The holiday are a time to celebrate the best of the season with those you love, and nothing says celebration like a jubilant “Salut!” If you’re looking for ways to incorporate the holidays into some tasty beverages for your friends and family this year, then look no further then our five favourite holiday cocktails!
Paul Brans’ Flor de Mina
Leña bartender Paul Brans’ recipe balances cherry and orange flavours with acidity and herbs for a truly festive (and seriously good-looking) cocktail.
1oz quality gin
1tbsp Disaronno Amaretto liqueur
1tbsp Cherry Heering liqueur
1tbsp Amaro Averna liqueur
2 drops orange bitters
1 splash Parés Baltà Cava Brut
1small sprig rosemary, torched
2 Amarena cherries
Directions: Combine gin, amaretto, Heering and Amara liqueurs and bitters in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into a coupe champagne class. Top with the Cava Brut. Garnish with orange zest, a sprig of torched rosemary and a skewer with two Amarena cherries.
2. Vegan Eggnog
This frothy and shockingly light drink is a great vegan option for guests!
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
3 c. vanilla soy beverage
1 c. full-fat coconut milk
¼ c. maple syrup
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. nutmeg
Directions: Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until frothy. Pour into the glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
3. Sparkling Pomegrita
Makes two cocktails; perfect for New Year’s, especially with appetizers, and a great way to make less expensive sparkling wines more enjoyable. To make for a crowd, multiply by six, and use a whole bottle of sparkling wine.
2 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. Cointreau or Gran Marnier
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. homemade grenadine
Sparkling white wine – try a cava from Spain
Directions: Combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and grenadine in a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into two iced and salted martini glasses, and top with 2 oz. sparkling wine.
4. Mulled Wine
It’s a classic for a reason. Curl up next to a fire, breathe in the scent of your Christmas tree, and delight in the full, warm flavour of this holiday favourite.
Peel of 1/2 lemon, cut into curls
Peel of 1/2 orange, cut into curls
6 lumps sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
3 cups boiling water
2 quarters [quarts], Sherry, Marsala or Burgundy
Directions: Pour boiling water over the fruit peel, sugar, and spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Place in a punch bowl. Add the wine, which has been heated to the boiling point but not allowed to boil (in merry Old England, a poker was heated in the fire-place, and thrust into the bowl!). Makes 20 servings, 4 ounces each.
5. Cardamom Sipper
Wind down at the end of the day with the adult version of a glass of warm milk. Research shows cardamom may help ward off stomach ulcers. It and sesame seeds (the essential ingredient in tahini) also have heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits. Be sure to use refrigerated coconut milk (found with nut milks in the dairy case) and not canned coconut milk.
1 C Refrigerated, unsweetened coconut milk
3 Green cardamom pods, crushed
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tsp tahini
3/4 ounces bourbon
Ground cinnamon (optional)
Directions: Bring milk, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and syrup to a simmer in a saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in tahini, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Strain into a glass. Discard cardamom pods, and reserve cinnamon stick. Add bourbon; stir. Garnish with reserved cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon, if desired