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ISO great signature holiday drink

Every year we serve a new signature cocktail at our sibling christmas party.
last year was Champage cocktails, past years have featured poinsettas, ginger & cranberry infused Vodka Tonics, Dark and Stormy's, and Spiced Cider

This year I'm thinking something with drunken cranberries floating in it. But what is the drink base?? I'm open to any and all suggestions-thanks CH!

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  1. hot chocolate-XO cognac

    1. If you're into old-school cocktails, consider the Scofflaw:

      1.5 oz rye (I use the very cheap and serviceable Old Overholt)
      1 oz dry vermouth (nothing as fancy as Vya: Noilly Prat will do nicely; just don't use an old bottle that's been opened and left sitting around: vermouth needs to be refrigerated after opening, or it starts to spoil and smell like dirty socks)
      3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
      3/4 oz fresh grenadine

      Shake over lots of ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a twist of lemon.

      Fresh lemon juice is essential, as is homemade grenadine, which is easy: mix equal parts POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and sugar, shake the hell out of it till the sugar all dissolves, refrigerate; discard what you don't use within a few days.

      This drink is really tasty and beautiful to look at, a festive Christmas red. Careful, though: they go down easy. Maybe serve these early and switch your guests to less potent highballs or punch later on.

      3 Replies
        1. re: poached

          Incidentally, I tried making a Scofflaw with Giroux bottled grenadine recently, and I can roundly affirm that without the homemade stuff, this drink isn't worth doing. The bottled stuff is too dull and sweet and lacking in real pomegranate flavor.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            You might try Stirrings grenadine. It's made from actual pomegranates unlike the Giroux. It does have citric acid as a preservative so you don't have worry about it going bad.

      1. What about a gin drink? I like gin and cran together. Or a Cranberry Caipirinha: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drinkvw159.... That site has a useful search tool to help you find something with cranberries.

        1. not sure whether you can get sake where you are, but the signature drink at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai is a combination of sake (they used Okunomatsu ginjo which is relatively inexpensive, I imagine you could substitute other brands say Wakatake Onikoroshi ginjo, Gekeikkan Horin, Umenishiki or Nishoniseki etc), chestnut liquor (perhaps substitute Tuaca or Frangelico) and maple syrup. Or for something fruitier, some red rice sake such as Kikusakari Asamurasaki Junmai (Ibaraki) "Rare saké made with red rice, as was cultured in ancient times. Cranberry red color and aroma, with berry sweetness. Clean and crisp with pleasant acidity and spritzy mouth feel. Beautiful in the glass!" or even some red ice wine such as Inniskillen Dornfelder

          1 Reply
          1. re: barleywino

            This sounds very intriguing- I have some cocktailing to do!

          2. The cranberry drink on the front page today looks intriguing! I might substitute rum for the bourbon just because that's what I have.

            1. This may be too close to what you did last year, but one of my favourite holiday party drinks is the Pomegranate Sparkler:
              Soak pomegranate arils in brandy overnight.
              Put a spoonful of the pomegranate mixture in the bottom of each flute.
              Fill flute with Prosecco (or cava, or your favourite inexpensive sparkling wine!)

              The pomegranate arils bob up and down in the bubbly, looking very festive. They taste great too!

              1. SO the final results are in and I have to say all the taste testing we had planned got lost in the holiday shuffle. But what we went with was a varatiion on several suggestions/
                -1st I made drunken cranberries, baked with sugar then marinated in orange zest and triple sec for 3 days- yummy in everything
                -2nd the drink, now this was mixed using less than mathematical calculations so portions are likely off.
                Light Rum and Dark Rum (3 to 1 ratio dark over the light)
                juice from the drunken cranberries
                Splash of triple sec
                equal parts Orange juice & seltzer
                Muddled mint
                mix and pour over ice
                Spoon some of the drunken cranberries on top