Holiday Cocktails Sure to Please

(My latest cocktail article appears in the December 14th edition of Food & Drink in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Original title is ‘For holiday imbibing, pumpkin, confetti, gingerbread and more.’)

Clean. Fun. Simple.

Those are my watchwords for the holidays. And clean, fun and simple steps and flavors were what I focused on when I created these holiday cocktails.

I don’t like overcomplicated recipes. Holidays are meant to be shared with friends and family, not spent worrying in the kitchen or behind the bar.

Cheers!

TURKEY DINNER

Frozen cranberries

1 ounce sage-infused vodka

1/2 ounce Wild Turkey bourbon

1 chilled bottle cranberry lambic beer

Add cranberries to pilsner glass. Pour in vodka and bourbon. Add lambic. The cranberries act as ice cubes that keep the drink cold. Later, they make for a great alcoholic treat. Serves 1.

GINGERBREAD MAN

3/4 ounce vanilla vodka

3/4 ounce Frangelico liqueur

1/4 ounce gingerbread schnapps or Hiram Walker gingerbread liqueur

Add ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into a 2-ounce shot glass or small tumbler.

For a slightly sweeter taste, rim glass with superfine sugar. For a more gingerbread taste, rim with crushed gingerbread cookies. Serves 1.

(NON-ALCOHOLIC) HOLIDAY CHEER

Superfine sugar

Fresh mint leaves

Club soda or seltzer water

Cranberries frozen inside ice cubes

Wet rim of Tom Collins glass with water, then dip and twirl in superfine sugar to lightly and evenly coat. Muddle mint leaves at bottom of glass, then add club soda and ice cubes. Stir.

Not only pretty to look at, but also gives you fresh breath for that special kiss under the mistletoe. Serves 1.

CHRISTMAS IN A GLASS

1/4 ounce triple sec

1/2 ounce crème de menthe

1/2 ounce grenadine

Add ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into a 1 1/2- to 2-ounce shot glass or small tumbler. Garnish by tying tinsel around the glass. Serves 1.

SILVER CONFETTI

Silver edible glitter from baking aisle at supermarket

1 ounce Absolut Citron

1 ounce Stolichnaya Ohranj

1 ounce Smiroff Triple Diamond

Wet rim with of martini glass with water, then dip and twirl in glitter to lightly and evenly coat.

Add vodkas to ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, then strain into glass. Clean look and taste. Serves 1.

SPICY PUMPKIN

1 chilled bottle pumpkin ale

1 ounce cinnamon schnapps

Pour ale into a pint glass, then add schnapps for a slight kick. Serves 1.

Cocktail correspondent Kellene Stockwell is a producer at KTVN Channel 2.

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