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Make Merry Holiday Cocktails

Alexandra Sockett

During the holiday season, many people focus on planning what recipes to serve, but don’t forget about the most important course – your holiday cocktails! Whether served hot with wintry spices, sweetened with dessert flavours or livened with berries, a signature cocktail is a must at any holiday get-together.

For those of you who wish to get ahead on your party planning, check out the cocktail options below to make and share.


Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail

2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/2 cup organic pear nectar
32 ounces Moscato d'Asti wine
8 small sprigs fresh rosemary


1. Put cranberries in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons warm water. Soak until cool, about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and refrigerate until serving.
2. Divide pear nectar evenly among eight tall champagne glasses. Add cranberries, and then gently pour the Moscato d'Asti into the glasses. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

2 ounces vanilla vodka
2 ounces white creme de cacao
1/4 cup cream
1.5 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (pie mix)
1 dash of ground nutmeg (for garnish)
Powdered graham cracker (for the rim)


1. Rim two martini glasses with crushed graham cracker.
2. Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, creme de cacao, cream and pumpkin puree.
3. Shake well until it’s chilled.
4. Strain into the martini glasses.
5. Sprinkle the ground nutmeg on top for garnish.

Apple-Pie Spiced Cider

1 1/4 quarts apple cider
3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar
7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Ground cloves
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup Calvados, or other brandy (optional)


1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt.
2. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
3. Remove from heat;
4. Pour in brandy, if desired.
5. Strain into a pitcher; discard solids.
6. Serve in mugs