Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Cocktails, Anyone?

Usually the next event that starts filling up on your holiday schedule is cocktail parties. Many office parties require cocktail attire and of course there is cocktail parties at many homes and your country clubs.

I am only showing one dress to day, and depending on how many parties you have to attend, and the others that you are attending you can possibly get away with having only one or using previous dresses .

From the moment I saw the following Lilly dress, I knew if I had an cocktail party to attend, this would be MY dress. It is the new Lilly Eryn.
The Eryn is fun and the style would is flattering on almost anyone! I think this print is very festive! But I don't particular like her shoes with this dress. As you know I am all about the shoes. And with this little lovely being short, you don't need to worry about where embellishments are on the shoes.
This first one is a very nice heel, not to high, not to low. This second one would be perfect as well. If you like the extra heighth, this pair does the trick and adds a little sexy spice with the ankle strap.

Both pair are by Nina and can be found at Belks and Nordstoms as well as other locations.
So, now what about those cocktails? Here are some perfect for the holiday season. At most cocktail parties there may be a signature drink, an open bar, or a cash bar depending on what the occasion is. I am going to share some Holiday Themed Cocktails with you.

The Ginger Snap
1 serving
1 oz. ginger beer
1 tsp. ginger juice
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
1 tsp. cinnamon schnapps
Pinch of ground cloves
1 egg white
Cinnamon stick
Crystallized ginger square
Finely ground gingerbread cookie

Pour enough ginger beer into a saucer to cover and dip a martini glass into the saucer to coat the rim. Dip into a saucer with ground cookie. Scoop ice into shaker. Pour ginger juice, rum and cinnamon schnapps into a shaker. Add a pinch of ground cloves. Separate an egg and add egg white to shaker. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds until drink is frothy and foamy. The longer you shake, the foamier the drink. Add ginger beer and stir slightly. Pour into glass.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and crystallized ginger square, and sprinkle the top with finely ground gingerbread cookie.

You can substitute brown sugar or cinnamon sugar to rim glass.

The Candy Cane Cooler
1 serving
For Infusion:
2 cups fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed
1 bottle quality vodka

Thoroughly wash mint leaves and place in a decanter or jar. Empty vodka into container and muddle slightly to release the essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days - longer if you want a stronger taste.

For cocktail:
1 tbs. crushed candy cane or peppermint candy
1 1/2 oz. mint-infused vodka
1/2 oz. B&B (Benedictine and brandy)
1/2 oz. half-and-half
Peppermint stick
Mint sprig for garnish

Place crushed candy cane bits into pint glass. Muddle the candy cane slightly, breaking up the bigger pieces. Do not over-muddle into a powder. Add vodka, brandy and half-and-half and stir. Pour into a shaker with ice. Shake lightly to chill and strain into old-fashioned glass full of ice. Add a peppermint stick and stir. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Cocktail started with vodka already infused.

The Cranberry Punch Pizzazz
18 servings

8 cardamom pods
4 4-inch cinnamon sticks, broken
12 whole cloves
1 can (about 11.5 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
4 cups merlot or other red wine
1/3 cup honey
Cranberries and orange slices, for garnish

Cut a 6-inch square from a double thickness of cotton cheesecloth to make a spice bag. Pinch the cardamom pods to break. Center the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves on the cheesecloth, bring up the corners and tie closed with clean kitchen string.

In a 3 1/2-to-6-quart slow cooker, mix the cranberry juice concentrate with water according to the directions on the can. Stir in the wine and honey; add the spice bag. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or on high 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Ladle the punch into glasses and garnish with cranberries and orange slices.

Poinsettia Cocktail
1 serving
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup Champagne
1/2 cup cranberry juice
Crushed ice
2 strips orange zest, each about 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long

Combine the vodka, Champagne and juice in a large-stemmed red wine glass. Add crushed ice and stir until the mixture is well chilled. Twist the orange strips over the glass, drop them in, and serve.

Candy Cane Cocktail
1 serving
1 shot vanilla rum
1 shot white chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane, garnish

Add all liquid ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with candy cane.

If you are hosting a cocktail party, why not choose one of the above as your signature cocktail?

What if you don't partake in alcoholic beverages
or you are the designated driver? Try this...
Virgin Pomegranate and Cranerry Bellinis
8-12 servings
1 cup ice
1 1/2 cups simple syrup, recipe follows
1 1/4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, chilled
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice, chilled
1 (25.3 fluid ounces) bottle sparkling water, chilled
2 limes, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish
Optional garnish: 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) pomegranate seeds

Special equipment: a 6 to 8 cup capacity punch bowl

Place the ice in a punch bowl. Add the simple syrup, pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice. Stir well. Slowly pour in the sparkling water. Garnish with lime slices, mint sprigs and pomegranate seeds, if using, and serve.

Serving Suggestion: As an alternative to serving from a punch bowl, make the bellini mixture in a 6 to 8 cup capacity pitcher. Divide the pomegranate seeds between 12 champagne flutes. Add 1 slice of lime and 1 sprig of mint to each glass.
Pour the bellini mixture into the prepared glasses and serve.

Simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.

All cocktails courtesy of the Food Network.

This Holiday Fashion week is my personal choices. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the events this week to attend myself other than the last day of Fashion Week.. Between recent illnesses and wonderful husband's overly demanding schedule, we just don't have anything to attend. Maybe next year. I think I will make that one of my Holiday 2012 goals!

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