Hey, hey, hey!!!
Halloween is over so, guess what?
We are ready for the holidays!!
I know what you’re thinking…”Suzie, you can’t be serious…already?????”.
But, hear me out.
I am the “person” who does the “holiday stuff” in our house…
You know what I’m talking about… make the lists, buy the gifts, put up the decor, check all the lights, buy new lights, change the lights, plan the parties, cook the holiday meals, make and send the cookies via post to family, write the cards, plan visits…
Of course, I love to do all of this, but there are only so many hours in a day.
So, that being said, for all the work that goes into holiday planning, I would really like to enjoy it for more than say, 35 seconds.
Sometimes, that’s seriously what it feels like.
It seems like you just finish putting it all up and, boom, now you have to take it all down.
So, my feeling is, the sooner the better!
This year, my gift to all of you is some serious holiday hacking that will make your life #1 easier and #2 waaaay more fun!!
So, let’s start with the all important holiday essential: the cocktail.
Why just serve wine when you can serve a holiday inspired cocktail (and I’m a wine girl but there’s a time and place for everything…and the time for wine is only AFTER you have enjoyed a funky holiday inspired cocktail like this!!)?
I mean, how cute is this??
I bought these empty ornaments (and they are plastic to boot…so you don’t have to worry about breakage!!). I bought them on sale at a craft store and just tied some holiday inspired ribbon to the top of each ball.
And, some warm, soapy water shaken in each ball once they are used means you can use them again!!!
Come on people…you gotta admit, they are darn cute, aren’t they??
So take a peak below for my holiday inspired cocktails. And, a shout out goes to my friend Mai (over on IG at Almond and Fig) for the inspiration because it all came together when I saw her making her cranberry concoction!!! Thanks Mai…love ya!!
Let your creative juices run free this holiday season.
What new ways are you going to come up with to wow your guests??
- 1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- Peel of one orange (I used the peel from 3 clementines)
- 1 small lemon sliced
- Alcohol (prosecco and campari work well!)
- Sparkling water
- Orange juice
- garnishes (orange/clementine slices, fresh cranberries, rosemary leaves)
- Combine cranberries, sugar, water, peel, lemon and spices in a saucepan
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Continue cooking, for about 10 minutes, or until all or most of the cranberries are soft.
- If you are using this as a cranberry sauce for turkey or meat, leave some cranberries whole and mash with a potato masher; I was using this as a puree in cocktails so I put the entire cooked mixture into a blender and pureed it (let it cool for about 10 minutes first)
- Let mixture cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (note: mixture will become jellied again as it cools - just reheat when using)
- For the first round of cocktails, take about ⅓ c cranberry sauce and heat it in a sauce pan to loosen it up; remove from heat and add about ⅓ c orange juice and stir until combined.
- Pour about 3 tbsp of this mixture into a shot glass (or use a glass ornament as shown in the pictures!!); in the glass, place a slice or two of clementine and a few cranberries at the bottom of a glass (I used a brandy snifter) and place the ornament on top (if using a shot glass, place it beside the glass).
- When guests are ready, ask them to pour the cranberry mixture into the glass and top with cold prosecco (or sparkling water for non-alcoholic).
- For the second cocktail, warm about ¾ c cranberry mixture until liquid and pour about ½ c of compari into the mixture; pour about 3-4 tbsp into each ornament.
- Prep martini glasses by adding a sprig of rosemary to each glass plus a few cranberries and top with an ornament.
- When serving, give each guest a glass with the filled ornament as well as a shot glass full of orange juice.
- Ask them to pour the contents of both the ornament and the shot glass into their martini glass; enjoy!!