Cocktails & Food Pairings Perfect for Your Winter Holiday Party 

The leaves are falling, the bells are ringing, and the coats are coming off the racks. Which can only mean one thing: how on earth are you going to host your holiday get-together? Okay, sure – leaves, bells, and coats can mean many other things, but we want to host our loved ones, and we want to do it now. 

Maybe last year’s Christmas gathering was lackluster, or maybe you’ve personally spread a rumor that your Friendsgiving this year is going to be legendary. Either way, hosting can be…kind of exhausting. That is if you don’t plan appropriately (we’ve all been there.) Here are some pointers to help you have a successful holiday get-together. 

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Hosting Tips

  • The biggest win you could do for yourself is to cook all the food ahead of time. Make sure all dishes and appetizers are ready for your guests. That way, you can relax and enjoy quality time with your guests. 
  • Get a coat rack. For real, this will help a lot with clutter, and it’s a nice thing to invest in for your guests. Who wants to see their coat on the floor? Not Aunt Susan, that’s for sure. 
  • Send out an invitation and get people to RSVP. Your invitation doesn’t have to be anything special, but just make sure it has all the information your guest needs. 
  • Speaking of guests, make sure you drill the arrival time into them so that they come on time. Since you’re opening your home to your guests, it’s the most respectful thing they can do for you.
  • Toilet paper, toilet paper, toilet paper. Make sure you have enough TP for your guests. There’s nothing worse than going to the bathroom and realizing that there isn’t any toilet paper left. Costco, baby. They have tons of it.
  • If someone offers to help you, take it. You won’t know how stressed you’ll be until 15 minutes before your guests arrive, so make sure to be open to help. It’s okay not to do everything yourself. In fact, it’s bonding to tackle a holiday party with someone else. 
  • Have a few cocktails on the menu, and make sure they go well with the food you’re serving. Trust us, people go crazy for a homemade cocktail menu. 

Three cocktails & food pairings that will take your holiday party to the next level

Ahh, look! The help you need. If you’re looking for a last-minute cocktail to add, or if you’re looking for cocktails that go well with a certain appetizer, entre, or dessert. Look no further. 

Johnnie Walker Espresso Martini + Truffle Medley

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Johnnie Walker Espresso Martini

  • 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky 
  • .75 oz almond milk 
  • 1 oz espresso
  • .5 oz vanilla mint syrup
  • Shake all ingredients
  • Fine strain into a coupe glass

Vanilla Mint Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped mint leaves
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and water and dissolve the sugar into the water. 
  2. Add the vanilla bean paste and chopped mint to the mixture.
  3. Stir, and let sit over heat for 3-4 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool completely before storing it in jars. 

Truffle Medley 

  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 12 oz finely chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped free-dried raspberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  1. Grease an 8-inch square pan; line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. 
  2. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. 
  3. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl; pour hot cream over top and let stand for 1-2 minutes, stirring until smooth. 
  4. Stir in butter. 
  5. Pour evenly into a prepared pan and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until firm. 
  6. Unmold slab of truffle from pan; peel off payment paper. 
  7. Cut into 36 squares; shape each portion into a ball. 
  8. Roll one-quarter of the truffles in chopped walnuts. 

Ketel One Classic Martini + Charcuterie Board

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Ketel One Classic Martini

  • 1.25 oz of Ketel One Vodka
  • .25 oz dry vermouth
  • One lemon twist
  1. Stir the vodka with ice in a mixing glass
  2. Strain into a martini glass
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist

Charcuterie board

  • Block of cheddar cheese
  • Round of brie cheese
  • Wedge of gouda cheese
  • Log of goat cheese
  • Prosciutto
  • Soppressata
  • Salami
  • Mixed olives
  • Red pepper jelly
  • Honey
  • Mixed crackers ( a lot )
  • Baguette
  • Grapes 
  • Figs
  • Walnuts
  1. On a large serving board, evenly space out all the cheese options.
  2. Next, lay out the meats. You can make a fun design or just have them stick where they land. 
  3. Spoon out your olives, red pepper jelly, and honey into different corners of the board or separate pinch bowls.
  4. Then cut the baguette into small slices, and arrange the slices and cracker round on the board. 
  5. Garnish and fill in any gaps with the grapes, figs, and walnuts. 

Baileys Cozy Classic Cocoa & Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

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Bailey’s Cozy Classic Cocoa

  • 1.5 oz of Baileys Original Irish Cream Liquor
  • 4 oz hot chocolate
  • Whipped cream or chocolate for garnish 
  1. Make one cup of hot chocolate.
  2. Add Baileys to a cup of hot chocolate.
  3. Top with whipped cream or chocolate for a garnish.

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup of a dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane’s

Hot Cocoa Icing 

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 5 packets of hot cocoa mix
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  1. Using a stand mixer, mix together the hot cocoa and butter for two minutes on medium speed. 
  2. Add the vanilla and salt. Mix for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add in the powdered sugar. Mix until fluffy. 
  4. Put the full mix into a piping bag and leave it at room temperature. 

Bailey’s nutmeg Spike

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 6 oz softened butter
  • 2 tbsp of Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  1. Using a stand mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy and light. 
  2. Add the nutmeg and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the powdered sugar.
  4. Put the mix in a piping bag and leave it at room temperature.

How to assemble

  1. Cut a small slit in the top center of the cupcake.
  2. Pipe 1/2 tbsp on the Baileys Nutmeg spike into the slit.
  3. Pipe the hot cocoa icing over the top of the cupcake.
  4. Garnish the cupcake with chopped dark chocolate and peppermint candy canes.

There you have it, folks; all the tools you need to throw the best holiday get-together you can imagine. Now it’s time to get to work. Invite your friends and family, plans your meals and cocktails out, and buy that extra toilet paper – this year is going to be a (tasty and slightly buzzed) blast.

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