What better way to get into the holiday spirit? Let’s start the season off right with festive ideas that are both spirited and sweet.
Everyone's talking about craft cocktails. But what are they?
A premium-quality cocktail made with great care and natural ingredients like fresh squeezed juices, handmade syrups, fresh herbs and the most important element, crystal clear ice cubes which thaw more slowly for a less diluted drink.
Here's a new spin on the Whiskey Sour called the Gold Rush Cocktail: Bourbon-Whiskey + Lemon juice + Honey syrup. What’s honey syrup? It’s the same as simple syrup but made with honey. Mix equal parts honey and water in a saucepan over medium heat until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Stores for up to a month in the fridge. (Credit: A Couple Cooks)
Espresso Martini. The perfect brunch or after dinner cocktail. Cold brew coffee (or espresso) + vodka + simple syrup + coffee liqueur and garnish with a few coffee beans. (Credit: Tito's Vodka)
How about a craft cocktail without the fuss? Try these outside-of-the-box canned cocktails made with premium spirits, fruit and botanicals. Savor a Sparkling Cranberry Tartini, Sparkling Vodka Fizz and Sparkling Citrus Margarita to name just a few. (Credit: Two Chicks Cocktails)
Now, let’s get baking.
There's nothing more satisfying than a fresh, home-baked holiday cookie. Sugar cookies and Peanut Butter cookies top the list of holiday faves. Scoot down that list and you’ll find other classics like Gingerbread, Shortbread, Oatmeal Raisin and Snickerdoodle (which is a Sugar cookie rolled in sugar and cinnamon).
Since you’re probably getting hungry right about now, here is a simple Sugar Cookie recipe to whip up. (Credit: AllRecipes)
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1t baking soda
- ½ t baking powder
- 1C butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1t vanilla extract
Stir dry ingredients together and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F (190°C) 8-10 min or until golden brown. Yum.
Take the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe (Santa’s favorite!) and create the Monster Cookie-loaded with M&M’s, white chocolate chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, dark chocolate and peppermint chunks,…whatever you have in the pantry. These make great DIY holiday gifts.
Did someone say vegan? Yes, you can make totally delish vegan cookies. Like the popular Vegan Crinkle Cookie with powdered sugar and a hint of peppermint. (Credit: My Darling Vegan). Or the best Cranberry Oatmeal cookies with no butter, oil or added sugar. (Credit: Garden of Eydie. Blogger’s note: They are amazing!)