The countdown starts now—weeks of eat, drink and be merry—with December holidays and New Year’s all in the mix. Speaking of mix, how about hosts gift themselves a gift with big batch beverage recipes that add extra cheer to any gathering?
Signature cocktails have become de rigueur at home events. By offering big batch beverages, hosts can mix and mingle, rather than mix, serve and repeat.
Here’s a perfect excuse get the slow cooker away from the entrées and into the beverage mix.
Mulling spices are available at most wine stores during the holiday season, but if you can’t find them, put star anise, cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a tied cheese cloth. Add a bottle or two of red wine to your crockpot or slow cooker of choice. Add the mulling spices. Use the lowest setting, and warm the wine, making sure to not boil or cook the beverage. Serve in your favorite mugs.
- 2 oz. Simple syrup
- 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary
- 4 oz. Bourbon
- 2 oz. Fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Orange marmalade
- 1 Tbsp. Maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh orange juice
- 1 Egg white
Boil simple syrup and one sprig of rosemary in a small saucepan; cool. Discard rosemary, and transfer syrup to a cocktail shaker with bourbon, lemon juice and marmalade. Add ice, shake until chilled, and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Add maple syrup, orange juice and egg white to the shaker; shake until frothy. Spoon the froth over the top of the cocktail; garnish with remaining rosemary sprig.
Cheers to a fruity drink for the tots, teens and teetotalers.
A day before: Using a Bundt cake pan, add a variety of fruits (berries and orange and apple slices)—the more the merrier. Fill the pan with water to cover the fruit; put in the freezer.
The day of serving: In a punch bowl, add 2 liters of Sprite and 2-3 oz. of grenadine syrup; stir together. Remove the Bundt from the freezer and place the ice mold in the punch bowl. The ice mold will not only serve as a beautiful centerpiece, but it will also keep the drink cold.
Grapefruit Beer Punch
Invite a tart and tangy change to your holiday beverage pace.
- 4 cups Cantilever gin
- 2 cups Fresh grapefruit juice
- 5 cups Dreamyard India pale ale, chilled
Combine gin and grapefruit juice in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Cover and chill for at least two hours or overnight. Add the IPA just before serving, and ladle into ice-filled punch or lowball glasses.
Ginger Lemon Hot Toddies
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups honey
- 5 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 (3-inch) piece of peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3/4 cup Norseman dark rum
- 3/4 cup Copper and Kings
- American brandy
Place water, lemon juice, honey, crystallized and fresh ginger in a 4 1/2-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for four hours. Remove and discard ginger slices. Stir in rum and brandy. Ladle the mixture into mugs, and garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired.