Sipping something sparkling and festive always adds to the party vibe. So resident Food Network Star Damaris Phillips mixed up a few cocktails and mocktails sure to make your next gathering merry and bright.
By Damaris Phillips | Photographed by Kylene White
There are many ways that Damaris weaves magic into the many parties she plans. From unexpected themes to creative décor to laid back atmosphere, she’s the queen of creating a party where everyone can relax and have a blast.
One of her secrets to successful hosting is always making sure that all of her guests’ needs are graciously met. Her inclusive menus include gluten-free and vegan options and what’s on her bar is no different. We may be in bourbon country, but she always makes sure that there are interesting non-alcoholic options alongside the cocktails. “It’s not fair to have beautiful signature cocktails and then a two-liter of Sprite or club soda for the non-drinkers and designated drivers,” she says. “And if you bring in fresh ingredients and garnishes, you don’t need alcohol to make a delicious drink!”
Just in time for the holiday season, she stirs up some festive drinks for everyone on your guest list.
HOLLY JOLLY PUNCH FOR A CROWD
- 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail (not 100% cranberry juice)
- 1 (750-ml.) bottles sweet red wine
- 1 (750-ml.) bottle sparkling dry wine
- 1/2 cup cranberry vodka
- 2 cups frozen cranberries
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup granulated sugar, for rimming glasses
- 2 limes, sliced for garnish
- To a 1-gallon pitcher or punch bowl, add the cranberry juice cocktail, red wine, sparkling wine, vodka and 1 cup of cranberries. Stir.
- When you are ready to serve, run a lime around the rim of the cup and dip into sugar. Fill the cup half way with ice and top with frozen cranberries. Fill with the cranberry wine mixture and garnish with a mint sprig and lime.
PEAR TREE MARTINI
- 6 ounces pear brandy
- 6 ounces rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows)
- 6 ounces lemon juice
- 18 ounces dry gin
- 18 sliced pears half moons
- 6 rosemary sprigs
- In a large pitcher combine the brandy, rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice and gin. Stir.
- When you are ready to serve add 6 ounces of the mixture to a shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with pear and rosemary skewers. (Remove the rosemary leaves from the bottom 1/2 of each sprig. Skewer 2-3 pear pieces.)
ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 rosemary sprigs
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and rosemary. Stir and bring to a simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the rosemary sprigs. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- 6 apple spice tea bags
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
- 1 teaspoon molasses bitters
- 12 ounces apple cider
- 18 ounces club soda to top
- 6 orange swaths to garnish
- 18 Luxardo cherries to garnish
- Brew the tea. Combine 20 ounces of boiling water with 6 apple spice tea bags and the sugar. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and chill.
- When the tea is cold, combine it with the Angostura, molasses bitters, and cider. Stir. To serve, fill each glass with ice. Pour roughly 6 ounces of the tea mixture into each glass. Top with 3 ounces of club soda and garnish with orange swaths and 3 Luxardo cherries.
SPICY PINEAPPLE GINGER PUNCH
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Pinch cayenne
- 3 cups ginger kombucha
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Candied ginger to garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine the pineapple juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne, and ginger kombucha. Gently stir to dissolve the maple syrup.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice. Pour the kombucha mixture over the ice and garnish with lemon slices and candied ginger.
Feeling nostalgic? Check out Damaris’s favorite Make-Ahead Thanksgiving recipes.