Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Tip of the Day #1: The Signature Cocktail

Ok -- it's 10 days until Christmas and much like you, I am freaking out just a bit. Of course there's always so much to do, places to go, people to see that I always feel a bit overwhelmed. We've been teaching bunches of birthday parties and office holiday parties down at The Kitchen Studio, in addition to cooking for personal chef clients, baking cookies, and getting ready for Make It, Take It, Bake It! BUT - I thought it would be nice to give a Tip-a-Day each day from now until Christmas that is somehow food or drink-related on how to maybe make things a little more simple.

Today, let's talk about booze.

I'm not that big of a drinker (though I love a yummy, delicious cocktail of course!), but I do indulge a little over the holidays. Everyone has his or her favorite bevie, and it can be tough (and expensive!) keeping up with all of your friends peccadilloes and liquors of the month.

So, what to do? Simplify of course! I am a huge fan (you can page back through some previous posts from when I started this blog) of providing the following at parties:
  • Beer (the guys at The Spirit Shoppe on 7th St. can hook you up with whatever you need)
  • Wine (1 red, 1 white - talk to Gary at The Frederick Wine House on 7th St. across from the hospital)
  • a Signature Cocktail

When you've got a signature cocktail, something appropriate to the event or the season, it adds a little fancy to the soiree. For example, whenever we go to our friends Tamar & David's for their annual Valentine's bash, I know that Pomegranate Martinis will be ready to roll. Me? I always love a good Candy Cane Martini December 1 through New Year's Day. Mmmmmmmm. Delicious and it gives you minty-fresh breath to boot!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Peppermint Candy Canes (crush 'em up good in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin and some elbow grease)
  • Vodka
  • Clear Creme de Mint (NOT the green stuff-your teeth will turn green)
  • Clear Creme de Cacao (NOT the brown stuff because, well, ewww)

Use the candy canes to coat the rims of your martini glasses. Use equal parts of the 3 liquors (I just use the little removable top from my cocktail shaker to measure), toss them into a shaker full of ice, shake as if your life depended on it, then strain into the glasses. Done.

Want to cut your prep time? Mix together the alcohol WITHOUT the ice in a larger quantity and stick it in the fridge until you're ready to go. You can shake as necessary.

Just a little FYI - these will knock you on your ASS, even if you're not Suzy-lightweight like me :). Try'll like them.

Tomorrow: Mashed Potato Glory.

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