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Holiday cocktail recipes: Roasted cider and a ginger old fashioned

Holiday cocktails to help you pour some cheer
This Nov. 10, 2014 photo shows a ginger fashioned cocktail in Concord, N.H. If there’s a chill in the air, consider starting with the roasted cider, a seasonal hot toddy that combines a classic mulled cider with the toasty flavor of hazelnuts. Or for a fresh take on tradition, try the ginger fashion, a zippy rendition of the reliable old fashioned. AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Whether you’re having a quiet night in with family or a larger gathering with friends, holiday celebrations often call for a cocktail – sometimes simply to help you deal with those friends and family! So we’ve got you covered with a trio of easy but delicious cocktails that won’t tax your time or budget.

If there’s a chill in the air, consider starting with the roasted cider, a seasonal hot toddy that combines a classic mulled cider with the toasty flavour of hazelnuts. Or for a fresh take on tradition, try the ginger fashion, a zippy rendition of the reliable old fashioned. And if you’re feeling particularly festive, the ruby spice bubbles offers a fresh – and refreshing – way to enjoy sparkling wine.

ROASTED CIDER

Start to finish: 10 minutes

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Servings: 1

  • 6 ounces cider
  • 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Cinnamon stick, to garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat or in a mug in the microwave, heat the cider until just steaming. Stir in the whiskey and hazelnut liqueur, then top with grated nutmeg. Serve with a cinnamon stick for stirring.

RUBY SPICE BUBBLES

Start to finish: 1 hour (10 minutes active)

Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dry ginger
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice, chilled
  • 750-millilitre bottle sparkling white wine, chilled
  • Brandied or candied cherries

In a microwave-safe bowl or glass, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and water. Stir well, then microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the cooled spice syrup with the cranberry juice. Shake to combine, then divide between 4 cocktail flutes or coupe glasses. Top each with sparkling wine and add 1 cherry to each.

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GINGER OLD FASHIONED

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

  • 1-inch slice fresh ginger
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-inch strip orange peel
  • 2 dashes maple bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Ice

In an old fashioned glass, muddle the ginger, sugar, orange peel and bitters until the sugar is dissolved. Add the bourbon and stir. Add an ice cube and serve.

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