Saturday, December 27, 2008

Elegant Cocktails & Mocktails for this Holidays

Kir

A French bistro favorite, this aperitif turns an everyday white wine into a festive cocktail. To really make it an occasion, use sparkling wine.

Kir


Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

4 tablespoons crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) or black currant syrup
16 fluid ounces (2 cups) chilled dry white wine or sparkling wine
Twists of lemon or orange zest for garnish

Spoon 1 tablespoon crème de cassis (or black currant syrup) into each 8-ounce wineglass. Fill with white wine and add a twist of lemon or orange zest.

Pear-Ginger Shooters

Fresh ginger and fragrant cinnamon infuse this chilled pear soup. Serve it in large shot glasses. Guests may add a splash of vodka if they like.

Pear-Ginger Shooters

Makes 12 servings, about 1/3 cup each

ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 4 3/4 hours (including chilling time)

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

4 ripe Anjou pears, peeled and quartered
1 cup apple cider
1 cup dry white wine
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger or ginger juice (see Note)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1. Stir pears, cider, wine, ginger (or ginger juice) to taste, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and gently simmer until the pears are very tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the soup into a large blender or food processor; add honey. Blend or process until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Pour into a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours. Pour into small glasses to serve.


TIP: Note: We use bottled ginger juice (pressed gingerroot) to add the taste of fresh ginger without the work of mincing or grating. Use it to flavor drinks, stir-fries, marinades or anywhere you’d use fresh ginger.

Blueberry Ginger Bellini

Muddling is is a traditional bartending technique where herbs and/or fruit are crushed, releasing their full flavor into a cocktail. Here we muddle blueberries and ginger with sugar and lemon to add another dimension to our take on a bellini.

Blueberry Ginger Bellini

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

1/2 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups blueberry juice
1/2 cup sparkling wine, divided

Mash blueberries with ginger, sugar and lemon juice. Add blueberry juice and let steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain; divide among 4 champagne flutes. Top each with 1/2 cup sparkling wine.



Pomegranate Cosmos

Make the base for these pomegranate cosmopolitans ahead of time and shake individual cocktails “to order.” Or for individual drinks, combine 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) each pomegranate juice and vodka, 4 teaspoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon Cointreau, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger juice and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Pomegranate Cosmos


Makes 12 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

2 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
2 1/4 cups vodka
1 cup lime juice
3/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1/4 cup ginger juice (see Note)
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably superfine “bar sugar,” plus more for the rims
Strips of lime zest for garnish

1. Mix pomegranate juice, vodka, lime juice, Cointreau (or Grand Marnier), ginger juice and sugar in a large pitcher.
2. For each drink, fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, add 1/2 cup Cosmo mix, and shake until the shaker turns frosty and cold. Dip the rim of a martini (or highball) glass into water and then in sugar (to “sugar the rim”). Strain the drink into the martini glass (or over fresh ice in the highball glass). Garnish with a twist of lime zest, if desired.

TIP: Note: We use bottled ginger juice (pressed gingerroot) to add the taste of fresh ginger without the work of mincing or grating. Use it to flavor drinks, stir-fries, marinades or anywhere you’d use fresh ginger. Find it in specialty stores or online at gingerpeople.com.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 1 and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Raspberry Spritzer

A refreshing and low calorie alternative to sugar-laden sodas.




Makes 2 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

2 cups seltzer
2/3 cup frozen raspberries
2 sprigs fresh mint
3 ounces raspberry-flavored syrup or Chambord
Ice cubes

Combine seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry-flavored syrup (or Chambord) in a small pitcher. Pour over ice.

1 comment:

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