Cranberry Mint Holiday Punch
Let the holiday celebrations and libations begin flowing… It’s that time of year to do some festive holiday cocktail sipping. When it comes to hosting holiday parties you want to make sure your party doesn’t die an early uncomfortable death, nothing brings a party to a close like running out of booze. Here are our 5 suggestions for keeping your party festive and one of our favorite festive holiday punches. This punch can be the adult kind by adding rum or leave it out for a virgin holiday punch.
1. Count on one drink per guest per hour. Be generous with your estimates to ensure you have an adequate supply and don’t run short. Most people drink more with food; if you’re having a sit-down dinner party, calculate two drinks per guest per hour to be on the safe side.
One alcoholic drink is equivalent to one bottle of beer, five ounces of wine or two ounces of spirits or liqueurs.
2. Are you over whelmed with the thought of figuring out what you need to provide to ensure a well stocked bar? For a basic cocktail party, why not provide the “speed rail” of essentials; this is the most popular spirits that professional bartenders keep out front. They include gin, vodka, rum (both gold and white), tequila and triple sec.
You can please several generations at a time by offering retro favorites such as Martinis, Manhattans, Cosmopolitans and Sidecars. Also have on hand a “house pour,” the drink you default to for guests without a preference. It’s a good idea to consider stocking about twice as much of this drink as the others. With beer, stock an equal mix of domestic, imported and light labels.
Don’t forget to stock up on mixers including: fruit juices (orange, grapefruit, cranberry & pineapple), club soda, tonic, ginger ale, cola, tomato juice & plenty of lemons and limes. You may need to add other items, depending on the types of cocktails that you choose to serve.
Fresh fruit juice makes a drink taste much better. Stock your bar with plenty of fresh fruit juices, soft drinks, mixers, seasonings and garnishes to make your cocktails a little extra special.
3. If you’re serving wine don’t let the thought of selecting a variety of wines scare you off from serving it. Good to know… a 750 mL bottle will give you five generous flute glass servings. To determine the mix of red and white wine, go with an even split if you’re not sure which your guests prefer.
For festive winter gatherings, serve full-bodied white wines such as buttery, toasty Chardonnay from California or Australia. Zesty, acidic whites with lots of fruit stand up to hot, spicy hors d’oeuvres and go well with cheeses. Try Canadian and German Rieslings or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Full-bodied red wines such as New World Cabernet Sauvignon, Australian Shiraz and Italian Barolos and Amarones go well with the hearty flavors of holiday meals.
If your guests bring a bottle of wine to your party, be gracious and open it; even if it doesn’t ideally suit your meal. Unless it’s meant to be a cellar gift, selecting the wine to open for a particular time during the evening, and even fussing over it, will make your guest feel appreciated. Although opinions differ on this issue, not opening a guest’s wine can signal that either the wine is so bad that you don’t want to drink it or so good that you don’t want to share it. Consider your guest may be eager to share and enjoy the bottle with you.
4. For most celebrations, you can serve all drinks in three types of glasses: Champagne flute, wine glass and an all-purpose highball glass for mixed drinks. Rent or buy twice the number of glasses as you have guests to allow for breakage and for guests requesting new glasses for a different drink.
To avoid congestion in one area and to keep the guests mixing, consider setting up drink stations around your home, consider making one station an open ice cooler filled with soft drinks and sparkling waters. Another may be a table where guests can fill their own punch glasses. White wine can be left in Champagne ice buckets in various places. Your cocktail station can be located in another area.
Have twice as many glasses on hand as you have guests. Chill your cocktail glasses in the refrigerator before serving.
5. Stock up on plenty of ice. You’ll need it for chilling bottles of wine or Champagne as well as serving drinks on the rocks. A good rule of thumb is to have 1-pound of ice per guest.
Lastly, keep the number of a local taxi company handy. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Remember, you want all of your guests to make it home safe & sound.
Cranberry Mint Holiday Punch[/caption]
•2 liter of sprite
•1-46oz jug of Cran-raspberry juice
•10 crushed mint leaves
•Extra mint leaves for garnish
•1 bag of cranberries for garnish
Optional: 3 Cups Rum – We suggest Tia Maria Rum
Mix everything together in a punch bowl; add ice. Garnish with cranberries and mint leaves.
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