Instead of our regular “Cooking with Heinen’s” post, this week we’re making “Cocktails with Heinen’s.” With the Holidays quickly approaching, menu planning has begun. No holiday would be complete with out a cocktail (or two) and Heinen’s has all the ingredients you’ll need to boost your bar skills this season. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, it’s fun to jazz up the usual libation to make it festive. So put a sugar rim on the glass and serve your punch with a fruity garnish. Serve the kids apple juice with a caramel rimmed glass and a candy corn pumpkin for a garnish.
Here are four ideas for your holiday plans that are tried and tested. Each cocktail is simple and any of these will be sure to impress your guests.
Makers Mark Manhattan
One of my favorite classic cocktails made with my favorite bourbon.
Maker’s Mark’s Bill Samuels, Jr., says, “I spent 40 years screwing around before figuring out the perfect recipe.” I’ve made only one tweak. I prefer Luxardo cherries to the waxy maraschino variety. If you’ve never tried a Luxardo cherry you should seek them out. They are dark and sweet with a thick syrup that has a velvety consistency. I adore these little gems.
- 2 1/2 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon
- 1/2 ounce French sweet vermouth, preferably Dolin Rouge
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers cherry bitters
- 4 to 5 drops Luxardo cherry juice
- Ice 3 Luxardo cherries, for garnish
- In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters and maraschino cherry juice.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well.
- Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with the Luxardo cherries.
Margaritas have no season. It’s always a good time for a Margarita. Making it festive with cranberries just steps it up a notch.
- 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I recommend using a brand that is 100% juice)
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup tequila
- 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
- ice cubes
- Stir all ingredients together until blended.
- Serve over ice in sugar- or salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.
Pecan Pie Bourbon Milk Shake
This year you’ll want to make sure there is leftover pecan pie.
- 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 c. milk
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1/2 c. chopped pecan pie
- In a blender, combine vanilla ice cream, milk, bourbon, and chopped pecan pie.
- Blend until desired consistency. (Add more ice cream if mixture is too thin, more milk if it’s too thick.)
- Pour into glass and garnish with crumbled pecan pie.
Pear nectar alone can be a bit sweet and thick but add champagne and all the flavors come together to create a refreshing delicious cocktail. If you’re having a gathering for the holidays this is a perfect starter cocktail to get the festivities rolling.
- 24oz pear nectar
- 1 bottle champagne
- Pear slices, for garnish
- To champagne flutes, add 3 parts pear nectar and top off with champagne.
- Garnish with pear slices.