Now that we've got Thanksgiving under our belts (in more ways than one), holiday season is in full swing. For some folks, it's a frenzy of merry-making and hall-decking. Others just grit their teeth and Grinch on through to the New Year.
Whichever approach jingles your bell, we've got you covered with cheer-inducing cocktails, festive nibbles, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Solstice and New Years traditions from celebrities, chefs and iReporters as well as sanity-saving tips for guests and hosts alike.
On the first day of holiday countdown, my Eatocracy gave to meeee: a workable cocktail strategy
It's the holidays. People are going to drop by. They just will. You might as well have something on hand to serve them.
Keep these in stock:
Consider these the Garanimals of your holiday season cocktails. Just mix and match these elements - following a few basic proportional guidelines - for boundless hot and cold holiday beverages. This is not hardcore mixology or a recipe for dazzling your cocktail fetishist friends, but if they have any sense they'll just clam up and enjoy themselves.
For instance, try:
Mix & Match Cocktail (Cold)
1 oz lemon juice
Mix & Match Cocktail (Hot)
1/2 cup red wine
Heat all ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan, then carefully pour into two mugs. Serve with a cinnamon stick in each.
Getting the hang of it? Classic proportions of a cocktail are one part sour, one part sweet and two parts strong (if you are indeed tippling), but feel free to shake it up and balance it out with elements of seasonal spice, freshly-pressed apples, a kiss of hearty red wine and a festive fizz of Prosecco or ginger beer. Don't be afraid to play around; all of these ingredients meld well, because they're basically the building blocks of a warm, gingery apple pie.
Just don't forget to jot down measurements as you go so you can recreate your favorites - even if you've gotten just a little bit Blitzen.
Share your best combos in the comments below and give the drink a memorable name. We just might feature it in an upcoming post.
Previously: Winterized cocktail recipes
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