Cocktails/Mocktails on a Budget
Are you hosting a party during the holiday season? If so, there's no need for expensive drinks. You can make impressive yet cost-effective cocktails for your guests. Here are ideas for cheap party drinks that have a festive twist.
Vodka Three Ways
Vodka is a universal spirit and one that you can use in many drinks. Try these new flavors this winter:
- Cranberry martini: Mix vodka with cranberry juice. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass and dip it in sugar. Mix the cranberry juice with orange juice or pineapple juice for something different. Add lime twists for garnish.
- Holiday vodka tonic: Mix vodka and tonic water together. Dress it up with a wedge of lime and a few cranberries tossed in for color. Muddle the cranberries for some tart flavor in the drink.
- Lemon drops: This easy cocktail is impressive and simple. Mix lemon juice and sugar syrup with vodka. Serve over crushed ice with a few cranberries or blueberries thrown in. Rosemary sprigs also make a festive holiday-worthy garnish.
Wine Sangria That Only Looks Expensive
When you're making holiday sangria, the appearance is very festive. You don't need costly wine to make good sangria, either. Buy a bottle of standard red wine and pour it over sliced apples, lemons, and oranges. Mix in sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. Warm it up if you like or serve chilled.
Mocktails for All
If nonalcoholic drinks are on the menu, mix up a few low-cost versions:
Party punch: Scoop some sherbet into a punch bowl. Use raspberry and lime for colors that go with the holiday theme. Pour two liters of ginger ale on top. Scoop out into glasses and serve.
- Spiced-up eggnog: Dress up store-bought eggnog with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a cinnamon stick to each mug for a seasonal garnish.
- Mulled cider: Pour a gallon of apple cider into a slow cooker and leave it on the warm setting. Mix in spices to taste. Try cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Add a bit of brown sugar.
- Holiday peppermint cocoa: Take any hot cocoa and mix it up as directed on the package. Finish with a touch of whipped cream for richness, and add a candy cane as garnish.
When you're making cocktails on a budget this holiday, think about easy drinks, and then add something to make each one different. Add a sugar rim — using colored sugar if you're feeling ambitious — toss in holiday fruit, or add a cinnamon stick or peppermint candy cane as a stirrer.