Cooking Tips and Advice - Print - Beverage Ideas for Holiday Entertaining

Beverage Ideas for Holiday Entertaining - Cooking Tips

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Holiday Wine | Holiday Ice Ring | Cranberry Tea
Holiday Cocktail Tips | Wine for Turkey and Ham
"User Friendly" Wines

Cranberry Tea


  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 pkg. cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 3 oranges, juiced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 cups sugar, adjust to taste
  • 14 cloves, whole
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • Combine water and cranberries in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Stir in freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients, stir. Cover and allow to steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain tea, reheat to serve. Serve hot. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices if desired.

    Steep: To leave an item, such as a tea bag, to soak in water that has just been boiled. The purpose is to add flavor to the liquid.

Holiday Spritzer


  • cranberry juice
  • white grape juice
  • sparkling mineral (fizz water)

  • Try this simple spritzer for a non-alcohol alternative for your holiday get together. Combine equal parts cranberry juice, white grape juice, and sparkling mineral (fizz) water into a punch bowl. Add an ice ring (see directions below) to keep the spritzer chilled.

Holiday Wine


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups white grape juice, chilled
  • 1 cup peach liqueur
  • 1 bottle Red Bordeaux wine, chilled
  • In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved.
  • Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled (approximately 2 hours).
  • In punch bowl, combine grape juice, peach liqueur, wine, and cooled sugar and water mixture.
  • Add an ice ring to the punch bowl to keep wine chilled (see directions below).
  • Servings: 14 (4-ounce)

Holiday Ice Ring


  • Cranberries or your choice of hard fruit (i.e.: grapes)
  • water
  • 4 cup ring mold
  • Fill 4 cup ring mold with 3/4 inch of water; freeze.
  • Arrange the fresh cranberries on the layer of ice.

  • Fill with water and freeze until solid, approximately 6 hours.

  • Briefly dip the bottom of the mold in warm water to loosen the ice ring.

  • The ice ring should slip out of the mold and can then be added to the punch bowl with your holiday punch.

Holiday Cocktail Tips

  • Quickly chill wine and champagne by placing the bottle in a bucket of ice water rather than in the freezer. Leave in ice water approximately 10 minutes.
  • To decant bottle-aged wine easily, insert an unbleached coffee filter into the neck of a glass pitcher and pour the wine into it.
  • Fill wine glasses slightly less than half full, allowing room enough for wine to breath.
  • A half bottle of wine per guest is an appropriate estimate when entertaining for up to 2 hours, this approximation is dependent on the drinking tendencies of your guests.
  • Always have non-alcohol drinks available.

Wine for Turkey and Ham

Turkey and ham are traditional food choices for the holidays. Turkey is a challenging food to pair with wine because of the oily quality and that it has both light and dark meat, think fruity and tart. Ham is a challenge because of the saltiness of the meat, think fruity not dry.

Red White Ros├ę
Ham Beaujolais
Pinot Noir
Chenin Blanc
White Zinfandel
Poultry Pinot Noir
Chenin Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc
White Zinfandel

"User Friendly" Wines

Gatherings of friends and family should be a time of celebration and enjoyment, not stress. The following is a general selection of wines that pair well with most dishes. The wines are light-bodied to medium-bodied.

  • Whites: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Champagne and Sparkling wines.
  • Roses: White Zinfandel, Blush and Rose.
  • Reds: Beaujolais, Pinot Noir and Merlot