‘Tis the season !! It’s the season for family, for giving, and for holiday parties !! Whether your party is a casual neighborhood get together, a mingling of co-workers, or a family gathering, the perfect cocktail will guarantee the success of your party !!
If your gathering is more than a few people, and you want to avoid the expense of setting up a full bar and/or hiring a bartender- a punch, or some sort of cocktail that can be made in quantity and set up as self-serve may be just the thing. The old standby is some variation on an egg nog, spiked or not.
An old school variation that is experiencing a resurgence in popularity is the Tom & Jerry. Popular in the midwest where the winters are cold and long, this drink is prepared by mixing a “batter” which is added to a combination of hot water and rum, brandy or whiskey.
For something a little lighter on the alcohol content, yet still very festive, consider a traditional mulled wine.
A Rose’ Lemon Champagne Punch fits the bill for a festive holiday brunch or early afternoon gathering.
If you feel like tending bar, or hiring someone to mix drinks for your guests, try one of the following: a hot buttered rum, a caramel apple-pie cocktail, Liam’s Midnight Toast, or a Heath bar cocktail.
TOM & JERRY
12 eggs, separated
½ tsp salt
1 lb of butter, room temperature
3 lbs confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
In glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy and stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to soft peaks. In a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the spices and the beaten egg whites.
Batter can be frozen for up to several weeks. If ingredients separate, stir briskly to re-blend.
To make a Tom & Jerry, fill a cup with hot water and bourbon (I use 1792 Small Batch Bourbon) and add a heaping tablespoon of the batter. For a non-alcoholic version, instead of spirits, add warm milk, or egg nog.
HOT MULLED WINE
1 ½ cups boiling water
½ cup white sugar
8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 750 ml bottle R. Collection Field Blend Red Wine
1 pinch of nutmeg
Stir water and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add lemon, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Increase heat and bring ingredients to a boil. Let boil for about ten minutes to allow flavors to combine. Strain and return water mixture to saucepan. Discard lemon, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir red wine into mixture. Heat for 5-10 minutes-until hot, not boiling. Garnish with a few dashes of nutmeg. For your party, it may be kept warm in a slow cooker.
ROSE’ LEMON CHAMPAGNE PUNCH
12 ounces cranberry juice concentrate
12 ounces pink lemonade concentrate
1 750 ml bottle Saint Hillaire Sparkling Wine
1 750 ml bottle Francois Montand Sparkling Rose’
3 ounces fresh lime juice
34 ounces club soda
2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries or cranberries, for garnish
About an hour before serving, combine all six liquids in a large punch bowl. Ladle into chilled champagne flutes or punch cups. Drop a few berries in each glass.
HOT BUTTERED RUM
2 oz. Clement VSOP Rum
4 oz. Hot milk
1 tsp. Brown sugar
1 tbsp of butter
This drink is best served in a mug that is heated before adding ingredients. To heat your mug, add very hot water to mug, cover and let stand.
To the warmed mug, add brown sugar and hot milk. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add rum. Float the butter on top and sprinkle with nutmeg.
APPLE PIE COCKTAIL
1 ½ ounces Wheatley vodka
1 ounce ButterShots butterscotch schnapps
1 ½ ounces apple cider
1 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
Add ingredients to ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well to blend and chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
HEATH BAR SHOT
2 oz D’usse Cognac
2 oz Kamora coffee liqueur
2 oz di Amore Amaretto
2 oz Bailey’s
shaved chocolate, for garnish
Add all ingredients, except for the shaved chocolate, to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well to blend and chill. Strain into shot glasses. Garnish with shaved chocolate.
1 oz plus one tsp raspberry liqueur
1 oz white crème de cacao
8 oz hot chocolate
raspberry, for garnish
To a cappuccino mug, add raspberry liqueur and white crème de cacao. Add hot chocolate and stir. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle teaspoon of raspberry liqueur over whipped cream. Garnish with fresh raspberry.
However you choose to entertain your guest, just remember that the key to holiday entertaining is for everyone to have a good time, including you, the host !! Cheers !!
Written by Richard Edwards. Permission to publish by The Local.