Fabulous Holiday Drinks and Appetizers

The holidays are fast approaching, which means lots of shopping, celebrating, and entertaining. There are tons of recipes out there for fabulous holiday drinks and appetizers, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few that we think will really impress your guests!

It wouldn’t be December without some smooth, creamy eggnog. Several varieties are available in the stores, but if you’re feeling festive, why not try making some good old fashioned classic eggnog in your own kitchen?

Classic Christmas Eggnog

Ingredients:
6 eggs (separate yolks & whites)
3/4 cups sugar
1 pint heavy cream
4 pints milk
1/2 pint Bourbon
1 tbsp vanilla
Pinch of nutmeg

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until thick. In another bowl, beat egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until thick. In third bowl, beat heavy cream. When thick, add the cream to the yolks and beat together. Fold in egg whites, and then add milk, bourbon, vanilla & nutmeg. Chill before serving.

Cinnamon Schnapps Caramel Apple

If eggnog’s not your thing, you can never go wrong with hot cider. It’s great on its own, but if you want to step it up, why not try a delicious Cinnamon Caramel Apple? Just mix your favorite hot apple cider with 1 shot cinnamon schnapps, 1 shot of caramel liquor and 1 squirt of caramel sauce. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce for a sweet, delicious holiday treat.

Mints, spices and citrus fruit round out a large list of wonderful holiday scents and flavors. Holiday parties can be tons of fun, and if you’re looking for something a little bit classy and fancy, you can’t go wrong with Peppermint Martinis.

Peppermint Martini

Ingredients:
5 oz Vodka
2 oz Crème de Menthe
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
Mini candy canes

Combine all liquid ingredients with ice in shaker and mix until chilled. Strain, pour into martini classes, and garnish with mini candy cane.

Of course along with delicious beverages, it’s not a party without some classic appetizers. We’ve found a couple of recipes for easy and simple holiday appetizers that are sure to please your guests. What could be more traditional than that tempting, soft ball of cheese that seems to show up at every holiday party? This year, instead of buying, why not try your hand at making one at home?

Holiday Pecan Cheese Ball

Ingredients:
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine cheese, 1/2 cup pecans, mayonnaise, chopped onion, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until well blended. Shape mixture into a ball and roll in 1/2 cup chopped pecans to coat. Chill for 2 hours and serve with crackers.

Another classic holiday favorite you can easily make at home is delicious spiced nuts. Try out this recipe from Emeril that’s sure to please holiday guests young and old.

Emeril’s Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups unsalted mixed nuts such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts & almonds
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon & salt and set aside. Next, heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast (about 4 minutes). Add butter and cook, stirring, until the nuts begin to darken (about 1 minute). Add spice mixture, sugar and 1 tbsp water and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed (about 5 minutes).

Remove nuts from heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil, separating with a fork. Let stand until cooled and hardened, about 10 minutes.

The most important thing about holiday entertaining is always to have fun! With these easy recipes, you can quickly and easily impress guests and please your taste buds all at once. Looking for some chic glasses to serve these winter treats in? Head over to our cocktail glassware section to find the perfect glasses for the job.

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