Let’s get boozy pt.2

Looking to serve your guests something a bit more special than beer from a bottle this holiday season?  Well, read on.  But first, a few pointers.  When serving warm punches, keep them an a slow cooker and keep serving glasses warm by placing them in a hot water bath, and make sure you have enough cups that can handle warm liquids.  For cold punch promise me that you won’t use ice cubes.  Seriously.  I want you to promise me. Okay? All right. Instead of those evil taste weakening ice cubes how about thinking ahead and freezing some juice, or ever better, use frozen fruit.  At the end of your drink you’ll have some delicious booze infused fruit.  If using any carbonated beverages in your punch, make sure to add them last, you can mix the rest of your ingredients and top individual glasses with your fizzy beverage.  Lastly, don’t cheap out on the liquor just because it’s going to be mixed with other ingredients, your guests will notice.  Trust.

Hot Spiced Cranberry Punch
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or individually add cloves, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg to taste)
2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
4 cups pineapple juice
2-3 cups light rum
Bring sugar, 1 cup water, salt and spices to a boil. Mash cranberry sauce with a fork and add 3 cups of water, beat until smooth. Add cranberry liquid and pineapple juice to hot spiced syrup and heat until boiling, add rum. Serve hot & add cinnamon sticks for stirrers of you want to be super fancy.

Mulled Wine
½ lemon zested in large peels
½ orange zested in large peels
2 tbs. Sugar
1 ½ tbs pumpkin pie spice (or individually add cloves, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg)
3 cups boiliong water
2 bottles of a full-bodied wine
Optional a few shots of spiced rum
Pour boiling water over the fruit peels, sugar, and spices, simmer for at least 10 minutes. Separately heat wine to just below boiling, add the mixes together in a slow cooker.

Sangria It’s not just for the summer!
1 bottle of dry red wine, pick something that won’t get lost in the other flavors
2 oz. of brandy
2 oz. of simple syrup
1 orange sliced
1 lemon sliced
Place brandy, simple syrup, and sliced fruit soak in the refrigerator to soak overnight.  Add wine and let sit again for a few hours.  Serve very chilled, with frozen fruit to keep it cold.  During summer months I add more seasonal fruit, and top with ginger ale, club or lemon lime soda.

Hard Hot Chocolate
Use your favorite hot chocolate recipe for any of these (please no powdered hot cocoa, your guests deserve better). This is my favorite.

Keep hot chocolate in a slow cooker and allow guests to serve themselves, keeping Bailey’s, chocolate or vanilla vodka, whiskey etc. to add according to their personal tastes. Whipped cream is also usually welcome.

Add caramel flavored Baileys to your hot chocolate, about one shot per serving. Coat inside of mugs with warm caramel syrup before adding hot chocolate/Bailey’s mix, top with a large pinch of coarse sea salt, and whipped cream.

Add Grand Marnier and orange zest to your hot chocolate.

Add in peppermint schnapps and a candy cane as a stirring stick.

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