A Merry Drink for the Holidays

A Merry Drink for the Holidays

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A Merry Drink for the Holidays

Whether mocktail or cocktail, these beverages will add pizzazz to your holiday entertaining.

(NC) Sangria is often relegated to summertime patios, but this make-ahead pitcher drink is equally perfect for winter entertaining. Sweet, tart pomegranate juice and warm winter spices add festive flavour and de-alcoholized red wine makes this a great non-alcoholic option.

“Spruce up this mocktail with sprigs of basil or fresh mint for an extra pop of colour and freshness,” suggests Michelle Pennock, executive chef for the President’s Choice Test Kitchen. “These small touches add bright tasting notes that get your guests’ senses tingling and set the stage for your event.”

Non-Alcoholic Spiced Sangria

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cool time: 2 hours
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground allspice and ground cloves
  • Pinch (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 1 navel orange (peel on), thinly sliced into rounds
  • Half lemon (peel on), thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) PC Red De-Alcoholized Wine with Natural Flavour, chilled
  • 2 cups (500 mL) 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) pulp-free orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) frozen pomegranate arils

Directions:

Bring sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and 1 cup water to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate syrup until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Stir together orange, lemon, 1 cup wine, pomegranate juice, orange juice and ¼ cup syrup in 3L (12 cup) pitcher. Cover and refrigerate one hour or up to 12 hours. Stir in frozen pomegranate arils and remaining wine. Divide among wine glasses filled with ice.

Chef’s tip: You’ll make more of the spiced syrup than you need for one batch of this sangria. Refrigerate the remaining syrup in an airtight container or jar for up to one month and use in your favourite cocktails and mocktails, or as a dressing for fruit salad.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 100, fat 0 g, sodium 10 mg, carbohydrate 24 g, fibre 1 g, sugars 20 g, protein 1 g.

A holiday mule to warm up your guests

This extra-festive twist on a Moscow mule is sure to spice up your holiday party. Flavoured with the zing of ginger beer, notes of caramel and vanilla from bourbon, and balanced by the sweetness of apple cider, it strikes a perfect balance. “To make your drink look as good as it tastes, try garnishing with accents such as crystallized ginger,” suggests Pennock. “This small step brings the drink to the next level.”

Maple Bourbon Cider Mule

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) honeycrisp sweet apple cider
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) bourbon (1 oz)
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) ginger beer
  • 1 slice crystallized ginger (optional)

Directions:

Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add apple cider, bourbon, maple syrup and lime juice. Cover and shake vigorously 15 to 20 seconds.

Strain into stemless red wine glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Thread crystallized ginger onto wooden cocktail skewer (if using); place in glass. Chef’s tip: Leave out the bourbon for a non-alcoholic version.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 220, fat 0 g, sodium 10 mg, carbohydrates 39 g, fibre 0 g, sugars 36 g, protein 0 g.

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