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Tips on how to make holiday entertaining easier

Posted by Faith Bennett on December 6, 2018

In Wine, Beer, Spirits, Recipes, Holiday Entertaining

‘Twas the night before guests arrived, when all through the house, not a creature was silent, not even the spouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney in a hurry, in hope that they could pull it together with haste, not fury.

Most hosts can relate to the chaos that is holiday season entertaining. From decorating your home in garland to coordinating the festive food, drinks and gifting games, there is never a dull moment.

Holiday Entertinaing - Decorating

Hosting your friends and family doesn’t have to be a tense task. When it comes to what drinks you will be serving, don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. Sleigh your holiday with these easy beer, wine and spirit tips that make entertaining a little merrier.  

Meet us under the mistletoe – bring wine!

Sorting out refreshments can be slightly overwhelming when you are catering to a large crowd. When it comes to choosing wine, there are a many, many of choices. But when you’re serving more than five people, it’s an easy decision. Go big! Grab a large format wine that caters to all the merry wine drinkers in your family. Our pick, Trione Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L. It’s backbone of black fruit leaves a smooth and velvety aftertaste perfect for pairing with your holiday ham. Need a white wine option? Trione also makes a crisp chardonnay. With notes of nutmeg it’s sure to blend well with all your rich and warm spiced dishes. 

Holiday Entertaining - Wine


It’s the most wonderful time for a beer.

Seasonal beers are a yuletide commodity. They only come around once a year, so stock your fridge with a variety to choose from. Here are three of our favorites.

  1. Samuel Adam’s Winter Lager. Samuel Adam’s seasonal brew is a German Bock with a 5.6% ABV. It’s filled with notes of cinnamon, ginger and orange peel, leaving a deep and malty finish to keep your guests toasty all night.
  2. Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale. This smooth winter warmer is subtly spiced at an 6.9 % ABV. Pair it with holiday cookies and you’ll have Santa knocking at your door in no time. 
  3. Rogue’s Santa’s Reserve Ale. Rogue’s seasonal blend is a Belgian Dark Ale holding an 7.9% ABV. It’s packed with tangerine and boysenberry flavors which complement any holiday hors d'oeuvres.

If these seasonal beers don’t satisfy your beer craving, there’s always growlers, which come in handy for a crowd. Just fill a few up with our craft brews on tap and pass them around. Don’t miss out on $1 off your fill up while you shop.

Unwrap the Christmas spirits.

Get your guests in a festive mood with some holiday spirits. Stocking a full bar doesn’t need to be on your to-do list (that’s what the hosting gifts are for). We suggest swapping it out for something simpler—a signature cocktail. You won’t have to act as bartender while keeping your guest’s glasses filled. Just set out the ingredients and a recipe card so they can help themselves.

Toast to the season of jolly with these self-serve signature beverages: 

Ford’s French 75

Pour gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne.

French 76-8

Basil Hayden’s Spiced Fig

Muddle figs in a shaker. Add bourbon, lime and simple syrup and shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and top with ground cloves. Garnish with a lime wedge and rosemary sprig.

Absolut Elyx Winter Solstice

  • 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Elyx
  • 2 ounces tangerine juice
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over cubed ice. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice and garnish with a tangerine wheel.

Want a cocktail that serves a whole crowd? Check out these big batch beverages that even Mrs. Claus would approve.

Chopin Christmas Cosmo (serves 8 people)

  • 12 ounces Chopin Vodka 
  • 6 ounces mulled cranberry juice (recipe in directions)
  • 4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier 
  • Clove studded orange twists

Mulled cranberry juice: Head cranberry juice with crushed cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and almonds to taste. Allow to cool and infuse. Sieve the juice.

Big Batch Cocktail - Choppin

St. Germain Spritzer (Serves 10-15 people)

Add champagne, then St-Germain, then club soda to a large pitcher. Stir. Each guest can then serve themselves over a glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill and serve in martini glasses. Garnish with clove studded orange twists.

Big Apple Punch 

  • 1 bottle Jameson Black Barrel
  • 1, 32 ounce bottle of apple cider
  • 2,  12 ounce bottles ginger beer
  • 1/2, 1 liter ½ bottle of seltzer
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Mix all ingredients into a punch bowl. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

JBB-Whiskey-Punch-FB - 1

Now that your festive drinks are lined up, find gifts just as easy. Check out our holiday gift guide for everyone on your list.