This post is sponsored by SheSpeaks, Inc. and Simply Orange Juice Company.
It’s the time of year for holiday entertaining! While I love a good dinner party, sometimes a cocktail party better suits the crowd. Cocktails, appetizers, music, and friends. It’s a great way to introduce friends from different social circles, and catch up with everyone who holds a special place in your heart.
I created a new cocktail for the season, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s simply delicious! The Winter Sunshine. Fruity, creamy, and a hint of the winter season. Feel free to tweak the alcohol amounts to your tastes, but we found the amounts listed to be the perfect combination.
Designing the Winter Sunshine Cocktail
I wanted a drink that showed off a couple of different concepts. First I wanted something to remind people of warmer days. That’s the fruity, citrus aspect of the drink using a mix of Simply Orange® and Simply Lemonade®. Sam’s Club makes stocking up for a holiday party easy. Just pick up a 2 pack of Simply Orange® and a 2 pack of Simply Lemonade®.
I also wanted to highlight the winter season, the evergreen would be perfect. Gin, with it’s juniper notes gave a gentle nod to winter. Snow is always a soft blanket of white and I immediately thought of vanilla for that, so I incorporated vanilla vodka. Finally a splash of grenadine alludes to the beautiful colors of the sun, and a cranberry, rosemary sprig garnish tops off the drink to give another hint to the wintry beauty of this cocktail.
I love the combination of the rosemary and cranberry for a simple festive garnish. It brings in the colors of the season, and hints at the flavor included. To make this garnish, just take a toothpick and poke it into the end of a cranberry to make an easy hole for the rosemary sprig to nestle in. Make up these garnishes ahead of time to save time during the party.
Winter Sunshine Cocktail Recipe
- 1/2 cup Simply Lemonade®
- 1/2 cup Simply Orange®
- .5 oz vanilla vodka
- 1 oz gin
- splash grenadine
- garnish (optional)
In a shaker combine ice, Simply Lemonade®, Simply Orange®, vanilla vodka, and gin. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a chilled glass. Add a splash of grenadine and top with garnish of your choice.
Winter Sunshine Mocktail
If you have guests at your party who don’t drink alcohol they can enjoy this beverage as well, as a mocktail. Simply remove the alcohol from the ingredients list and substitute in a vanilla syrup (not to be confused with vanilla extract). The vanilla syrup I used for my mocktails was one I picked up in the coffee flavorings section.
The Perfect Partner
Another thing I love about Sam’s Club is the Member’s Mark products. To go along with the cocktails the Member’s Mark mixed nuts are the perfect partner. Go for a salted variety to counter the sweetness of the cocktail.
There’s just something about a bowl of nuts sitting out that gets people talking. It’s sort of like the party version of the office water cooler.
My crowd has a thing for pecans, so I grabbed some pecan halves. These can also be used to create some simple candies for the party too, just by adding some caramel and chocolate.
If you’re hosting a dinner party a homemade pecan pie for dessert would be a wonderful use of these nuts as well.
Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful. Pick up a few products at Sam’s Club, serve some simple snacks, such as Member’s Mark mixed nuts, and serve up some cocktails using Simply Beverages® as the mixer, such as the Winter Sunshine.
Make your job as host even easier with these bartending tips:
- Leave the recipe up for your guests to mix their own drink
- Assign someone to be bartender for you
- Make up a pitcher of the juice and alcohol, so it’s ready to pour, splash with color, and garnish.
How will you have a Simply holiday season?