Trouble With Toast

Cocktail parties are good for you | December 14, 2009

When we lived in the condo in Atlanta, we found entertaining to be very challenging, as we had neither the kitchen space nor the square footage to accomodate more than about 4-6 people.  We were able to host a couple of intimate dinners, but we never had a true party.  So, once we were settled in our bigger Lawrenceville digs, we decided to host a little holiday gathering.  Rather than doing a sit-down dinner, I opted to serve heavy appetizers and have guests bring whatever desserts and beverages they preferred.

Of course, a hostess at my very core, I had to provide SOME sort of tasty concoction for folks to sip as they mingled.  Luckily, inspiration came from the December issue of Cooking Light, which featured cocktails that both tasted good AND provided some nutritional benefits.  So, as guests arrived, I prepared a batch each of the Rosemary Lemon Drop and the Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail.

Rosemary Lemon Drop – This drink was absolutely delicious, and well worth the effort of preparing the simple syrup.  There was a fantastic balance between sweet and sour, and the rosemary provided an earthy, herbacious note that was really unique.  An added bonus?  This cocktail gives you 20% of your daily recommended vitamin C.

  • 1  cup  plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4  cup  water
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1  cup  vodka
  • 3/4  cup  fresh lemon juice (5 lemons)
  • Crushed ice
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cover and remove from heat; let stand for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Cover and chill.  Combine chilled syrup, vodka, and juice. Pour over ice in a martini shaker; shake to combine. Strain into 6 martini glasses; garnish with rosemary, if desired.

    Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail – This cocktail was very festive, to the point that everyone who saw one in a flute just had to have one.  I also loved the look (and crunch) of the seeds, and not just because I got to take my holiday frustration out on the pomegranate as I whacked it.  And thanks to the attributes of the dark red fruit, this drink packs an antioxidant punch.

  • 1 1/2  cups  pomegranate juice
  • 1/4  cup  grenadine
  • 1  (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled
  • 6  lime slices (optional)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • Combine pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup grenadine in a 2-cup glass measure. Divide the juice mixture evenly among 6 Champagne flutes or wineglasses. Top each serving evenly with wine, and garnish each serving with lime slices and seeds, if desired.

    I wish I had photos of the finished products, but I was too busy drinking to take pictures.  My camera also pooped out, but luckily for me, I have fabulous friends who took photos of the food.  As soon as I get them, I’ll start posting some delicious h’ors d’oeuvres recipes that might come in handy as you cook for the holidays.  To be continued!


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