ISO holiday drinks idea.
Going to my sister in laws place for Thanksgiving dinner. Told not to bring anything. But I would love to be the drink mixer at this dinner of about 20 in laws and nephews, all adults. I am looking for simple mix recipes for sparkling wine and non-alcoholic drinks.
I have a cookbook called "365 Foods Kids Love to Eat" that has a hot cranberry "tea" recipe in it that can be served plain or spiked with something like Maker's Mark for the grownups. I've modified the recipe a bit to this:
Take 2 (12 oz) bags of cranberries. Put in a pot with water to cover them and 2 cinnamon sticks. Boil gently until cranberries are soft. Don't throw out the water, but take out the cinnamon sticks. Strain the cranberries through a collander, pressing the berries into pulp, into a container so that you save the juice. Set the chunky pulp aside. You don't need it for this recipe, but you can cook it for a cranberry dressing later.
Add the cranberry juice that came out of the berries when straining to the water that the cranberries boiled in. Add more water to make a gallon or so. Now add 6 cups of orange juice (frozen prepared or packaged). Stir. Add 1/4 tsp of allspice, some cinnamon and a pinch of cardamom and sweeten to taste with some sugar or honey. Feel free to change the spices to your taste. To sweeten, use any combination of sugar or honey. I make mine equal about 1 1/2 cups total sweetener, using 1/2 c. light honey and 1 c. granulated sugar. Stir until sugar/honey is dissolved. Taste. If it's not sweet enough (it should be a little tangy), add some more sugar or honey.
Bring slowly to a boil. Serve hot.
I like to make hot spiced cider for a large group. It's delicious, inexpensive, will sit on the stove all day.
Heat a gallon of fresh apple cider on the stove or in a crockpot but don't allow to boil. Add two cinnamon sticks, a few whole allspice, and an orange studded with cloves and cut in half. Have mugs on the side with a plate of thinly sliced lemons, additional cinnamon sticks, and a bottle of golden rum of course, for self-assembly.
I also like to make a rasperry herb syrup for mixing with sparkling wine like prosecco. 2 cups blackberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary. Simmer all ingredents in a small saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, untile reduced by about 2/3. Pour through a fine sieve (do not press) and chill intil needed. Add 2 tsp to each glass of champagne.
I make champagne cosmos during the holidays and they are always a huge hit. No matter how many batches I make it is never enough. You replace the vodka in cosmos with champagne/sparkling wine. I promise you, people go crazy for them.
Also, I do a hot wassail punch in the crockpot, kids get it virgin, adults get it with some spiced rum. Makes the house smell great.