holiday cocktail ideas
Photography by Natasha V. (Styled by Heather Shaw for; Glasses courtesy of BYOB Cocktail Emporium, Toronto

Holiday happy hour: 5 stylish cocktails to try this season

By Martina Stritesky

Merry Mint Martini
Ring in 2014 by serving the freshest-tasting ‘tini in town.

Muddle 2, such as Grey Goose, with eight mint leaves in a shaker. Add 1 tsp. superfine sugar and 1 oz. lemon juice and continue to muddle. Fill with crushed ice and shake. Strain and pour into glass.

Rose-Coloured Bubbles
Guests won’t stop Instagramming this gorgeous glass of bubbles mixed with Canadian-made icewine.

Pour 1 oz. Canadian icewine, such as Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, into a champagne flute. (Icewine is best served chilled at 12 degrees C.) Top with 3 oz. of your favourite dry champagne, such as Perrier-Jouët. Pour slowly. Garnish with a mini spray rose in white or red that has been pierced with a toothpick and rests gently on top and a red-sugar rim.

Campari-Basil Aperitif
This herb-infused Campari aperitif is pitcher perfect and brings sweet and tart together.

In a cocktail shaker, combine three basil leaves and three lemon wheels. Add 3 oz. sparkling wine, 3/4 oz. Campari and 1/2 oz. simple syrup. Muddle 15 times, or until a nice basil scent is released from the leaves. Carefully add ice and shake well. Strain into rock glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.

Apple-Ginger Toddy
On cold nights, greet your guests with something to help take the chill away. This modern take on the toddy brings bourbon into a whole new dimension.

Heat 6 oz. ginger-infused cider. Add 2 oz. bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark. Add 1 tsp. honey. Pour into a clear coffee mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Jingle Bell Punch
Cognac and champagne are the most popular mix to happen to cocktail hour since gin and tonic. This recipe adds a spicy kick.

Rinse a champagne coupe with a light splash of Pernod and pour off the excess. In a cocktail shaker, muddle four mint sprigs with 1/2 oz. orange juice, three dashes of celery bitters, 2 oz. cognac, 1 tsp. shredded ginger and 1 oz. syrup until the flavours are blended. Strain well. Add ice, pour into coupe glasses and top with 2 oz. ginger beer. Garnish each glass with a fresh cherry and a twist of orange peel.

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