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It's All New

In keeping with a festive theme, it is almost time to usher in a New Year (and decade!).  Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the millennium festivities?  Anyway, during celebratory periods, many people search for crowd-pleasing drinks to serve at holiday gatherings.  The recipes below might help provide a sparkle or two to your celebrations.

    new-years

  • Party Punch.  This drink is fruity and adds a measure of refreshment to an afternoon or evening party.  In a punch bowl, mix 8 cups of cold orange juice, 1 bottle of fruit juice (100% juice is preferred), and one bottle of Dry Champagne, sparkling wine, or sparkling cider (sparkling cider is a great nonalcoholic alternative).  Slice one orange (rind on), and cut in half 10 to 15 strawberries: add to bowl.  If desired, squeeze ½ a lemon into the concoction.  (If making the alcohol version, you can also add a shot or two of Triple Sec, as well).  Taste.  If the flavor is too pungent, add cold water (in small increments) until the taste is right for you.
  • Wine Spritzer.  This recipe is simple to make and pleasant to drink; it can be prepared with red or white wine (both versions will be included).  White wine.  Combine one bottle of dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay will do nicely), one bottle of unflavored sparkling water, and one small can of frozen strawberry concentrate (or any other fruity concentrate).  Blend well in a large bowl.  Ladle mixture into wine glasses and garnish with fresh berries.  (For a nonalcoholic delight, replace the white wine with a nonalcoholic white wine or white grape juice).  Red Wine.  Combine one bottle of red wine (Chianti goes perfectly) and one two-liter bottle of carbonated orange soda (or ginger ale).  Ladle into appropriate wine glasses and garnish with fruit.  (For an alcohol-free adaptation, use nonalcoholic red wine or red grape juice).
  • Spicy Coffee.  So you prefer something hot?  How about a coffee drink?  Mix ½ cup of instant coffee (decaf if you prefer), ½ cup of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, ¼  teaspoon of ground cloves, and 9 to 10 cups of hot milk (low-fat if you are watching calories).  Pour in coffee cups, and top with a shake or two of ground cinnamon.  NOTE:  For an alcohol-infused chocolate flair, add 2 to 3 shots of Godiva Original Liqueur or Crème de Cacao before pouring.

* It is important to note that all of theabove can be made without alcohol.  If using alcohol, remember to drink water regularly to avoid dehydration (and don’t drink and drive).

Another festive thought?  Soak fruits like cut oranges and peaches in red wine for several days (or longer) for a delightful, fruity aperitif.  Again, Chianti is great; however, purple grape juice can be used for a nonalcoholic option (keep the liquid covered in an airtight jar, bottle, or container).

So, 2009 is almost over.  Let us raise our glasses in thanks for the blessings in our lives and the hopes of a New Year filled with happiness, health, abundance, and gratitude!  God Bless.

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