One of the main reasons I love the holiday season are the festive parties! Whether you are celebrating with co-workers, old friends, or family, holiday parties are just tons of fun. Especially because its time to break out all the fun holiday cocktails that we only see around this time of year. Below are a few of my personal favorites (specifically because they are easy to make with a few ingredients). Feel free to share your favorite twists or recipes in the comments below!
Glühwein. (pronounced "gloo-vine") This drink is both delicious and very sentimental for me. It's a traditional German drink that my Oma would make during the holidays. I love it because its traditionally served at the outdoor holiday markets (Christmas/Easter) in Germany and Austria. It's a perfect way to bring the community together.
Ingredients: 1 bottle red wine (Recommended Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt, or fruit forward red); 1 cup water; 1/4 cup sugar; 2 cinnamon sticks; 4 cloves; 1 orange peeled for zest and juiced.
Directions: Heat water, sugar, juice and spices. Once infused, and red wine and heat through, be careful not to boil. (Easier option, warm all ingredients in crock pot for at least an hour).
Traditional Mulled Wine. While Glühwein is traditionally made with red wine, you can make Mulled Wine (the American version) with other types of wine. A few of my favorites include fruit based wines. Try Apple Spiced wine with cranberry juice. Or Apple Cranberry wine with cinnamon, cloves and orange zest. Don't be afraid to experiment. The only thing you can do wrong is boil the drink.
Mulled Cider. While fall is over, there is still room for apple cider at the party table. To make a base mulled cider follow these instructions: Heat 2 quarts of apple cider with one apple, 2 teaspons of whole cloves (typically cloves are studded in the apple), 1 orange thinly sliced, and 1 cinnamon stick. Add light brown sugar to taste. Once warmed through, remove from heat and add 1 cup of rum. I would likely substitute the rum for bourbon.
Irish Coffee. The classic irish coffee is just black coffee, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of Irish whiskey. Add Bailey's for fun. Given the popularity of Keurig's these days, I would recommend making these individually.
Hot Toddy. If you are looking for something on the stronger side (hey, we all have annoying siblings right?) then I recommend the Hot Toddy. Simply put, its hot tea with a shot of whisky (I would prefer bourbon or brandy over rye). But here's the recipe if you need it: combine liquor, 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of 1/4 of lemon. On the side, prepare a cup of hot black tea, once fully steeped, combine with liquor.
Happy Holidays and Cheers!