By Julianne Wilhelm
‘Tis the season. It’s that beautiful time of year for twinkling lights to sparkle through every neighborhood, the scent of fresh pine and poinsettas, and baked goodies being made around the clock. It’s also the time of year for long lines at the malls, aching muscles from hours of decorating, and maybe a little too much family time. The holidays can come with a million reasons to celebrate time together with the family, and often times, it also comes with a million reasons to need a break. Sit back and have a drink, but let’s not throw Santa on the back burner too fast. Relish in the holiday cheer with one of this year’s top Christmas cocktails. Just make sure to wait a few hours before climbing the ladder to finish hanging those lights on the house.
The Poinsetta: With just a blender and a few simple ingredients, you can be on your way to a fruity, festive holiday cocktail that will make even the meanest of Grinches sweeten up. Featuring a smooth, fruity flavor, this drink is a perfect all-around holiday cocktail. In a blender, simply mix 4 fresh strawberries, 1.5 oz. vodka, 2 tsp. sugar, and 5 oz. pineapple juice. Pour into a glass and top with a little 7-up and a mint sprig for garnish. The festive hue of the blended mixture plays together with the fresh, green mint sprig, making for a delicious and ho-ho holly holiday drink.
Irish Christmas Coffee: If you know you have to get back to the family festivities after taking your much-needed cocktail break, this is just the drink you need. The Irish Christmas Coffee has just enough pep to keep you going in the game, and the right ingredients to keep you sane until the end. In a mug, stir together 1.5 oz. Irish whiskey and 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream. Fill the rest of the mug with hot coffee and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a few pinches of crushed up candy cane for a festive flare. This drink is also great for an after-supper treat, just make sure to switch to decaf if expected to hit the sheets soon there-after.
Holiday Mojito: Turn a classic cocktail into a festive favorite with just a few more simple ingredients.. While this drink requires a couple more steps, the end product is well worth it. Start out by placing into a glass; a few fresh cranberries, 3 lime wedges, 2 orange wedges, and a few mint leave. Muddle the mixture until partially crushed. Stir in 1.5 oz. rum, 1 oz. cranberry juice, 1 oz. fresh orange juice, and 1 oz. mint syrup. Add ice and top with club soda. Keep the traditional mint mojito flavor while tapping into tastes of the holiday season.
Death by Christmas: So maybe all this vodka nonsense isnt quite the thing you need. If this Christmas is more hectic than you planned, move right on over into this magical little number. One word: Absinthe. Enough said? In a tall glass, simply stir together 1 oz. strawberry liqueur, 1 oz absinthe, .5 oz. fresh lime juice, and a splash of soda water. Mix together and enjoy. By the time you recover, it will be New Year’s Eve.
Red Hot Santa-tini: Why not add a little heat to your Christmas treat? (check out that cheesy rhyme). It seems that more and more, the combination of rich chocolate and hot pepper is becoming highly desired. Not only is this spicy cocktail out of this world, it’s also pleasantly presentable. Start by dipping the rim of a martini glass into a mixture of cocoa powder and cayenne. Shake together 2 oz. chili-infused vodka and 2 oz. chocolate liqueur. Pour the mixture into the martini glass and top with whipped cream and a chili pepper for garnish. The initial taste of decadent chocolate is further enriched by the succulent kick of spicy pepper. This drink is sure to make for a hot holiday!
Whether you’re lounging back after a long day of holiday shopping or escaping the chaos of a little too much Christmas cheer, relax with an exciting and festive cocktail. Be safe and happy holidays!