Between all of the holidays and pseudo-holidays (hi, Friendsgiving), end-of-year gatherings tend to involve plenty of food, festive games, enthusiastic gift-giving, and tasty drinks. If you find yourself hosting a holiday party, coming up with a solid bar-cart game plan will save you time, money, and stress, allowing you to fully enjoy the event. One easy way to minimize your drink-related woes is to swap your loaded table of liquor and mixers for a large-format cocktail capable of serving the whole party.
INSIDER consulted bartenders, beverage directors, and event experts from around the country to gather their favorite holiday-appropriate big-batch cocktails, and we’re bringing you 13 recipes perfect for your November and December party life.
Apple Cider Mimosas are perfect for a holiday brunch.
Got a holiday brunch in the works? Give your traditional mimosas a seasonal spin by swapping out the OJ for some apple cider, as chef, blogger, and Instagrammer Jason Goldstein of Chop Happy suggests in this delicious day-drinking specialty.
- 2 Bottles of Prosecco (or Champagne), chilled
- 2 Bottles of apple cider, chilled
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp pumpkin spice seasoning
- 12 slices of apple to garnish
- Mix the sugar and the pumpkin spice seasoning.
- Dip the top of each champagne flute in water and then into the sugar/pumpkin spice mixture to create a flavorful rim for each glass.
- Combine the Prosecco and apple cider in a punch bowl and mix well.
- Garnish each glass with an apple slice.
The Waterbury Royale transitions watermelon from summer vibes to holiday vibes.
Yeah, it’s the holidays, but we don’t need to do away with „summertime“ cocktail flavors. Watermelon can be plenty festive, as proven by the Waterbury Royale, a refreshing vodka cocktail from Brooklyn bar/restaurant/party venue/coworking space Freehold. It’s totally fine to serve this one in a regular punch bowl…but if you can get your hands on a swan-shaped one, that definitely won’t hurt.
- 16 oz vodka (Freehold recommends Absolut Elyx)
- 10 1/2 oz watermelon juice
- 8 oz lime juice
- 8 oz simple syrup
- 8-10 oz Champagne or sparkling wine
- Fresh lime wedges and watermelon Sour Patch Kids
- Combine vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a punch bowl with ice and stir.
- Ladle into glasses and top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with fresh lime wedges and 4-5 watermelon Sour Patch Kids per glass (optional).
Bourbon Chai Punch is the perfect cozy, cold-weather drink.
In the context of cool-weather cocktails, bourbon stands above other liquors as an absolute champion. It’s smoky, woodsy, smooth, buttery- the ideal libation for eggnogs, hot toddies, and holiday punches. During this time of year, lead bartender John Henderson of The Happiest Hour in NYC likes to whip up a shareable bourbon-based cocktail with gentle spice and classic autumn flavors.
- 2 cups strong chai tea, brewed
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 cups bourbon (Henderson prefers Maker’s Mark)
- 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- 2 cups hard dry cider
- 4 dashes orange bitters (Henderson prefers Fee Brothers West Indies)
- 4 cups sparkling water
- Apple slices, for garnish
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- Combine chai tea, apple, and hard ciders, bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and bitters in a punch bowl and stir.
- Immediately before serving, top with sparkling water and add a few generous scoops of ice.
- Garnish glasses with apple slices, lemon slices, and cinnamon sticks.
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Source: Business insider