Friday, August 5 2022

After another year where anything can happen, we’ve earned the right to sit back, relax, and toast to 2021. We’ve also earned the right to be pampered. So before you raise that glass, channel your inner mixologist and fill it with something special. Try an espresso martini or new versions of Old Fashioneds. Embrace the cold and sip on something warm, or transport yourself to a tropical location and whip up a batch of fruity punch for you and your close friends (with summer glassware, of course). Add a few festive bites, a crackling fire and your favorite people and you have all the ingredients for a memorable New Year’s Eve. Go ahead and celebrate – remember, you’ve earned it.

Tropical storm

For 20 people.

“It’s no secret that hurricane season is a busy time in the South,” writes author Carrie Morey in “Hot Little Suppers” (Harper Horizon, 2021). “Fortunately, we rarely experience a devastating Category 5 storm like Hugo. Usually it’s a few small hurricanes that develop into tropical storms before hitting.” Hence the name of this batch cocktail recipe from Morey’s husband, John.

• 1 bottle (1 liter) of dark rum

• 1 bottle (1 liter) of light rum

• 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice

• 1 ch. freshly squeezed orange juice

• 1 ch. mango juice

• 1 ch. pineapple juice

• 1/2 tsp. passion fruit juice

• 1/4 tsp. grenadine

• 1/2 tsp. simple syrup (see below)

• Carbonated water

• Orange slices for garnish

directions

In a large pitcher, combine the dark rum, light rum, lime juice, orange juice, mango juice, pineapple juice, passion fruit juice, grenadine and syrup simple.

Fill a glass with ice. Pour the cocktail so that the glass is 3/4 full. Top up with sparkling water.

Stir and garnish with a slice of orange.

To make simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a low boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Store leftover syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Apple Berry Fizz

For 1.

Note: This attractive mocktail combines a cinnamon-spiced red fruit syrup with apple juice or cider and is served over crushed ice. A nice option to serve those who prefer a low octane celebration. Excerpt from “Winter Drinks” (Ryland Peters & Paul, 2020).

For the red fruit and cinnamon syrup:

• 12oz. mixed frozen berries

34 vs. sugar

• 2 cinnamon sticks

For the cocktail:

• Crushed ice

12 oz. red fruit and cinnamon syrup

• 2 12 oz. unsweetened cloudy apple juice or cider

• Chilled sparkling water, for topping

• Fresh raspberries, for garnish

• Green apple, sliced, for garnish

directions

To prepare the syrup: Combine the frozen berries and the sugar and a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add a little water and drop in the cinnamon sticks. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries are softened and juices are syrupy. Strain through a small strainer into a glass jar with a lid. Discard the cinnamon pulp and sticks. Store the syrup in the fridge for up to a week.

To prepare the drink: Fill a highball glass half full with crushed ice. Add a red fruit and cinnamon syrup and the apple juice. Garnish with a little ice cold soda. Garnish with raspberries and a slice of apple and serve immediately.

Snowy day

For 1.

Note: The fragrant elderflower liqueur gives the champagne an extra touch of sophistication in this simple yet elegant drink. Excerpt from “Very Merry Cocktails” by Jessica Strand (Chronicle, 2020).

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 3 fresh or frozen blueberries, for garnish

12 vs. (4 ounces) Champagne

• 2 tablespoons. (2 oz) elderflower liqueur, such as St-Germain

directions

Spread the sugar on a small plate, wet the blueberries with water then roll them in the sugar. Thread the blueberries onto a skewer and freeze until ready to use.

Pour the champagne and elderflower liqueur into a champagne flute or coupe glass. Garnish with a blueberry skewer and serve.

Espresso Martini

For 1.

Note: If you don’t want to bother with simple syrup, substitute it with vanilla liqueur. For a different twist, swap the vodka for tequila for a Mexican martini. Adapted from a Galliano Liqueurs recipe.

• 2 tablespoons. (1 oz) espresso or coffee liqueur, such as Galliano or Kahlúa

• 2 tablespoons. (1 ounce) vodka

• 2 tablespoons. (1oz) espresso

• 2 tbsp. (0.3 oz) simple syrup (see below)

• Espresso beans, for garnish

directions

Combine espresso liqueur, vodka, espresso and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake. Finely strain into a pre-chilled martini glass and garnish with three espresso beans.

To make simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine equal amounts of sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a low boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Store leftover syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

The Blitzen

For 1.

Note: Perfect for an evening after a toboggan run or after battling sub-zero wind chills, this decadent drink will warm you up on the coldest nights. Excerpt from “Very Merry Cocktails” by Jessica Strand (Chronicle, 2020).

• 2 tablespoons. (1 oz.) Irish Cream Liqueur

• 2 tablespoons. (1 oz) dark rum

• 1 tbsp. (1/2 oz) cocoa cream

• 1 ch. (8 ounces) hot chocolate

• Whipped cream, for garnish

• Cocoa powder, for garnish

directions

Pour the Irish creme liqueur, dark rum and creme de cacao into an Irish coffee glass. Add hot chocolate, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Garnish with whipped cream and a dash of cocoa powder.

Good place, good thyme

For 1.

Note: This recipe is a holiday play on the timeless Old Fashioned from Euphoria Fish House at the Margaritaville Resort in Orlando.

• 4 tsp. (2 oz) rye whiskey

• 1 1/2 tsp. (1/4 oz) maple syrup

• 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

• Lemon peels

• Sprig of thyme

directions

Combine whiskey, maple syrup and bitters in a chilled cocktail shaker and stir for 7 seconds. Pour into a highball glass over a large ice cube and squeeze the lemon zest over the drink. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and lemon zest.

Morning Glory Fizz

For 1.

Note: This drink originated in the late 1800s and was likely designed as a cure for hangovers, with its smooth, silky texture soothing any headaches that might arise. This might be a handy recipe to have on hand…just in case. Excerpt from “Winter Drinks” (Ryland Peters & Paul, 2020).

• 4 tsp. (2 ounces) whiskey

• 2 12 vs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 2 12 vs. freshly squeezed lime juice

• 1 12 soup. simple syrup (see below)

• A dash of absinthe

• 1 egg white

• Carbonated water

directions

Combine the whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, absinthe and egg white in a shaker with a scoop of ice cubes and shake very hard for at least 30 seconds.

Strain into a fluted glass (or small highball glass) without ice and top with sparkling water, creating a frothy head on the surface of the drink. Serve immediately.

To make simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine equal amounts of sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a low boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Store leftover syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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