The activity of the season is to eat, drink and be merry toasting the season with glad tidings and new beginnings.
When I was growing up, every weekend in December I remember family and friends would stop by just after breakfast and come and go throughout the day. It was always fun. My mom had the coffee urn ready and she would set out a few cordials to go with the fresh fruit and homemade sweet treats.
Today our family tradition is a bit less hectic as family and friends are now in distant cities. As we celebrate with new friends and neighbors I set up a side table with a sampling of fresh fruits, fresh baked cookies and sweets. I make fresh coffee and tea when someone stops by and then I make what I call 'family friendly' holiday cocktails. These are perfect for everyone at any age and can be served with breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner and anytime in between.
Let's get the season started. These 'cocktails' are easy to make on the spot. The recipes are flexible so that you can substitute some of the ingredients with your preferences. Now that's EASY!
You might already have these ingredients. If not, you can stock up in advance with the ingredients you prefer so you are ready to make your cocktails on the spot. You will need at least one each of a fruit juice, sparkling soda/water/ginger ale, fresh fruits, lemons and oranges.
- cranberry juice
- apple juice
- orange juice
- flavored club soda (orange, cherry, raspberry, lime, etc. your choice)
- sparkling water, club soda, ginger ale (your choice)
- pint of fresh raspberries and/or strawberries or frozen if fresh is not available
- fresh orange, sliced
- fresh anjou pears, sliced
- grenadine or pomegranate juice
- fresh lemon, sliced
- 8 oz. Cranberry juice
- 16 oz. sparkling water (club soda, ginger ale(this will be sweeter) your choice)
- 1-2 TBLS. grenadine (or pomegranate juice)
- 4 orange slices
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir gently.
- Serve in wine glasses or juice jar glasses for an old world feel.
- Garnish each glass with an orange slice and add a few fresh pomegranate seeds if you have them or use fresh or frozen raspberry or strawberry.
Tea and Pear Cocktail
- 8 oz. apple juice
- 1 quart of fresh brewed green tea chilled (or your favorite tea)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 4 oz. sparkling water (or club soda)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- fresh pear slices
- lemon slices
- Mix the liquid ingredients in a pitcher and add ice. Stir to blend.
- Pour in glass mugs, add a slice of pear to each mug and garnish with a lemon slice.
These non-alcoholic 'cocktails' are perfect for everyone from the children to even grandma and grandpa. They are festive and add that touch of sparkle for an extra special holiday.
And There's More
If you are hosting an adult holiday gathering or party you can always use a sparkling wine as a substitute for the club soda and then add a splash of fruit liquor for extra flavor.