Needless to say, the holiday season is looking a *little* different this year! From virtual and small group gatherings to socially-distanced festivities, many of us are wondering how to make *the most* of the holidays, in order to keep traditions alive…but also create new ones.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Cointreau, the iconic orange liqueur at the heart of over 350 celebrated cocktail recipes, to reimagine your holidays this season with curated tips, exclusive cocktail recipes (and more!) to elevate your holidays at home:
1. Stock Your Bar Cart
Nothing simplifies holiday hosting more than a bar cart. Everyone wins, when guests are able to serve their favorite cocktail themselves! We recommend a bar cart on wheels, which allows it to move where the party moves and then back to the kitchen when items need replenishing.
Three staples our bar cart always has? Cointreau, a base spirit like vodka, and fresh fruit! When mixing up a variety of cocktails for your guests this holiday, Cointreau is a must-have. This iconic orange liqueur is at the heart of more than 350 of the world’s most celebrated cocktails, including The Original Margarita, The Classic Cosmopolitan, and The Sidecar. It pairs perfectly with any base spirit to mix up a classic cocktail.
2. (Cointreau) Cocktails Are a Necessity
Create a signature cocktail for the night, display the recipe, and invite your guests to channel their inner mixologist. Set up all the ingredients ahead of time, including an ice bucket, and any garnishes, glasses, and tools that are needed. We also suggest prepping a batch ahead of time and welcoming guests with the cocktail as they arrive.
One of my favorites is “Everything’s Coming Up Rosé” from Cointreau, it’s the perfect go-to bubbly cocktail to celebrate any occasion. It’s easy to create and engaging for any virtual guests, knowing this holiday season may look different for gatherings. Set up an area in the main entertaining space with a screen (tablet or laptop) to make your virtual guests still feel a part of the festivities.
3. Themed Decor Raises The Bar
When it comes to styling your bar cart, stick to the same color palette as your signature cocktail. Incorporate items such as linen napkins, colored straws, floral garland, candles, and decorative glassware. For example, a Classic Cosmopolitan is the perfect shade of blush pink, which you can play off of for decor, and mix with holiday shades of deeper reds and greens.
You can also utilize risers and turntables on the bar cart to maximize space and provide easier accessibility, while also creating some depth and height. It’s best to also think about the cocktails your guests will make and the steps that go into it, ensuring the set-up provides a seamless flow (pro-tip: Create small cards to place throughout the cart walking guests through each step). Going the extra mile with your bar cart allows for a fun and unique focal point in the room and it also makes for a great Instagrammable moment.
4. A Festive Menu Never Fails
When cocktails are involved, light snacks should be too. You can never go wrong with some hors d’oeuvres that are assembly-only, such as a charcuterie board! Mix it up with a variety of nuts, cheeses, crackers, dried or fresh fruit, and honey or jams. We love creating these large boards and platters for parties as they cater to a variety of tastes and you can really tailor the board to complement your holiday cocktails.
Speaking of cocktails, we are loving the two exclusive cocktails we created with Cointreau: Clea’s Color Coded Cosmo and Joanna’s Organize, Maintain Margarita (recipes below!) We think *you* will love them, too! We suggest serving them with a light and effervescent salad with a tangy vinaigrette to balance the sweetness of the cocktail and complement Cointreau’s flavor profiles.
clea’s color-coded cosmo:
0.75 oz Cointreau
2 oz Vodka
0.75oz Fresh Lime Juice 0.5 oz Chai Hibiscus Syrup 2 oz Sparkling Rosé
Add all ingredients to shaker except for rosé. Add ice, shake and strain. Finish with bubbles.
CHAI HIBISCUS SYRUP
1:1 sugar to water bring to boil. Turn off and let chai and hibiscus steep for 5 minutes. Strain and serve when cool
joanna’s organize, maintain margarita:
Tablespoon of finely chopped ginger Bar spoon of fig jam
Add all ingredients to shaker.
Add ice, shake, and fine strain. Garnish with candied ginger and/or lime.
5. A Go-To Holiday Gift
Through the years, we have found that it’s a game-changer to have a go-to holiday giftable on hand at home and to keep a few ready to gift whenever and wherever you need. One of our favorite gifts is a chic cocktail kit that has everything you need to make the perfect Classic Cosmopolitan or The Original Margarita… a bottle of Cointreau, a bottle of vodka or tequila, cranberry or lime juice, salt, recipe cards, a shaker, and a citrus squeezer! You really can’t go wrong with a beautifully curated cocktail kit and if you are really feeling creative, you can customize these with fun gift boxes, baskets, and holiday cards too.
For more tips (and even more cocktail recipes), download a complete copy of [THE] x Cointreau Holiday Hosting Guide here:
Have a happy and safe holiday season!
clea + joanna