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Winter party drinks

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I'm planning on hosting a birthday/holiday party this coming weekend, and to avoid much recycling, we wanted to make some nice winter cocktails to supplement a keg of some sort. My drinking habits don't go much beyond beer, wine and a scotch or whiskey straight up. What are some of your favorite winter party drink recipes?

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  1. How about - Hot mulled/spiced wine, well spiked eggnog, a cranberrybased punch, and some basic spirits and mixers?

    1. I love Sangria, and it goes over gorgeously at parties. Here's my (often altered) recipe:

      1 bottle red wine
      1 cup juice (I like the Tropicana refrigerated mixed berry flavor)
      1/2 cup triple sec, Grand Marnier, brandy or cognac
      2 T sugar
      sliced oranges, lemons, limes, and/or apples, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, etc.

      If I have time, I marinate the fruit in the liqueur, juice, and sugar for a day or more before stirring in the wine. In winter, I add a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, and a star anise pod.

      I usually make 4-6 batches and serve out of a big glass cookie jar.

      My favorite winter cocktail mix came from Gourmet last Christmas:

      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/dri...

      I make the cranberry mix, chill it, and use it for cranberry margaritas (HEAVENLY!), champagne cocktails, vodka tonics, etc.

      1. Today on Martha she took a bottle of vodka, and made an ice mold around it filled with holly, springs of spruce in one. Limes & Cranberry in the other. She wrapped a cloth napkin around it so you could hold it. It was a very nice and looked great. Keeps the vodka very cold.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stellamystar

          Love it, great idea re: ice mould. I also like manhattan's in the winter. Other ideas would be black russians, peppermint patties, grasshoppers, golden cadillacs, which are much sweeter.
          The best though at this time of year is A Mistletoe -
          1 oz vodka, 1/2 cassis, top with cranberry juice. Top with ice and sprinkle a frozen cranberry or two. Deelish, and very girlie.

        2. I made a butternut sqaush apple cider at my last party. It was a big time hit.

          Saute half a butternut squash (peeled, cubed, seeded) in a little butter just to soften it up. Add a couple cinnamon sticks, a star anise, and some cloves. Add a gallon or so of fresh cider. Simmer but don't boil. Leave the top off and your house will smell incredible.

          I had a couple options for finishing it and left the decision to the drinker: Calvados, Captain Morgan, and believe it or not Captain Morgan

          1 Reply
          1. re: gatorfoodie

            BUTTERNUT & FALERNUM
            Ingredients

            2 oz. Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum
            3/4 oz. John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum Liqueur
            grated fresh nutmeg to garnish
            2 oz. butternut squash jus, created with:
            8lb butternut squash
            5 tablespoons brown sugar
            5 tablespoons brown butter
            Instructions
            Make approximately 16 oz. of butternut squash jus by juicing the squash. Simmer juice to reduce by one third, add 5 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 5 tablespoons of brown butter to the juice and refrigerate overnight. Pass through a sieve to remove the butter solids.
            Into a cocktail mixer pour 2 oz. of butternut squash and add the remaining ingredients except nutmeg.
            Shake and strain into a double rocks glass 3/4 filled with fresh ice cubes.
            Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

          2. Hot mulled whiskey. Canadian Club (or equivalent), with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and a simple syrup, served in a mug with a curl of orange zest.