When the pandemic entered our lives, graphic designer & hostess extraordinaire Carole Goguen began making the most of small celebrations. She used her talents to create menus & place cards, working to fill each meal with fun – even if the guest list for gatherings was much different than in the past. We’re lucky to have been in New Brunswick’s Yellow Phase when our annual Holiday How-to-make-Cocktails Party rolled around. Tosh & I joined Carole at her home to create some wonderful drinks to share with you. If you’re thinking you’d like to add a little pizzazz to an upcoming event – whether that’s a birthday bash when lockdowns are all over, an announcement to share with friends & family, or that extra attention to detail that could make Valentine’s Day at home a special memory – check out her graphic design options over at Creative Cat Design.
Click here to listen, watch for our video version on Rogers, & read on for the recipes!
Huge thanks to Carole for sharing her home, her talents, & her photos with us for this episode. Enjoy!
Christmas Morning Bellini Recipes
If you’re planning a family brunch, consider making some fruit puree ahead of time to enjoy some sparkling bellinis on the big day!
Carole followed the guidance of Half Baked Harvest Blog to create two tasty versions of these bellinis: Blackberry Thyme & Raspberry Peach.
The puree for both can be made in advance and stashed in the freezer. Blend 2 cups of fruit & 1/3 cup of orange juice. To serve, add a few tablespoons of the puree to the glass, top with the sparkling beverage of your choice (an easy recipe to make non-alcoholic & enjoy with everyone, at any time!), then garnish with a sprig of thyme, some raspberries, or whatever your imagine enjoys!
How to make the BOULEVARDIER
The Boulevardier is the strongest of the drinks we made on the show – perfect to offer as a welcome drink before a holiday meal.
- 1 1/2 oz Whiskey
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- orange garnish
Stir all ingredients in glass. Add ice. Twist an orange peel over & serve.
SPICY SWEET GRINCH COCKTAIL
Feeling adventurous? We suggest the Spicy Sweet Grinch Cocktail from Half Baked Harvest Blog. It is simply incredible!
Head on over to the Half Baked Harvest Blog for the full recipe, but you’re going to need lime, grapefruit, honey, mint, ginger beer, sugar, and gin (or vodka). It’s a bit of a labour of love (mostly juicing the fruit), but oh so worth it. And as we discovered while recording … simply leave out the gin & you can enjoy this just as much as a mocktail!
Gin Snowcone Martini (or as Jenna likes to call it, a Sophisticated Cape Breton Christmas Slush recipe)
“It’s a sweet gin & tonic slushy and it’s my new favourite thing.”
That was my honest reaction to my first taste of Carole’s Gin Snowcone. Gin is one of my favourite drinks and this snowcone version is now tops on my list to enjoy this holiday season. It’s a simple recipe that elevates your drink, making it perfect for entertaining or simply enjoying quietly at home.
GIN SNOWCONE INGREDIENTS
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 1 ¾ cups of tonic
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2
- Put sugar in a sauce pan with 1 ¾ cups of water and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Pour tonic water in a bowl, add the sugar syrup, lime & lemon, then freeze.
- Remove frozen goodness and shape into a ball in a martini glass.
- Top with approx. 1 shot of your favourite gin.
Mixed up in my love for this Gin Snowcone is a healthy dose of nostalgia.
Do you know about Christmas Slush? It’s a long-standing tradition among my friends in Sydney Mines. Generally it’s more of a rum & pineapple juice type concoction, frozen in tubs you stash in the freezer the week or so before the holiday visits begin. I’m not sure where it began (it seems to have some Newfoundland roots, as well, which makes sense) & I only found one online recipe for Cape Breton Christmas Slush from food blogger/writer Liv B, whose boyfriend’s mom is from Cape Breton, but it’s a big part of the holidays at home.
Since originally posting this, I’ve had a lot of folks ask about the Cape Breton Christmas Slush Recipe. There are slight variations, but the basic consensus is a mix of citrusy juices & alcohol frozen, then served with clear soda pop. Here’s what we’ll be trying this year:
- 1 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate
- 1 can of frozen pineapple juice concentrate
- 1 can of water
- 1 750ml bottle of spirits (we suggest a made-in-New Brunswick gin from Distillerie Fils Du Roy or Blue Roof, Devil’s Keep vodka, or maybe the Sussex Corner Golden rum from Susses Distillery – or keep the Cape Breton love with a bottle of Silver from Glenora Distillery)
Mix & freeze. Serve two scoops of slush in a glass, topped off with 7Up. Enjoy!
Here’s a slightly more work intensive version that would be a great fit for a holiday party!
Thanks for joining our annual Christmas Cocktail Party! We know December 2020 is unlike most any other holiday season we all remember, so please find all the ways, big & small, you can to make the most of the time you have with the people you are with. If you’re in the GMA, check out our list of holiday activities to enjoy (including a route for checking out Christmas lights, and a list with dozens of spots to visit), & anyone with kids at home might want to check out Christmas Cheat Sheet for last-minute tips & tricks.