(Family Features) Despite a holiday season that’s practically guaranteed to feel different than any other, one constant will remain for many: enjoying the tastes of favorite foods and beverages while cozied up at home. Enhance the holiday spirit and complement the meal at your table with adult beverages that call for seasonal flavors to add to the festive vibe.
Whether you prefer your drinks with a fruity twist and plenty of mix-ins or would rather opt for a simpler combination, the options are vast. Many traditional holiday drinks require a small handful of ingredients that blend, mix or shake together to create a wintry flavor that’s worth the wait.
Regardless of personal preferences, one ingredient you can rely on when creating an at-home concoction is a mixer like those from Zevia, which are naturally sweetened with stevia and include no artificial ingredients, colors or preservatives. These non-alcoholic, zero-sugar, zero-calorie mixers for cocktails (or mocktails) are available in three different flavors: Lemon Lime with Bitters, Tonic and Ginger Beer to provide a simple yet delicious complement to the ingredients of your choosing.
For a fruit-flavored solution, this Cranberry Smash Moscow Mule offers a sweet spin on the classic cocktail. Break out your favorite copper mug and let the cranberries and cinnamon sticks add festive flair to your fusion of vodka and ginger beer.
Alternately, if the sour notes of a margarita better fit your style, go for a holiday twist with this Winter White Margarita by blending in coconut milk and garnishing with cranberries and rosemary sprigs. By rimming your glasses with granulated stevia, you can add a sweet touch to each gulp.
To find more holiday cocktail ideas, visit Zevia.com/recipes/cocktails.
Cranberry Smash Moscow Mule
- 1 cup cranberries, plus additional for garnish (optional), divided
- 3/4-1 cup water, divided
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1-2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
- 4 ounces Zevia Ginger Beer Mixer
- rosemary, for garnish (optional)
- lime slices, for garnish (optional)
- cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)
- In saucepan, boil cranberries in 1/2 cup water until they burst.
- Use fork to smash cranberries. Boil 3-4 minutes. Keep mixture moist by adding water 1/4 cup at a time.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- In copper mug, combine vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and smashed cranberries over ice.
- Garnish with additional cranberries, rosemary, lime slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired.
Winter White Margarita
- 12 ounces coconut milk
- 12 ounces silver tequila
- 1 tablespoon orange extract
- 2 1/2 cups ice
- 1 1/2 cans Zevia Lemon Lime with Bitters
- granulated stevia, for garnish (optional)
- cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- In blender, blend coconut milk, tequila, orange extract, ice and bitters until smooth.
- Rim six glasses with granulated stevia.
- Divide mixture among glasses and garnish each with cranberries and rosemary, if desired.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) Moms and kids can make Father's Day exciting this year by making Dad some great tasting treats from the heart.
Not only will it keep spending in check, the results will taste delicious and kids will have fun being part of the action.
Start by serving Dad breakfast in bed. Try a Kiwifruit Potassium Power Smoothie, an all-natural smoothie that is a meal in itself. Kids can personalize the breakfast by peeling and cutting kiwifruit into stars, hearts and other fun shapes to add to the smoothie. (Kiwifruit shapes can also top pancakes or cereal.)
Later in the day, older kids can be Dad's helper at the grill. Try sweet and juicy fruit skewers along with Curried Turkey Sliders With Chutney - the tropical flavor of the kebabs and the tangy curry of the sliders make the perfect taste combination that will make Dad feel really special.
Fresh fruit also perks up cocktails and mocktails. A Green Kiwifruit Vesper cocktail or mocktail is just the thing to finish off an unforgettable Father's Day.
Quick tips on cooking with kiwifruit
- Green kiwifruit is a natural meat tenderizer. Simply peel and mash a kiwifruit and spread it on a cut of meat. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes and then lightly scrape off the kiwifruit before cooking.
- Look for plump and smooth-skinned kiwifruit with no wrinkles, bruises or punctures. Ripe green and gold kiwifruit will keep at room temperature for a few days. Keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to store longer.
- To speed up the ripening process, put kiwifruit in a brown bag with an apple or banana and leave on your kitchen counter.
More recipes and nutritional information are available at www.zesprikiwi.com.
Curried Turkey Sliders With Kiwifruit Chutney
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
- 2 Zespri green kiwifruit, peeled, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Combine kiwifruit, raisins, sugar and salt in small bowl and mix. Make chutney just prior to serving.
Curried Turkey Sliders
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 mini burger or small dinner rolls, split and toasted
- Preheat grill to medium. Combine turkey, onions, cilantro, curry powder, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Shape into 12 2-inch mini burger patties. Grill patties for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning once, until cooked through. Place on buns; top with chutney.
Green Kiwifruit Vesper
Prep time: 3 minutes
- 2 Zespri green kiwifruit, peeled, chopped
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 ounces Lillet Blanc
- 1 cup ice
- Muddle kiwifruit, vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc and ice in cocktail shaker. Shake all ingredients and strain into two sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with unpeeled kiwifruit slice.
For a mocktail, substitute 6 ounces white grape juice and a dash of bitters for alcohol.
Kiwifruit Potassium Power Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup vanilla soymilk, fortified (or regular milk)
- 1 cup orange juice, calcium fortified
- 2 Zespri gold or green kiwifruit, washed, unpeeled, chopped
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy protein powder
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Blend all ingredients in blender on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Serve immediately.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 Zespri green kiwifruit, peeled and cut into halves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 8 Zespri green kiwifruit, peeled and cut in half widthwise
- 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 strawberries, hulled
- 2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 wooden skewers
- Purée lemon juice, honey, ginger, cinnamon and 2 kiwifruit, in food processor until smooth to make kiwifruit glaze. Do not crush kiwifruit seeds; set aside.
- Place prepared fruit in large bowl. Pour puréed kiwifruit glaze over fruit and gently toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. Arrange mixed fruits on skewers. Brush grill with oil. Preheat grill.
- Grill fruit over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, brushing with kiwifruit glaze until light brown. Serve immediately.
Source: Zespri Kiwifruit
(Family Features) With everything that goes into creating a full holiday menu for guests of different ages and palates, taking on that task can be a challenge for any host. However, simple recipes that please the masses can help make life easier for home chefs.
From the main dish all the way to dessert, plus the drinks in-between, put these recipes to the test to help make your holiday gathering a breeze. Put your adult guests at ease with a cranberry-flavored cocktail, followed by a main course made sweet thanks to this turkey brine. As things come to a close, finish off any leftover appetites with a quick cookie recipe.
To help make your holiday hosting easier, find more tips and recipes at Culinary.net.
Dessert in a Snap
After spending hours preparing appetizers, drinks and the main course for holiday get-togethers, many hosts are ready to call it quits in the kitchen. However, that won’t stop guests from getting those late cravings for a tasty treat. If you’re looking for a reprieve from being the lead chef, go for a quick dessert like these Gingersnap cookies, which take just 10 minutes to bake and can leave hosts with more time to mingle. For more quick, nutritious recipes for every meal, visit AICR.org.
Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Yield: 24 cookies
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dairy-free butter shortening sticks
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg white
- Glaze (optional):
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and salt.
- In separate bowl, use electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat shortening sticks with 1/2 cup sugar 2 minutes. Add molasses and egg white; beat 3 minutes. Set mixer on low speed and mix in dry ingredients to combine. Don’t over-mix. Batter will form soft ball.
- Place remaining sugar in wide, shallow bowl. Pinch about 1 tablespoon batter and roll it between palms, forming 1-inch ball. Place ball in bowl with sugar and roll to coat then place on light-colored, ungreased baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 2 inches apart. Discard leftover sugar. Using bottom of a glass, press to flatten each ball into 1-by-3-inch disks.
- Bake cookies 10 minutes.
- To make glaze, if desired: While cookies bake, in small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice, mixing until sugar is completely dissolved.
- When cookies are done, immediately use spatula to transfer to wire cooling racks. Using tip of knife, spread 1/4 teaspoon glaze on top of each warm cookie. Cool completely.
Note: Can be stored in cookie tin up to 1 week.
Cranberry Cocktail Cravings
If holiday cocktails are on your menu, give guests a twist on a classic with this Cranberry Kiev Mule made with Nemiroff Original Vodka. This premium vodka is bold with a smooth, full-bodied finish that hints of citrus and fruit. Combined with cranberry juice and ginger beer, it’s an ideal holiday cocktail. Find more holiday cocktail options at nemiroff.vodka.
Cranberry Kiev Mule
- 1 part Nemiroff Original Vodka
- 1 part cranberry juice cocktail
- 2 parts ginger beer
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- orange wedges, for garnish (optional)
- fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Pour vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, ginger beer and lime juice into copper mug filled with ice. Gently stir to combine.
- Garnish with orange wedges, fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, if desired.
A Sweeter Centerpiece
A holiday meal is only complete with the centerpiece of the table: a tender turkey that side dishes and desserts can complement for guests of all palates. For a new twist on a holiday classic, add some sweetness to your main course with a Sweet Tea Turkey Brine, featuring Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea. It’s freshly brewed from real tea leaves using simple, quality ingredients free from preservatives, colors or added acids. The family- and certified women-owned business offers a multitude of beverages, all with the same dedication to quality and excellence. Find more information and recipes at drinkmilos.com.
Milo’s Sweet Tea Turkey Brine
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes per pound
- 1 gallon Milo’s Sweet Tea
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3 large sweet onions, quartered
- 4 lemons, sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 10 cups ice
- 1 turkey
- In large stock pot over medium heat, combine tea and kosher salt. Stir frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onion, lemon, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- When brine has cooled, pour into food-grade, 5-gallon plastic container. Stir in ice.
- Wash and dry turkey. Remove innards. Place turkey, cavity-side up, into brine, making sure cavity gets filled. Cover and place bucket in refrigerator overnight.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Remove turkey from brine, draining excess, and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
- Cook turkey 15-20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F on instant-read thermometer, reserving drippings for gravy.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Gingersnaps and Turkey Brine)
(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.
Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.
Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.
Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.
Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.
Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.
Swangy Cider Punch
Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)
- 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
- 16 ounces ginger beer
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
- In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
- Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold.
Photo courtesy of Alamy
Source: Tree Top
Ditch the celery stick and compliment your spicy Bloody Mary with cheese filled perogies and BACON!
For more beverage recipes, go to Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious drink recipe!
- 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 64 oz. tomato juice
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 6 cheese filled perogies (baked according to package)
- 6 slices bacon (cooked until crispy)
- Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher and stir well.
- Pour over ice.
- Garnish with cheese filled perogies and bacon using a wooden skewer.