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Easy Holiday Cheer

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(Family Features) - 'Tis the season for holiday entertaining and all the planning it requires. There's the food, the decorations, the invitations, and-maybe most daunting-the drinks.

You want a cocktail that's as fun and fabulous as it is easy to serve. Something exceptional that won't chain you behind the bar. Something fresh and even a little surprising for holiday entertaining, like a margarita.

The best margaritas are made with the best ingredients: top- shelf tequila and orange liqueur, blended with lime juice and served in a salt-rimmed glass with a lime wedge. Professional bartenders make them almost effortlessly.

Jose Cuervo Golden Margaritas are a great option. This ready- to-drink top-shelf margarita tastes like it was mixed to order at your favorite restaurant or bar. It's made with Cuervo Especial, a blend of reposado (rested) blue agave tequilas that balances hints of sweetness with vanilla and oak, and Grand Marnier, a French liqueur that marries fine Cognac with the essence of wild oranges from the West Indies. Lime brings these flavors together to create a classic Cuervo margarita. Of course, if you are serving margaritas at your holiday party, make sure to do so responsibly.

Ready-made also goes for the food. Simply pick up a selection of hors d'oeuvres from a deli, your favorite restaurant or even a warehouse club. Arrange the food on serving dishes, and add your own culinary touch by mixing chopped cilantro or green onions into salsas or dips, grating Parmesan cheese over warmed foods like mini-quiches and sprinkling fresh herbs or edible flowers over other nibbles.

Bypass the holiday crowds by going online for the rest of your party preparations. You can find planning tips, order everything from decorations to dessert and download a mix of new music to set the mood. Replace traditional invitations with e-vites; they're cheaper and faster to send and make it easier for guests to RSVP. Afterwards, use a photo Web site to share pictures and remind everyone what a great time they-and you, their wonderfully relaxed host or hostess-had.

SOURCE: Jose Cuervo

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