With New Year’s approaching, I’m already getting the annual round of requests over social media asking me to suggest drinks to prepare for friends and family (and foes?) over the holidays.
Here are some suggestions from years past, which still works this year … and will work next year, and the year after …
First, a big thingy of champagne cup (pictured) never fails. People love it; I think what grabs them is the beguiling hint of Grand Marnier and maraschino. Here’s the old Savoy Hotel recipe, lightly tweaked and modernized.
Champagne cup is terrific for cheapskates because you end up producing a lot of liquid for not a lot of money. As a general rule, cups (which are light punches) and cocktails are clever ways to stretch sparkling wine. Fix the hordes in your house a round of champagne cocktails, perhaps? Or how about one of these beauties? I’ve tested and proven all of these on actual human guests and they have no idea I’m just being economical.
About a year ago, meanwhile, I did a segment for The Social about holiday punches; while fun overall, the setup was a massive pain in the ass — you should have seen my kitchen at the end of prepping what seemed like 20 litres of punch to lug to the studio. Please do have a look, and make use of the recipes, so that the hassle was not in vain. Making vintage punch is simpler than you think, I promise. (Just don’t repeat my mistake and make four different ones in one day.)
Finally, the best stupidly easy winter cocktail is the powerful and minty-fresh action of a stinger. Official.
Update: Here’s my latest National Post column, which has more tips for entertaining on the cheap, including making a round of sparkling, tasty seelbach cocktails and jugloads of cheap-but-good Italian wine.
See you in 2016. Now leave me alone!