Festive Holiday Cocktail: Cranberry Ginger Royale

Cranberry Ginger Royale

 

Here is an easy drink for the holidays and one of my families favorites. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time in between.

Cranberry Ginger Royale ( for each glass)

2 T cranberry juice

1t ginger liquor ( I used Stirrings)

Champagne ( or any sparkling white wine)

Fresh cranberries or a sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish if desired .

Add cranberry juice and ginger liquor to a  champagne flute and top off with Champagne. Garnish as desired.

Cranberry Ginger Royale

 

 

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Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

This is a light and refreshing sangria that is perfect for summer and the festive colors make it the go to drink for the 4th of July. Want to make a pitcher for the kids, substitute the wine with white grape juice.

1  1.5 liter bottle of Pinot Grigio

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 c basil

1 c white grape juice

1 c strawberries washed and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1/2 liter club soda

Place Strawberries and blueberries in a large pitcher, cover with 1 cup of wine and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour- overnight.

Basil Berry Sangria

In a small sauce pan add sugar, water and 4 large basil leaves. bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and then turn off heat and let cool. This is a basil simple syrup. It is great for many mixed drinks. I like it with Gin and tonics.

Basil Simple Syrup

Add 1/2 basil simple syrup (straining the leaves out) the rest of the wine, grape juice, and club soda to the pitcher with the fruit.  Taste and add more simple syrup if needed ( This will depend on your tastes and the sweetness of your wine) Add some more fresh basil leaves. Serve over ice. Garnish with more basil and fruit if desired.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria, perfect drink for the 4th of July

Sunny Sangria

Sunny Sangria

Here is a yummy sangria guaranteed to bring sunshine on a cloudy day or be the belle of the ball at your next pool party.

Sunny Sangria

1 bottle pinot noir or any light red wine

1 shot ginger liquor

1 shot spiced rum

1 cup orange juice

1 T chopped fresh mint

1 t orange zest

1 orange sliced

1 lemon sliced

ginger ale

ice

Mix wine, ginger liquor, spiced rum, mint, zest and orange and lemon slices in a large pitcher. Fill glasses with ice and add wine mixture until 3/4 full, add ginger ale to fill glass, garnish with mint and fruit if desired.

Adding the ginger ale and ice to the glasses instead of the pitcher keeps the sangria from going flat and getting too watery.

Sunny Sangria

Leftover Wine Beef Stew

Left Over Wine Beef Stew

 

Left over wine, whats that? I know, I think 750ml is a serving size too, but hey sometimes it happens. Maybe you invited a friend over and you finished your bottle but she had to drive or maybe you thought it was a good idea to open a second bottle and found out you were wrong. Anyway if you somehow find yourself with some extra red wine this is a delicious recipe to make and then open a new bottle of wine to drink with it. It is light, delicate and delicious. I served it with a side of creamed kale.

Leftover Wine Beef Stew

1 1/2 lbs stew meat ( cut into chunks)

6  larger potatoes peeled and cut into 1/8s

2 carrots chopped

1 T corn starch

1/2 t salt

1/8 t pepper

2T oil

1/2 c chopped shallot

1 T chopped parsley

4 sprigs of thyme

1 c red wine ( I used a Cabernet)

1 c beef broth

1 t Dijon mustard

1 T red wine vinegar

Add corn starch salt and pepper into a large ziplock bag. Add meat and shake to coat. Heat oil in a large skillet, add coated meat and shallot and stir until meat is browned on all sides. Add to slow cooker. Add Potatoes, carrots, parsley. thyme, wine, broth, mustard and vinegar to slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3) or until potatoes are cooked through.

Left Over Wine Beef Stew

Left Over Wine Beef Stew

Left Over Wine Beef Stew

 

Chicken and Cheese Fondue Sandwiches

Chicken and Cheese Fondue Sandwiches

 

I love pretzels and cheese fondue, ok I love cheese fondue with everything. I would eat cheese fondue for dinner every night but let’s admit it that is really an appetizer. So how to make it into a real dinner….. I will put it on a sandwich, and add some healthier things and hey, its dinner. So I put fondue, chicken, apples, and spinach on a pretzel roll and voila dinner is served. I made my own pretzel rolls because I like to set myself up to fail. I am not a baker, in fact I hate it and I am not very good at it either. I had to make a second batch because the first batch looked like a dog had chewed on all my rolls. The second batch was slightly better and tasted great but from now on these will be an item I get from my bakery.

Chicken and Cheese Fondue Sandwiches

4 large or 8 small pretzel rolls

4  thinly sliced chicken cutlets

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t nutmeg

1T oil

1 apple sliced thin

1 c  fresh baby spinach

2 oz goat cheese

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 c flour

1 t chopped garlic

1 c white wine, beer or water

Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with the thyme and nutmeg. Heat oil in a skillet and cook chicken for about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink. Cover with foil and set aside. Add garlic and wine/beer/water to a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Toss flour with shredded cheese to coat, add to sauce pan with goat cheese and whisk over med.heat until melted and well combined, turn heat to low.

Goat Cheese and Cheddar Fondue

Slice rolls and add chicken spinach and sliced apples, spoon fondue on top and serve. If fondue gets too thick, turn heat up and stir until melted.

I think they were great without the chicken too, so they would be a good vegetarian option.

Chicken and Cheese Fondue Sandwiches

Spiced Pear Sangria

 

I usually don’t try out recipes before an event, yes I know I live on the edge, but when it is a delicious cocktail, well reserch is important. I was trying to think of a festive drink for Thanksgiving, I’ve done cranberries and pumpkin in the past so I was thinking of something new and different. Apples? hmm too boring how about pears? So I came up with a spiced pear sangria. It’s very yummy and I am glad I practiced first.

Spiced Pear Sangria

2 pears sliced

1/2 apple sliced

3/4 c pear nectar (found by the fruit juices in the supermarket)

1/4 c ginger liquor

1/8 t nutmeg

1/4 t cinnamon

2 c ice

3 c champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine.

Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir.

 

Garnish with cinnamon sticks and or sliced pears.

A Perfect Pair; Cheese and Sangria Wine Jelly

What goes better with cheese than wine?  I love little cheese plates for snacks and parties. I always like to serve them with fruit spreads to add a little sweetness and contrast. Apricot jam, Pear preserves etc.. but then I heard of wine jelly and thought, yum! I decided to incorporate some fruit and other flavors into mine, much like you would for a sangria. I am not a jelly/jam maker. I don’t have jars and tongs and all that jazz so I made a simple batch and just refrigerated it. Do plan ahead because even though this is easy to make it can take 1-3 days to get to a jelly like consistency.It will loosen at room temp, but re-jells when refrigerated. Serve as a side on a cheese plate, over cream cheese with crackers, or on top of grilled chicken or pork.

Sangria Wine Jelly

2 1/2 c of wine ( I used a Cabernet)

Juice from 1 Orange

Juice from 1 Lime

Juice from 1 Lemon

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of zest from above citrus fruits

1 pkg dry pectin

2 1/2 c sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and add to an air tight container.  Refrigerate until set 1-3 days.

Served over Cream Cheese

Raspberry Tequila Sangria

A delicious and refreshing drink for summer parties

Raspberry Tequila Sangria

3 c frozen raspberries

2 oranges

2 limes

1 liter lemon lime soda

1 bottle rose champagne or sparkling wine

Cut 1 orange and 1 lime into thin slices, add to a large pitcher. Add  raspberries, 1 cup tequila, juice from 1 orange, juice from 1 lime, champagne and soda, stir with a wooden spoon serve over ice.