After a brief stint behind the bar at the infamous Georgetown prepster dive Rugby Cafe, and now as the proud owner of a stocked bar cart, I consider myself a bit of an amateur bartender. I have created my own infusions, bitters, and flavored ice cubes to experiment with creative libations at home. I am certainly no expert, but some simple accoutrements and dashes of liquor can elevate your cocktails when entertaining at home.
One of the easiest, tastiest, and most timeless winter beverages is some variation of a spiked cider. Whether served hot or cold, cider complements dark liquor such as rum or bourbon and is the perfect vessel for mulling spices.
A warm spiked cider is pretty much the most straightforward winter cocktail that you can create. I grabbed some locally pressed apple cider from Whole Foods (and fine, a pumpkin tart while I was there) and you can find cinnamon sticks at most grocery stores. The cinnamon sticks are a simple garnish to dress up your cocktail and make it look like you put a little more effort into your home entertaining. But anyways, you should be spending your time enjoying the cocktails with your loved ones rather than slaving over the bar.
Southern Comfort sent us a bottle of their new Gingerbread Spice variety, which combines nodes of warm gingerbread and creamy vanilla with the familiar flavors of Southern Comfort. I normally shy away from flavored liquor with fear that it will be too sweet, but this zesty spirit blended nicely with the cider. As a note, the spirit is best served heated.
“Basic” Spiked Cider
- Apple cider
- Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice
- Cinnamon sticks
- Heat up 8 oz. (or about 3/4 of a mug or glass) of apple cider on your stovetop or microwave.
- Add 2 oz. (or about 1 1/2 shots) of Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice to cider and stir.
- Garnish with cinnamon sticks and enjoy!
Not to get all Sex & the City, but you really should always have a bottle of bubbles in the fridge for an impromptu celebration, or at least a fun festive cocktail. Champagne goes with almost anything and is a great base for many drinks. For a cold cider cocktail, add sparkling wine and a dash of St. Germain plus berries for garnish. I happened to have pomegranate seeds at home, but a handful of cranberries or a cranberry skewer would also be a cute holiday touch.
PS – How gorgeous are these Waterford Crystal toasting flutes?!
Pomegranate Champagne Cider
- Apple cider
- Champagne, Prosecco, or your favorite sparking wine
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- Pomegranate seeds to garnish
- Pour 2 oz. (or about two shots) of apple cider into a glass. You can scale this and add more cider depending on how boozy you want to cocktail to be.
- Top with 3-4 oz. of chilled champagne or bubbles.
- Add 1 oz. (or about one shot) of St. Germain. Decrease this amount to lessen the sweetness of the cocktail.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds or berries of your choice.
BitchBiz: While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we were gifted ingredients for these recipes.