Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Cheer

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Although the main focus of your Christmas gathering may be the food, holiday cocktails can add to the celebration by giving your guests something sweet to sip. Christmas cocktails are a nice change from wine and beer, especially when they reflect the flavors of the season. Here are three Christmas cocktail recipes and a few tips for serving your holiday-inspired concoctions. Let's raise a glass to Christmas Cheer!

Christmas Cocktail



A retro classic, holiday punch is the way to go if you will be having a lot of guests. A delicious spiked cider is a real crowd pleaser as is champagne punch or winter spiced sangria. The nice thing about a holiday punch is that you can control the alcohol content to keep guests from getting over-intoxicated. The best advantage? You as the hostess won’t be stuck shaking cocktails all night.


Some of your favorite holiday sweets just may translate into desserts you can drink. Candy canes make a great base for a peppermint martini, chocolate covered cherries can translate to a delicious cherry cordial, or even a sugar cookie or gingersnap can become the inspiration for a tasty cocktail.


When creating holiday cocktails, use juices or liquors that reflect the colors of the season. For example, cranberry or pomegranate juice work for red, Sour Apple Pucker works for green, and white chocolate liqueur mirrors the winter‘s white snow.


Seasonal garnishes are a fun way to finish off your Christmas drinks. Cookies or candy, such as a chocolate chip cookie or a chocolate covered pretzel can be served in a chocolate-flavored cocktail. Minced coconut can give the illusion of snow, rimming or floating in a white-colored cocktail. Decorative silver and gold holiday balls or sprinkles can add a festive finishing touch. Via She Knows


Spiced Caramel AppleServes 1
Ginger and caramel are a delectable match in this festive drink created by Kara Newman, author ofSpice & Ice.
Ingredients: Agave syrup
Finely crushed gingersnaps
2 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 ounce Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
2-1/2 ounces apple cider
1 dash lemon juice
Directions: 1. Rim martini glass with agave syrup and gingersnap cookie crumbs and set aside.
2. Combine ginger liqueur, vodka, cider and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. 


Winter Wonderland Serves 1
Mirroring the gorgeous blankets of snow outside, this silky sweet Christmas cocktail will deliciously warm your holiday spirit.
Ingredients: 2 ounces Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
2 ounces white chocolate liqueur
1 ounce white crème de cacao
1 ounce heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon coconut flakes
1 white chocolate wafer stick
Directions: 1. Combine vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao and cream in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
2. Strain martini into a martini glass and add half a teaspoon of coconut flakes. Stir martini gently with white chocolate wafer stick to create a delicious blizzard! 


Eggnog MartiniServes 1
An elegant presentation of the season’s quintessential quaff, this Eggnog Martini is much kinder to your waistline.
Ingredients: 2-1/2 ounces eggnog
1 ounce Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
3/4 ounce Amaretto
Freshly grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon for dusting
Directions: 1. Combine eggnog, vodka and Amaretto in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
2. Strain into chilled martini glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon. 


Gingerbread CookieServes 1
Have your gingerbread cookie and drink it, too.
1 ounce Irish cream
1/2 ounce Goldschlager
1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
1 ounce Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
1/2 ounce hazelnut liqueur
Gingerbread cookie for garnish
Directions: 1. Combine Irish cream, Goldschlager, schnapps, vodka and hazelnut liqueur in a shaker and shake with ice.
2. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a gingerbread cookie


Candy Cane LaneServes 1
One sip and the minty whoosh of this candy cane cocktail will take your breath away!
Splash of grenadine
2-1/2 ounces Van Gogh Blue vodka
1 ounce white crème de menthe
1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps
Heavy cream
Peppermint candy for garnish
Directions: 1. Add a dash of grenadine into the bottom of a chilled martini glass and set aside.
2. Pour vodka, crème de menthe, schnapps and cream into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into the glass with grenadine to create a “swirl” effect.
3. Garnish with peppermint candy and serve. 


 Turtle DovesServes 1
A yummy combination of vanilla and nut flavors makes this Christmas cocktail a dessert all on its own.
Ingredients: Ground cinnamon
2 ounces Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
2 ounces hazelnut liqueur
1 ounce Amaretto
1-1/2 ounces heavy cream
1. Rim martini glass with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
2. Combine vodka, hazelnut liqueur, amaretto and cream in a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into martini glass. 


 Berry Merry Xmas Serves 1
A little fruity, a little fizzy, you’ll like the change from the traditional heavy drinks of the holiday season.
Ingredients: 1-1/2 ounces Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounces club soda
Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well.
2. Pour into a martini glass or on the rocks. 

Kringle Kocoa


Serves 1
To say that this is decadence in a drink is an understatement.
Ingredients: 2 ounces Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
4 ounces hot chocolate
3 roasted marshmallows on a small skewer
Pour vodka and hot chocolate into a mug and garnish with roasted marshmallows on a skewer. 


Café Caramel Serves 1
One sip of this and your usual caramel macchiato will seem disappointing. Created by Rene Matos, Beverage Director, NYC Marriott Marquis
Ingredients: 2-1/2 ounces Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
1/2 ounce Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka
1/4 ounce house-made caramel sauce
1 ounce vanilla ice cream, softened
Cholive for garnish
Directions: 1. Combine vodka, caramel sauce and ice cream in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to ensure the caramel is well blended.
2. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a cholive.

Star of Night


Serves 1
An especially festive libation, Star of Night is as delicious to eye as it is to drink.
Ingredients: 1 ounce Van Gogh Açai-Blueberry Vodka, chilled
4 ounces Pommery Pink POP Champagne
Slice of starfruit
Directions: 1. Pour vodka into a flute glass and top with Champagne.
2. Garnish with starfruit.

Image via Moti Fake


 Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert Shots Serves a small crowd
Created by Celebrity Chef Jon Ashton.
Ingredients: 1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin, chilled
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
6 ounces low fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Graham cracker crumbs, optional
Directions: 1. Place all ingredients except graham cracker crumbs in a blender and blend until silky.
2. Pour into shot glasses and top each serving with a teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs. 

Image via Moti Fake 


Makes 1 cocktail
Ingredients: Coconut flakes, to garnish glass
1 ounce white chocolate liqueur
1 ounce cream or whole milk
1 ounce Southern Comfort
Directions: 1. Dip the rim of an old-fashioned glass into water then into coconut.
2. Pour white chocolate liquor into glass, pour cream on top, then finish with Southern Comfort. Stir until combined.

Image via Tales of the Sissy


Makes 12 servings
Ingredients: 6 cups apple cider
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup brandy
1 (750mL) bottle sparkling wine

Directions: 1. Pour apple cider, cranberry juice and brandy in a large punch bowl.
2. When ready to serve, top off with sparkling wine.
Image via George Takei


Makes 1 cocktail
Ingredients: 1 sugar cookie, crushed
2 ounces Irish Cream
1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps
Directions: 1. Dip rim of a chilled martini glass into water then into the crushed sugar cookie.
2. Combine Irish Cream with vodka, schnapps and ice in a martini shaker. Gently shake and strain into prepared martini.
Cocktail Recipes via She Knows 

Image via I Do Not Need Anger Management, You Just Need to Shut Up

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