This Holiday Season’s Hottest Cocktail Trends

Cocktails, just like other food and drinks, tend to go through seasonal trends. And this holiday season is no exception. If you want to serve the hottest, most popular cocktails at your holiday party, then read on for an overview of 2012 trends.

“Craft Cocktails”

A trend you may have noticed when visiting your local pub is a propensity for serving “craft cocktails” or concoctions made up by the local bartender and offered as the establishment’s specialty drink. Usually these craft cocktails utilize freshly squeezed juice and a new flavor of liquor, such as pomegranate or cranberry.

You’ll find this type of specialty drink popping up all over the place – not just elegant lounges but in pubs catering to the locals.

You can use the same concept for your holiday party. Decide on one specialty cocktail you will feature and serve that to the majority of your guests. Of course, you’ll still want to keep around a few ales and a couple bottles of good wine for those who can’t or don’t want to partake of your craft cocktail, but instead of offering a full bar, keep it simple (this is less expensive for the host, too!).

Citrus is King

This year could be called the year of the citrus fruit. Lemons, limes and oranges, as well as tropical fruits, are quite popular in cocktails both hot and cold. Not only does citrus appear as a freshly squeezed juice, it’s showing up more and more frequently as a liqueur flavoring, such as orange Curacao.

Here are a few recipes perfect to feature as your holiday party’s specialty cocktail.

Cold Mulled Pineapple Cider

1 bottle apple cider

8 cinnamon sticks

8 star anise

Pineapple juice


In a kettle or saucepan, stir together cider and spices. Heat to warm and simmer for 5 minutes. Refrigerate mixture for 2 to 4 hours. To make a single cocktail, combine 2 parts mulled cider with one part pineapple juice and one part rum. Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a glass; garnish with a spear of pineapple.

Hot Orange Mocha

1 fresh orange

1 litre strong, freshly brewed coffee

50 ml orange Curacao

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup brown sugar

Dash of ground cinnamon

Whipping cream

Remove the peel from the orange in strips. In a saucepan or kettle, add orange peel to coffee and simmer 5 minutes. Remove peel; add orange Curacao. Mix together cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. Stir into coffee mixture; stir in a bit of cream as desired. Serve in mugs garnished with dollops of whipped cream and orange slices. Sprinkle the whipped cream with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Another idea? Make holiday mimosas, perfect for Christmas morning, by combining equal parts pineapple and cranberry juice and topping with champagne.

When you serve any of these recipes at your holiday party, it is sure to leave warm memories with your guests. So go ahead, step out of the ordinary and serve one of 2012’s hottest cocktails at your next fete!

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