IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR !!!! I Don’t know about you but I love the holiday season . Thanksgiving to me is like a warm up for the real holiday . During the Christmas season I host and attend many events but when my girlfriends and I get together its always over some good ole fashioned Christmas themed cocktails . Every year we spend so much money on the ingredients because everyone has a different preference. So this year we have decided to nix the extra drinks that we only drink half of and we are doing holiday punches instead …. so here are a few of my favorites:
Jingle Juice : ( recipe from www.abouthome.com)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Citrus Sugar
1 cup lime juice
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup mango nectar
1 cup pineapple juice
3 3/4 cups Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
2 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups Amaretto
3 cups sparkling water
orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit slices, frozen cranberries for garnish
Make the citrus sugar by combining the sugar, zests, ginger and cinnamon. Rub the zest between your fingers to release the oils. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or up to a few days in an airtight container.
Peel the skins off of the fruit and juice.
I squeeze everything ahead of time and put in a pitcher. I keep it icy cold in the fridge. Just give it a shake before you pour it into the punch bowl. I also do the same with the liquors too. I like everything to be really cold.
Make the punch by adding the sugar to the bottom on the punch bowl. Pour in the juice and stir to start to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the alcohol.
Remember the ice ring we made? Dip the bottom of the container in some water for about 10 seconds. The ice should pop right out.
Garnish with frozen cranberries and fruit slices. Give it a taste, just to make sure that it tastes okay and is balanced. Or to just because you want to.
Cranberry ,Orange & Apple White Wine Sangria :(recipe from http://www.therisingspoon.com/2013/11/cranberry-orange-apple-white-wine.html )
1 large, organic apple, cored and diced (I used honeycrisp)
1 cup of fresh cranberries
1 large orange, juice squeezed out and sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup of raw honey
1/2 cup of unsweetened 100% cranberry juice
1/2 cup of brandy (optional)
2 bottles of dry Riesling
1 12-oz can of sodium-free sparkling water
Wash, dry and dice the apple, making sure to remove and discard the core. Place the pieces into the pitcher. Wash and dry the fresh cranberries and then measure them into the pitcher. Roll the orange on a flat surface with the palm of your hand. This will help redistribute the juices.
Take a few thin slices off the orange and set aside for topping the sangria later. Quarter the rest of the orange, squeeze the juice from the wedges into the pitcher and drop the fruit pieces into the bottom.
Uncork your wine and pour 1/4 cup into a glass or mug. Measure in the raw honey and stir until dissolved. Pour the wine / honey mixture into the pitcher and use a muddler or large utensil to lightly smash the fruit, which will extract more of the juices.
Pour in the brandy, unsweetened cranberry juice and the rest of the white wine. Stir well, taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. Wait to add the sparkling water until right before serving.
Ideally, you’ll let it chill a few hours in the fridge or overnight; however it will still taste good serve immediately. Just fill each glass full of ice.
Clinton Kelly’s sparkling cranberry-cherry punch:( http://www.redbookmag.com/recipes-home/tips-advice/the-chew-recipes#slide-5 )
2 cups water
1½ cups sugar
½ lb fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh lime juice
2 cups ginger syrup (see above)
4 cups Absolut CherryKran vodka, chilled
4 cups gimlet mix, chilled (see above)
¼ cup cherry syrup (from a jar of maraschino cherries)
1 quart club soda, chilled
1 lime, sliced
1 pint frozen cranberries or cherries
1. Ginger syrup: In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water, and ginger to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes to steep. Strain syrup through a mesh strainer. Chill in refrigerator.
2. Gimlet mix: Combine ingredients by stirring together. Chill in refrigerator.
3. Punch: Pour vodka, gimlet mix, and cherry syrup into a large punch bowl; stir
to combine. Stir in club soda. Add ice cubes and garnish with fruit.
Makes 12 cups.
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