Cocktails for the holidays

The Poinsettia. (Courtesy of Casa Vincola Zonin)

The Poinsettia. (Courtesy of Casa Vincola Zonin)

RITA DeMONTIS, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:39 PM ET

'Tis the season for gingerbread and goose, elegant chocolates and dishes we only dream about but once a year.

It's also the cocktail season, where an enjoyable drink goes beyond a favourite spirit straight up. There are the traditionalists who go for the hot rum toddy, or hot chocolate with a dash of brandy or rum. And then we have a selection of drinks making their debut this holiday season — and guaranteed to become favourites throughout the year.

Winter's Night

A warming, seasonal drink of aromatic fruit and delicate spicing. From the Grey Goose 2013 Winter Cocktail Collection, created by Grey Goose Global Ambassador Ludovic Miazga.

Ingredients:

  • ½ bottle (70cl) favourite vodka
  • 1 bottle (75cl) Pinot Noir
  • ½ cup (125ml) brown sugar
  • 2 pink grapefruits, freshly squeezed
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ nutmeg grated
  • 4 star anise

Directions:

Heat up spices in sugar for one minute before adding all ingredients to a saucepan to simmer. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and serve. Garnish with grapefruit strips.

Serves 12.

Ginger Goose

The drink calls for a cocktail mug. Recipe courtesy of Grey Goose.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp./30ml) favourite vodka
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbsp./15ml) B&B liqueur
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp./30ml) freshly squeezed mandarin
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbsp./15ml) honey
  • Boiled water
  • 1 slice peeled fresh ginger

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mug and top with boiled hot water. Add slice fresh ginger to glass and allow to macerate for one minute before serving.

Serves 1.

 

Pop the Prosecco

Entertaining can be an expensive endeavour — enter Casa Vinicola Zonin, one of Italy's largest producers of the elegant — and affordable — Prosecco sparkling wine. What's the difference between Prosecco and Champagne? Prosecco is produced using the "Charmat" method rather than the "Champenoise" method — the difference being the Charmat method sees the wine go through a second fermentation in pressurized tanks instead of bottles, preserving the essence and freshness of the grapes.The following two recipes are courtesy of Casa Vincola Zonin.

The Poinsettia

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbsp./15ml) Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp./30ml) cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) Prosecco Zonin

Directions:

Pour Triple Sec and cranberry juice into a chilled champagne flute. Top with Prosecco.

Pomegranate and Pear Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) pear nectar
  • 2 cups (500ml) Prosecco
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pomegranate juice
  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions:

In a large pitcher blend all ingredients. Divide pomegranate seeds evenly between four flute glasses. Pour drink over seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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