you up, Mulled Wine, and it has such a deep rich color.


Martha Stewart
Ingredients
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 6 whole clove
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 bottle (3 cups) fruity red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy

Directions

  1. With a fine grater, zest, then juice the orange.
  2. With the flat side of a knife, press firmly on the cardamom pods to bruise them. In a large pot (not aluminum), combine zest, juice, cardamom, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, wine, sugar, and brandy. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low; simmer until flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve; garnish with cinnamon stick, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

How about this for a warm up after dinner, hot cocoa, the peppermint makes it so festive for the winter season.
Martha Stewart
 Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 ounces)
  • 7 peppermint sticks; 3 crushed (1/4 cup), 4 left whole
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Place cocoa in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk until cocoa has dissolved. Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint; simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and peppermint have melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Add salt. Ladle into mugs; serve each with a peppermint stick.
It wouldn't be the holidays without some good old eggnog, try this Eggnog Martini.


Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice, plus more for garnish
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups brandy

Directions

  1. Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Place bottom of bowl in an ice bath; set aside. Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and pumpkin-pie spice. Gradually whisk in 4 cups milk, taking care to incorporate the cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.
  2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute more. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in remaining 4 cups milk. Let cool completely in bowl still set in ice bath.
  3. Just before serving, stir in brandy, and ladle into glasses; garnish with pumpkin-pie spice.

How about a gazpacho Bloody Mary for a holiday brunch- recipe from Bon Appetit




 

Ingredients

  • 2 28-ounce cans Italian tomatoes (such as San Marzano) with juice
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, peeled, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 12 dashes of hot pepper sauce
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, halved crosswise, then quartered lengthwise

Preparation

  • Working in batches, puree first 8 in blender until smooth. Transfer Bloody Mary mix to large pitcher; season with pepper. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
  • For each drink, fill 8-ounce highball glass with ice cubes; pour 1/4 cup vodka over. Add Bloody Mary mix; garnish with cucumber spear
Hope that will add a little color to your tables this holiday season, cheers!

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