It’s that time of year again—time for the rush of holiday parties and family get-togethers. A constant at many events this time of year, whether being enjoyed quietly together at home or a lavish catered affair, are the special drinks that add some extra sparkle to the season.
This blog post explores some of the most tantalizing holiday spirits and offers suggestions for clever ways to delight your guests. These specialty cocktails are all easy to serve and can be prepared in big batches. Each has some unique holiday flair and looks beautiful to serve.
Bring On the Wine
Think beyond the bottles of red wine. Sangria is a great choice because it’s beautiful and can be prepared in advance. Simply choose a beautiful container, add sliced pears, oranges, fresh rosemary, some sugar and your choice of white wine (pinot grigio or chardonnay are good picks) and you have a festive rosemary pear sangria. More of a red fan? Chop fresh apples or pears and blend in some brandy to the mix to give your sangria some seasonal flair. Hosting a holiday brunch? Mimosas can be dressed for the season by substituting the orange juice with pear nectar and adding a slice of star fruit on the rim.
Serve Festive Takes on Your Favorite Cocktails
Many classic cocktails feel like the holidays because of their color. Pomegranate martinis look the part and taste terrific. They’re pretty, red-hued cocktails fortified with vodka and Cointreau and sweetened with simple syrup. Clementine or blood orange and ginger old-fashioneds are another special treat. Mix them up with your favorite bourbon and bitters, and garnish with a cherry to evoke Rudolph’s red nose. Minty Moscow mule punch is another soon-to-be holiday favorite. This is a refreshing take on a traditional Mosco mule is made with homemade ginger-mint syrup. This drink can be pre-batched and waiting in mugs so guests can help themselves. Espresso martinis are also always a fan favorite, and feel decadent and rich.
Turn Up the Heat
Hot drinks are real crowd-pleasers during the holidays. Beyond warm mulled wine, many traditional warm drinks lend themselves well to boozy interpretations. Hot apple-cinnamon cider is made even better with the addition of Fireball whiskey and cinnamon sticks for garnish. Hot pumpkin pie is a dairy-based delight made with whole milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, RumChata, and whipped cream. Orange-maple old-fashioneds served warm are a taste sensation. Made with demerara sugar, cardamom cocktail bitters, Grand Marnier, and maple bourbon, this toasty temptress is even more indulgent with a slice of orange peel and a sliver of cinnamon stick.
Spicy, warm, mulled wine is the perfect comfort drink on a chilly winter night. A steamy pot of red wine joins a mixture of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. The heat releases and infuses the flavor of the spices making this festive drink a real crowd-pleaser. If you want to mix things up a bit, try adding some cranberry juice and fresh cranberries for a tart kick.
Hot buttered rum is a common staple of holiday celebrations. We imagine this is what Harry Potter’s butterbeer tastes like, only with the addition of spiced rum, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. This drink stays warm and ready to serve in a chafing dish or crock pot, making it easy to please a crowd with no long lines at the bar.
Belly Up to the Bar, Messina’s Style
At Messina’s Catering & Events, we’ve been putting an extra sparkle into holiday celebrations since 1961. Our mixologists can recommend the ideal flavor combinations to make your holiday event even more festive and stay within your budget at the same time. Visit MessinasCatering.com to learn more.