Sharing a cocktail with friends is one of my favorite hobbies. Maybe you could argue it shouldn't be categorized as a hobby, but c'mon, it is one of the better ways to spend your free time. To set the tone of an unforgettable night, the drinks must of course taste good, but a third of the battle of great cocktail is won by making it look irresistible. Moscow Mules are delicious, but isn't part of the fun the copper mug? Keeping that in mind, I wanted to make a cocktail for this season that was both visually festive and all together delectable.
Directions for the Hollydaze
Cranberry Ginger Ale (I used Canadian Dry's verison) Cherry Vodka Mint Simple Syrup **Riesling or Moscato optional if you want a sweeter cocktail
Most crucial to this drink is the beautiful and edible ice you will create. To begin making the holly ice cubes, take the maraschino cherries with the stem and a couple of pieces of mint. Take a sharp knife and make a small cut in the cherry, then you push the stems of the mint into the opening. If the mint stem extends past the length of the cherry, cut the remaining stem. You can also tie a knot with longer cherry stems around the mint. I found the former easier. You will create a lot of these little holly, so figure out the way that works best/quickest for you.
After you have created your holly, you will now need to get out an ice-cube tray or a muffin tin. If you want to use smaller ice in your cocktails use the ice-cube tray, if you'd like to have one solid piece, use the muffin tray. I love having one solid piece of ice in the cocktails I serve because there's a certain old world charm I associate with it (back to a time when ice was chiseled), but as you'll see, both still look great. Once you have your tins out, you will place the holly into the tins and then pour water into the trays.
Once you have poured the water in, freeze until the blocks are completely solid (4+ hours depending on the temperature of your freezer). When you are ready to serve the cocktails, you will get out the ice from the small tray like normal. If you have used the muffin tray, just pour a bit of warm water on the ice, and it'll be ready to remove.
Ice from the muffin tray
Ice from the regular ice tray
In addition to preparing the ice, you will need for make mint simple syrup for the Hollydaze cocktail. Simple syrup is truly one of the simplest items to make. You will take 1 1/2 cup of chopped mint, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water and dump it into a pot. Bring to boil. As you are waiting for the water to begin to boil, you will continually stir the mix until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, stop stirring. Leave the mixture alone while it boils for two to three minutes. After that time, pour the mixture through a sieve (or the bottom of your colander) with a bowl at the bottom. What's left in the bowl is your simple syrup.
Now you're ready for the cocktail.
Over the holiday ice, Mix 1 cup of Cranberry Ginger Ale, 1 shot of cherry vodka, and one tablespoon of the mint simple syrup.
Stir and serve.
Happy Eats (and Drinks!) My Sweets,
MelindaPrintable Directions Ingredients Ice Maraschino Cherries with their stems Mint Simple Syrup 1 1/2 cup of chopped mint 1 cup of sugar 1 cup of water **Simple syrup can keep in the fridge for up to a week if sealed Cocktail 1 cup of cranberry ginger ale 1 shot of cherry vodka 1 tablespoon of simple syrup Directions Ice Cut the cherry and insert the mint into the cherry. Center to look like holly. Freeze. Simple Syrup Chop mint. Dump mint, sugar, and water into a pan. Stir into the sugar dissolves. Once the water boils, boil for 2-3 minutes. Separate with a sieve. Cocktail Mix cranberry ginger ale, cherry vodka, and simple syrup over ice. Stir and serve.