A friend is having a drinks and desserts holiday party and she asked my advice on what to serve for cocktails, that were traditional but interesting; both alcoholic and non alcoholic.
I was ready to suggest the usual nogs and spiced rums but I thought something lighter might be nice with all those rich desserts. Into the kitchen I went and started playing with seasonal flavors and tasting, tasting, tasting.
OK perhaps I had a little too much fun (giggle) but I came up with some nice choices pictured to the left. Below are the recipes if you would like to try them for your holiday gatherings. Enjoy!
Cranberry Apple Fizzle
½ cup Cranberry Syrup (see below)
4 cups Apple Cider
1-1 ½ cups Lemon Seltzer
In a tall pitcher, mix cranberry syrup and cider
Add seltzer just before serving
Pour a bit of good quality gin into champagne glasses and then add cranberry apple mixture
Also, great without the gin
Garnish with a skewer of cranberries
1 ½ cups Fresh Cranberries
¾ cup Sugar
¼ cup Water
Simmer all the ingredients for 20-30 minutes until cranberries get soft and release their juices
Strain the syrup and chill
Reserve the cooked cranberries to use in other recipes (tastes great mixed into applesauce)
One part Tawny Port
Two parts Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
A touch of honey to taste (mix with a spoon of hot water to blend more easily)
A few cloves stuck in an orange slice
You can make just one glass or a batch of this in a pitcher.
Chill before serving.
Garnish the glasses with a wedge of clove studded orange
Pour a drizzle of Cointreau on top