Some of the best recipes of the Christmas season are those that double as gifts, like this homemade cranberry infused vodka.
1 cup FRESH cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 large strip of orange peel
2 cups QUALITY vodka (Absolut is best)
- Place the cranberries, sugar and pineapple juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved, the cranberries pop and the pineapple juice is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer the mixture into a large mason jar.
- Place the orange peel in the mason jar, and pour the vodka over top.
- Screw the lid on tightly and set the jar on a counter at room temperature for at least 3 days, and up to a month.
- Shake once a day.
- Strain into a decorative bottle, tie with festive ribbon and gift with a cocktail recipe in which to use it.
Worth waking up early for on Thanksgiving or ANY day for that matter. We have some wonderful friends coming to dinner tonight and I wanted to make a special, signature drink for the occasion.
BLESSMOSAS aka BLESS YOUR HEARTS when you run out of the Prosecco and switch to Absolut Pear Vodka 😀
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 (32-oz) chilled Ocean Spray pineapple cranberry juice
1 (32-oz) chilled QUALITY apple cider
1 bottle prosecco or Absolut Pear Vodka
1 apple or red pear, 1/2 diced and 1/2 sliced into half moons, for garnish
Whole cranberries and/or orange slices for garnish
- Combine sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate.
- Dip the rim of each glass in water, then dip into the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture, coating the edge of each glass. Let it dry if you have time.
- Place a spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce in the glass.
- Add a few pieces of diced apple or pear.
- Fill each glass 1/4 of the way up with pineapple cranberry juice.
- Add apple cider to the halfway mark.
- Top with Prosecco to the top.
- Garnish with an apple or orange slice.
This recipe is an INCREDIBLY light, healthy and easy way to make the perfect tasty treat. It is the PERFECT garnish for any charcuterie board or wine spread.
WINE MARINATED FROZEN GRAPES
3 cups PLUMP green grapes removed from their stems (see notes)
1 – 2 cups QUALITY white wine (see notes)
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- Place grapes in a bowl and cover with wine.
- Allow to marinate refrigerated for 12+ hours, though I personally recommend 24-48 hours. The longer they sit, the tastier they are.
- Drain grapes, toss in sugar and freeze AT LEAST 2 hours.
- This recipe easily converts to red grapes also though you may want to use a red wine of choice.
- They make the perfect “ice cubes” to keep your wine chilled on a hot summer day if you skip the sugar part. 😀
Make this when you have a recipe that needs the lemons, like a summer lemonade.
8 LARGE lemons
2 LARGE oranges
1 (750ml) bottle of QUALITY vodka
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
- With a sharp peeler remove the peel from the lemons and oranges.
- Trim away any pith from the peels. Save the lemons for lemonade or another recipe.
- Place the peels into a 2 quart pitcher.
- Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap.
- Steep the lemon peels for 4 days at room temperature.
- In a large saucepan blend the water and sugar about 5 minutes over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved.
- COOL COMPLETELY.
- Pour cooled sugar syrup over the vodka mixture.
- Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
- Strain Limoncello through a mesh strainer.
- Discard the peels.
- Transfer Limoncello to bottles, sealing bottles and refrigerating 4 hours until chilled.
“CHRISTMAS” PINEAPPLE RUM PUNCH
4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
4 cups cran-pomegranate juice
1/4 cup red hots
2 cinnamon sticks + 1 stick per glass for serving
1 cup cherry spiced rum OR pineapple rum
FRESH pineapple chunks, FROZEN (optional)
- In a 3 quart slow cooker, combine the pineapple juice, cran-pomegranate juice, red hots and cinnamon sticks.
- Cook covered on low until heated through and red hots are melted.
- Add rum.
- Serve with FRESH cranberries and a cinnamon stick. Can be served warm or over frozen pineapple chunks.
NOTES: This can also be made on the stove, but use very low heat and watch that the candies don’t burn.
CARROT LEMONADE – serves 6
1 pound carrots, cut into chunks
2 cups water
3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice or white grape juice
4 lemons, juiced
2 cups cold water
- Place carrots in a large sauce pan.
- Add water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until carrots are tender.
- Cool slightly, but DO NOT DRAIN.
- Transfer to a blender.
- Add 1 cup of the pineapple juice.
- Cover and blend until smooth.
- Stir in remaining pineapple juice and lemon juice.
- Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
- Mixture may thicken as it chills, whisk in cold water as necessary to reach desired consistency.
- Serve over frozen pineapple chunks with pineapple wedges.
Over at Tide & Thyme she had a recipe for Mermaid Margaritas. They’re really good, but hubby wanted to amp it up a bit so we made our own version and are calling them Wave Rocking Mermaids. They are so pretty and all the fruit makes a nice snack too.
WAVE ROCKING MERMAIDS – 4 margaritas.
1 cup margarita mix
1/3 cup Triple Sec
3/4 cup LIME Tequila
1/2 cup Pineapple rum
1/3 cup BLUE Curacao
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Margarita rim salt
1 tablespoon sanding sugar
1 drop green food color
1 drop blue food color
1 LARGE lemon zested, then juiced
1 lime, zested then sliced
- Combine sugar and lemon zest on a small plate. Add 1 drop of food coloring. Mix well using a fork.
- Combine salt and lime zest on a small plate. Add 1 drop of the opposite food color. Mix well using a fork.
- Combine sugar and salt on a small plate. Mix well using a fork, and set aside.
- In a large pitcher combine the margarita mix, Triple Sec, lime tequila, pineapple rum, Blue Curacao, lemon juice and tablespoon of sugar, stirring to blend well.
- Wet the rim of each glass using a lime wedge.
- Dip the rim into the sugar-salt combo.
- Fill glasses with ice, and then the margarita mixture.
- Skewer a pineapple wedge, lemon slice and maraschino cherry onto your bamboo pick and stick it into the margarita for garnish.
NOTE: For a sweeter punch, add a Grenadine float just before serving.
NOTE: To keep your drink from watering down with ice melt, chill your pitcher for an hour or so before serving.
LIME DAIQUIRI FIZZES
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice (strained if you like)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces Malibu Rum
6 ounces Sprite or 7 UP
- Whisk together lime juice and sugar.
- Add rum.
- Pour over ice in chilled glasses.
- Top with sprite or 7UP.
- Add lime wedge.
1/2 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 ripe banana, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk whole
strawberries, for garnish
- Slice the strawberries into a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle sugar over top.
- Pour vanilla extract and champagne over strawberries.
- Set aside for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Drain the strawberries.
- Slice the banana.
- In a blender, place the strawberries, banana slices, ice cream, and milk.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into chilled glasses and garnish the rim of each glass with whole strawberries.
- Serve immediately.
We’re talking SERIOUS triple digit heat around here and now they’re adding 50% humidity to the mix so it was time to bring out the BIG guns – ICES with a KICK! Next time I won’t bother with the popsicles, but just make these as small sorbet bowls in small ramekins.
CARIBBEAN SUNRISE POPSICLES
1 cup water
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 cup orange juice
3 ounces Malibu Coconut Rum
- Whisk together the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a SLOW boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup with the pomegranate juice.
- Divide into 6 popsicle molds.
- Place molds in freezer for 2 hours.
- Combining remaining sugar mixture with orange juice and rum, cooling completely.
- After 2 hours, whisk orange juice mixture thoroughly and top off popsicle molds.
- Return molds to freezer for 2 more hours.
- Add popsicle sticks and freeze completely. Overnight works best.
3 cups brewed coffee
3 cups half and half
1/4 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup curacao
1/4 cup brandy
- In a medium saucepan whisk together everything except the whipped cream.
- Heat to Steaming.
- Pour into warmed mugs.
- Garnish with whipped cream and a shake of cinnamon and mocha.