Ah, the holidays. The time of year when booze flows like water, and rightfully so. There's nothing like a little buzz to make all the family gatherings better (or you can just rely on Adele to fix everything). Luckily, I don't have any crazy relatives to dodge, so a good holiday cocktail is more of a pleasure than a remedy.
I tend to be a wine-with-dinner kind of girl, but starting off a party with a festive cocktail makes everything feel more special. This little drink has a pretty presentation that really says Christmas, and would look beautiful set up on a bar cart for a night of entertaining. I love the addition of the sugared cranberries – they look snow-covered and totally holiday ready. They are also really tasty on their own, so you can set out any extras in a little dish for people to snack on. This recipe is super easy and you can scale up the recipe depending on your number of guests (or if it's just you...ain't no shame in that game).
INGREDIENTS: (YIELDS ONE COCKTAIL)
4 oz cranberry juice
2 oz ginger ale
Splash of apple juice
1 oz gin of choice (I use Bombay)
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Sugared cranberries for garnish (recipe below)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in cranberry juice, apple juice, and gin and shake to mix. Pour into rocks glass with ice, and add your ginger ale. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and sugared cranberries – you can place them loose into the drink, or line them up on a toothpick or cocktail pick.
1 cup cranberries
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, water, and 1 cup of the sugar. Heat on high until the water begins to boil, then remove from the heat. Let them stand for about 5 minutes – you want the cranberries to be whole, and not split open (a few of mine did anyway).
Once they're ready, drain the liquid and transfer the cranberries to a plate to cool for a few minutes. On another small plate, place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and roll the cranberries in the sugar, a few at a time. Place them on another plate or prep board to cool and dry for 10-15 minutes before inserting cocktail picks for garnish.
And that's it! You're on your way to holiday cocktail party bliss.