Pure Joy Holiday Cosmos
Makes: One 60 oz. pitcher/20 cocktails (recipe multiplies easily)
Here’s a super easy and impressive cocktail you can make in batches: perfect for setting up a self-serve martini station. Make up one pitcher at a time; shake as needed with ice, and strain into the honey drizzled martini glasses.
One 60 oz. Pitcher:
28 oz. vodka
9.5 oz. Limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
5 oz. lime juice
10.5 oz. white cranberry juice
7 oz. simple syrup (equal amounts by volume of water and sugar, boiled a few minutes until clear)
For the glass drizzle:
1 cup honey, tinted red
Make and cool simple syrup. Measure all ingredients into the pitcher and stir. Put the honey in a squirt bottle or tint honey that’s already in a squirt bottle, and drizzle it around the inside of the martini glasses. Set those out along with a pitcher of martinis, a shaker, and a bucket of ice with a scoop.
Pure Joy Rosemary Martini
One 60 oz. pitcher, 20 cocktails (recipe multiplies easily)
The herbal infusion — and you could use any herb — is a delicious, dry alternative to the sweeter, fruity martini options. Herb-infused vodka or gin can be purchased or made by adding two good, clean sprigs of fresh rosemary to a 750ml bottle of your favorite spirit for about 48 hours.
One 60 oz. Pitcher:
12 oz. dry vermouth
48 oz. rosemary infused vodka or gin
clean sprigs of rosemary
Make up one pitcher of vermouth and infused vodka or gin at a time, and set out shakers. Shake as needed with ice, and strain into a glass. Garnish with a rosemary-speared olive.
Chris Nordella’s Spiced Apple Martini
Chris Nordella, assistant food and beverage manager at the Four Seasons Biltmore, shares this holiday cocktail recipe for a spiced apple martini.
1.5 oz. of your favorite vodka
0.25 oz. fresh lime juice
0.25 oz. simple syrup
1.5 oz. apple cider
Spiced sugar for rim:
½ cup sugar
½ Tbsp. cinnamon
½ Tbsp. nutmeg
Place all ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake hard for five seconds. Dip a martini glass into the caramel to form a thin rim and then into the spiced sugar. Strain the martini into the glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
“Everything about this drink screams holidays,” Nordella says. “It’s a drink full of holiday spices. It’s not too sweet or too tart; it’s very well balanced. It’s nice because it’s fairly simple to make and everything can be prepped before your guests arrive. Or, you can make it interactive for your guests and create a little recipe card and have them make it themselves. Put all the ingredients in fun bottles and put the bottles into a bucket of ice, and let them go to town.
“When it comes to entertaining, I feel simpler is always better. You want to be able to enjoy your company and not feel like you have a million things to do. Premixed cocktails, self-service stations, and punches work great for entertaining. You can prep them early, and guests can serve themselves … Something I like to do is make enough for everyone and have them ready when your guests arrive (like a welcome drink), then move on to wine or beer. Just remember to have fun and keep things as tasty but as simple as possible.”