How To Improve Your Holiday Spirits
There’s no time like the holidays to crack open a bottle and get creative. Holiday cocktails can be a great way to make use of those comforting seasonal flavors — from pomegranate and cinnamon to nutmeg and vanilla.
Tom Laslavic, the mixologist at Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn, says holiday cocktails are about “creating something that’s light, inviting, warming, and adds to the holiday sprit.”
Laslavic says there are four components to creating a delicious cocktail: eye appeal, aroma, taste, and finish. “We here in Maine just go from a wonderful season November to the short, dark days, so the colors are an important part of the holiday festivities, to lighten up the darkness that happens at 2:30!”
Below Laslavic (featuring Cellardoor Winery products) has created three colorful cocktails perfect for your next holiday party — or a quiet yet festive night by the fire. Or just swing by the bar at Natalie’s to taste these and the more than two dozen other creative drinks offered. Whatever you do, don’t forget to check out the tasty new bar menu on tap as well.
Christmas “Sweet Heart Sparkler” Cocktail
1 ounce Cellardoor Sweetheart wine
½ ounce Cassis
1 ½ ounces Vodka
3 ounces Sparkling wine
Directions: Combine wine, cassis, and vodka into a shaker glass. Shake and strain into glass then top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a thick lemon peel.
I’ll have a Blue Lobster Blue Christmas
½ cup fresh sequeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup pomegranate juice
½ bottle Cellardoor Blue Lobster Blue wine
¼ cup Cointreau
10 ounces club soda or sparkling water
1 orange sliced and studded with cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Directions: Combine liquid ingredients and add cinnamon stick and clove studded orange slices. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. Double the recipe for a punch bowl portion. Freeze blueberries in a block of pomegranate juice to chill punch bowl.
Traditional Mulled Wine
1 bottle of Cellardoor Capo di Monte
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon toasted black peppercorns
½ teaspoon whole allspice
½ vanilla bean
1 star anise
1 sliced orange
1 sliced lemon
1 cup cognac or brandy
Directions: Place the spices in a coffee filter (closed with a twist tie) and place in liquid ingredients. If you can, steep the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove spice packet, and serve warm in coffee mugs.