Cheer Infused Holiday Libations

We did the research for you, and there are plenty of wintery holiday drinks out there. Forget about grandma’s eggnog, and check these out:

HOT TODDY

(Feeling a little under the weather? This is just what the doctor ordered!)

2 tablespoons honey
3 shots of bourbon (we like Woodford’s Reserve)
lemon juice and zest to taste
1 cinnamon stick

Preparation

Stir honey and 1 cup hot water in a large cup until honey dissolves. Add the bourbon. Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Zest a lemon over each drink, and add juice to taste. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve. Finely grated fresh ginger is also a lovely addition!

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CRANBERRY COBBLER
(or, “who really needs cranberry sauce?”)

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 orange, sliced into thin rounds
1 1/2 cups dry gin (we’re thinking Bombay Sapphire)
3/4 cup dry sherry
6 mint sprigs

Preparation

Bring sugar and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir constantly. Remove from heat. Pour off all but one cup of the syrup. Heat syrup in pan almost to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Add cranberries and simmer until they just begin to pop, just a couple of minutes. Let the syrup cool.

Place 2 tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher. Add lemon wedges and orange slices. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash fruit. Stir in gin and Sherry. Let steep for 5 minutes.

Strain into a medium pitcher. Fill 3 glasses with crushed ice. Pour half of mixture into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice; shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into prepared glasses, then mound with more crushed ice. Garnish each with a mint sprig and 3 cranberries. Repeat to make 3 more cocktails.

Mmmmmmm!

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PEPPERMINT SUPER DECADENT HOT CHOCOLATE

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet (preferably 60% cocoa) chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 ounces of Peppermint Schnapps per mug
4 small candy canes (for garnish)

Preparation

Beat 1/2 cup cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in bowl until soft peaks form. Cover; chill. Whisk 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and milk in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in peppermint schnapps. Divide chocolate among mugs. Top with cream and garnish with candy canes.

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THE BASIC CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

Ingredients

3/4 fluid ounce pear brandy
5 fluid ounces Champagne or other sparkling white wine
1 tablespoon whole-berry blackberry preserves

Directions

Pour the brandy into a champagne flute. Top with champagne. Gently drop in preserves.

Toast!

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