We’ve selected these five favorite cocktails for the holidays and ringing in the new year. Bubbly, creamy rich, ginger-y fresh and iced smoky. Something for all of your guest’s spirited tastes!
1.) BLUEBERRY PROSECCO MARGARITA
Muddled fresh blueberries in lime and tequila, topped off with a mini 6-oz bottle of prosecco (or rose or pinot noir wine) makes for a bubbly, mildly sweet citrusy sipping drink with fun presentation. Be sure to use a sturdy, large 12 oz cocktail or margarita glass with heavy bottom. As you assemble, fill the glass to only half full with ice and mix to allow room for the prosecco. Directions: Run a lime wedge along the glass rim and dip into a flat plate of salt to coat. Muddle 2 T. fresh blueberries with 1 (1-oz) shot tequila, 2 tsp fresh lime juice and splash of orange juice. Fill the glass with crushed or cubed ice to 1/2 inch below mid-point. Pour in the muddled blueberry mix. Pop the top off the prosecco and gently, quickly place into the glass (bottoms up). Garnish with fresh blueberries on a cocktail skewer (and cranberries, purple or champagne grapes if they’ll fit). Remove the bottle and sip away!
2.) SPIKED MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Mexican Hot Chocolate, spiked if you like! (adapted from Diana Kennedy’s recipe from ‘The Cuisines of Mexico’) The beauty of this drink is that it’s thickened with masa for a rich Southwestern flavor. Makes 4 one-half cup servings. In a blender, puree 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cups whole milk and 1/2 cup masa harina (that you use to make tortillas) Pour into a medium saucepan. Add 2 ounces rough chopped Mexican chocolate from tablets, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Bring to medium heat and stir until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. If too thick add a bit more milk. Remove the cinnamon stick and pour into 4 mugs. To spike, add 1 shot vanilla vodka and 1/2 shot cinnamon vodka to each mug. Top with whipped cream, dust with cocoa powder or cinnamon.
This fun festive margarita is a light and refreshing drink to go along with decadent holiday foods! Recipe: Run a lime wedge along the glass rim and dip into a flat plate of salt to coat. Use a large, heavy bottom 12 oz glass to hold the bottle without tipping. As you mix the drink, remember to fill the glass half full to leave room for the ginger beer. First, fill the glass with crushed or cubed ice to 1/2 inch below the mid-mark. Pour in 1 (1-oz) shot tequila, 2 tsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp agave syrup, and a splash of fresh orange juice. Give it a stir with a straw or spoon. Pop the top off the bottle and place gently and quickly into the glass (bottoms up). Garnish with fresh or candied ginger, lime and orange slice. Remove the bottle and sip away!
4.) SPIKED HAZELNUT HORCHATA
Horchata can have a slightly gritty texture and part of its uniqueness is to enjoy the tidbits of nuts that settle to the bottom of the glass. It tastes like rice pudding with cinnamon, with our addition of blended hazelnuts and frangelico. (Recipe inspired by Rick Bayless) **Make 1 day ahead** 4 – 8 servings depending on the size of your glasses. Combine 1/2 cup long or short grain white rice, 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds, 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 1/4 cups hot water in a bowl. Cover, cool and refrigerate overnight. Pour the mixture into a blender and liquefy for 2 minutes or until smooth. Ninja and restaurant standard blenders will take less time and leave less pulp. Use a fine mesh strainer to pour into a pitcher. (Any leftover pulp may be used later for a Horchata pudding.) Add to the mix 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup cold water. Taste for sweetness and add honey or agave if you like. To mix each drink: Fill a glass with ice. Add 2 shots Horchata, 1 shot vanilla vodka, 1/2 shot frangelico liqueur and stir. Top with whipped cream, chopped hazelnuts and slivered almonds.
5.) SMOKY TEA-QUILA COCKTAIL
When you’re not craving creamy eggnog, this charred smoky lapsang souchong tea with fresh herbs makes for a light, iced cocktail. Anise from the tarragon perfectly complements the black licorice — that childhood candy we know and love. Add a splash of caramelly anejo tequila and you’ve got a delightful adult beverage. Recipe for 1 Cocktail: Pour into a shaker: 2 oz. cold lapsang souchong tea, 2 oz. anejo tequila, and 1 tsp. agave syrup. Fill with ice. Shake then strain into a glass filled with ice. Top off with more tea if needed according to the size of your glass. Garnish with sprig of fresh tarragon and black licorice stick. Maraschino cherry, optional.
Bonus recipe, you can’t go wrong with our New Mexico Holiday Martini with red chile sugar rim, citrus, tequila and Alien Amber Ale.
Happy Holidays and Cheers!
xo Amy, Mr.D and the SWD Team