Wednesday Blog: Fall Holiday Cocktails

And the holiday flood gates are open. Once Halloween is over it seems time moves at warp speed and we are in the throes of the holiday season. Throwing an elegant holiday get-together whether a sit-down dinner or a cocktail party doesn't have to be stressful. The last thing you want is to spend your own party fixing drinks. Guests love creating their own cocktails, especially if you have a variety of mixers and liquors to choose from.  Make sure you have all the tools you need for guests to help themselves. The most important thing is to have the bar set up in a spacious area away from the kitchen so it isn't too crowded. The self-serve cocktail bar also is a great gathering and socializing venue. It can be fun, relaxed, and personalized so that each guest can create what they want. When setting up my bar I use one type of glassware for wine, beer and water.  You could also include a pitcher of a pre-made holiday cocktail, if you're feeling festive.  Set up an easy-to-make cocktail bar with precut garnishes, infused vodkas, and cocktail recipes so your guests can help themselves.   Here are a few tips and recipes to make it a little easier during this busy time.

Pitcher for water and plenty of ice.  You can never have enough of either.

Chilled Drinks: I use this large pewter bowl to chill a variety of seasonal beer and white wine.

Wine & Beer Opener

Cocktail Napkins-paper or cloth.

Glasses: I like to keep them organized on a single tray to keep the bar neat and organized during the party.  Make sure you restock during the party.

Snacks: I have a variety of nuts both sweet and salty and plenty of olives served in festive bowls.

Flowers: I always like to have something "fresh" in every room.  It adds special feeling to your display.

Stocking the bar

Plan on two drinks per person for the first two hours, one drink per person for each extra hour.  Assume 40% drink beer, 30% use hard liquor, and 30% sip wine.

25 People Beer: 60 bottles

Wine and champagne: 9 bottles

Hard liquor: 3 bottles

Mixers: 12 liters

50 People Beer: 120 bottles

Wine and champagne: 18 bottles

Hard liquor: 6 bottles

Mixers: 24 liters

100 People Beer: 240 bottles

Wine and champagne: 36 bottles

Hard liquor: 11 bottles

Mixers: 48 liters

 

Here are some drink and snack recipes with our Bellisari"s spreads and sauces:

 

Autumn Sangria with Apples, Pomegranate and Fig

 

Ingredients

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 large apple, cut into thin wedges

¼ cup Bellisari's Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread

1 bottle chilled prosecco

1 cup brandy

2 cups pomegranate juice

Ice

 

Directions

In a large pitcher filled half way with ice, add the fruit and the top with the juice, brandy and the mix Bellisari's Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread with the chilled prosecco and then pour over the fruit. Let sit and serve cold.

 

Tuscan Bloody Mary

 

Ingredients

1 oz. your favorite Vodka

3 oz. Bloody Mary Base

¼ cup Bellisari's Calabrian and Sweet Tomato Fennel

8 oz. tomato juice

5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 pinches salt

1 tbsp. horseradish

3 pinches black pepper

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

 

Directions

Add ice and roll ingredients from shaker into a rocks glass. Garnish with a charred bell pepper flavored salt for the rim.

 

Cocktail Snacks

 

 

Ingredients

12 large pitted green olives

1 Jar of Bellisari's Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread

 

Directions

Transfer Bellisari's Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe 1/2 teaspoon blue cheese into each olive. May be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 day.

 

Saigon Spiced Pecans

Ingredients

1 pound pecan pieces

1 Jar Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce

4 Tablespoons of Butter

 

Melt butter and toss pecans in a bowl with butter.  Lay on parchment lined sheet tray and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let cool.  Pour the entire jar of Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce over the cooked pecans in a bowl and use a rubber spatula to toss the pecans so they are coated entirely.  Lay on the parchment paper sheet tray, separate with a fork and cook for 12-15 minutes.   Let cool and serve. Pecans keep, layered between parchment or wax paper in an airtight container, at room temperature 3 days