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Tips for Focusing on Fabulous Holiday Drinks | Events

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Tips for Focusing on Fabulous Holiday Drinks
Tips for Focusing on Fabulous Holiday Drinks

Tips for Focusing on Fabulous Holiday Drinks

With the holiday season upon us, many people will be focusing on the food that takes center stage at family meals, parties, and office gatherings. Often, however, it is the holiday drinks that can steal the show or help to put the finishing touches on the festivities. Choosing the right holiday drinks to provide to your guests can be easy, with a little advance planning.


“People are often so busy focusing on the food that they completely forget about the drinks,” explains Brett Chappell, adjunct professor at Stratford University (www.Stratford.edu). “Great holiday drinks can make a wonderful addition to meals or events. This is the time of year to focus on those drinks and incorporate them into the menu.”


When it comes to choosing the types of drinks to serve at a holiday function, it is important to consider the age range of guests so that there is something special for everyone who will attend. Also take into account alcohol safety if people will be driving home afterwards. Some guests may be watching their calorie intake, so consider offering some healthier or “skinny” drink options. 


Ideal holiday drinks include homemade versions of eggnog, punch, cider, and peppermint hot chocolate. These drinks can easily be made following online recipes, and they can be made ‘virgin’ for the kids or spiked with alcohol for those adults who want an extra kick. Festive cocktail recipes abound: candy-cane martinis, Bailey’s peppermint cream, hot buttered rum, and more. 


When it comes to pairing wine with the holiday meal, think medium to heavy bodied fruity wines. Whites like Riesling, Pinot blanc, and Chenin blanc work whether you serve turkey or ham.  For guests who want to bring a bottle of red wine to a dinner party, think fruity and versatility; Pinot noir, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo are great choices.


“Hosts can add some fun by including holiday drinks or suggesting their guests that they bring along their favorite bottle of wine,” adds Chappell. “Either way, having great holiday drinks makes the night just that much better.”


Give these holiday cocktail recipes a try:

Twisted Hot Toddy


1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey

1/4 oz orange juice

3/4 oz sugar syrup

4 oz hot water

1 lemon wheel

1 clove

1 candy cane


Mix bourbon, orange juice, hot water in a warmed mug.

Stud lemon wheel with clove and float in drink.

Garnish with candy cane.


Holly Berry


1/2 oz almond liqueur

3 oz cranberry juice

Prosecco, or other sparkling wine

1 sprig mint 


Chill all ingredients.

Mix almond liqueur and cranberry juice in a wine glass.

Top with prosecco (be prepared to wait for mousse to subside).

Garnish with mint sprig.


Stratford University offers 35 degree and non-degree programs, including non-degree culinary workshops. They also offer a variety of degrees in culinary arts and hospitality management. Degrees offered include advanced culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, hotel and restaurant management, and hospitality management. Many programs are offered completely online.


About Stratford University:

Stratford University operates campuses in Tysons Corner, Richmond, and Woodbridge. It offers 35 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of Culinary Arts and Hospitality, Health Sciences, Business Administration, and Information Technology. The degree programs are offered both on campus, as well as online. For more information on  Stratford University, please visit www.stratford.edu.


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