Host a Signature Holiday Cocktail Party

Entertaining, Food, Home, Menus
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Champagne at Christmas

When you’re hosting holiday cocktail parties, it can get very pricey to stock a full bar with beer, wine and all of the different liquors that a proper bar cart should contain.

Instead of trying to please everyone, make one special seasonal cocktail to serve your guests and feature it on your party invitation. Then, welcome your guests to bring their own wine, beer and supplemental spirits to sip or share.

Shop Smart

The only downside to this school of party planning is that toting bottles of wine or liquor home from the grocery store can result in a broken grocery bag in the middle of the street if you live in the city…or a shattered bottle of booze in the driveway if you live in the suburbs.

Enter, Instacart. Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that lets you order everything you need online or from your mobile phone and a personal shopper delivers them in as little as an hour. Just have your government issued I.D. ready when you answer the door, as your personal shopper will check to verify that you’re of age before they’ll hand over your goods.

The Recipes

Photo: Susan Moran

Photo: Susan Moran

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine from The View from Great Island: There are so many variations on mulled wine, but the best ones are those that don’t require extensive preparation. This version is perfect for open house style parties, when you can keep it warm in the slow cooker for hours. For seasonal celebrations, use the spices along with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

Photo: Julia Mueller

Photo: Julia Mueller

Cranberry Sauce Bourbon Cocktail from The Roasted Root: Use up leftovers from a holiday meal at your next party. The sweet and tangy flavors of cranberry are perfect complements to bourbon. You can also look forward to eating bourbon soaked cranberries from bottom of the glass. Don’t worry about manners, Santa isn’t really watching anyway.

Photo: Karen Kerr

Photo: Karen Kerr

French 75 from Karen’s Kitchen Stories: The French 75 is a cocktail that exudes elegance and you can customize this to dry or sweet palates by adding a traditional sugar cube to the bottom after assembling the rest of the refreshing ingredients.

Photo: Christine Pittman

Photo: Christine Pittman

Champagne Punch from Cook the Story: With half sparkling wine and half ginger ale and a touch of orange liqueur, this is a nice one for casual imbibing or an afternoon even. Dress it up with fresh cranberries and other Christmas colored garnishes for a festive sip on a special evening. 

Photo: Lauren Keating

Photo: Lauren Keating

Cider, Bourbon and Ginger Cocktail from Healthy Delicious: The sweetness of the apricot liqueur and tartness of the fresh lemon juice balances out the bourbon in this cocktail. Top with champagne or ginger beer based on your taste preference and serve in a Moscow Mule mug, if you have them on hand. They’re just more fun that way.

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