Winter cocktails for holiday celebrations

Jen Klein

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It's holiday entertaining season and that means lots of delicious food with a holiday twist. Cranberry, gingerbread, pumpkin and apple are all common winter flavors found in foods from appetizer through dessert. What about the beverages, though? Yes, you can use these flavors in delicious winter cocktails -- and they are sure to be the hit of your holiday gathering!

Apple cider cocktail

You've likely seen or tasted winter concoctions when out at restaurants. Bartenders have a wide range of custom liqueurs and ingredients at their disposal; you may think that creating such winter drinks at home is onerous and expensive because you have to buy all those ingredients. Not so. You can create terrific winter cocktails using many of the ingredients you already have on hand for your holiday cooking.

Gingerbread martini

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce gingerbread syrup
  • Cinnamon stick

Directions

  1. Combine the vodka and gingerbread syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

Gingerbread syrup

Also delicious in lattes!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoonpoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoonpoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoonpoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Let simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Cool thoroughly. Strain into a container and chill until ready to use.

Apple cider cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 anise pods
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra dark rum or spiced rum
  • Candied orange peel

Directions

  1. Combine the cider and spices in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Let cool completely, then strain into a clean container. Add the rum and mix well. Serve with candied orange peel for garnish.

Up next: More Winter cocktails for holiday celebrations >>

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