Regardless of whether we’re hosting a wedding, corporate event, or holiday gathering, our food and drink selections prepared by our in-house team always make a memorable impression on our guests.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, we wanted to share a few cocktail recipes from Julia, our favorite bar manager, plus an easy-to-make holiday treat from our culinary team that you can prepare at home when hosting your own festivities this year.
Here are Julia’s utmost favorite holiday cocktails:
(Julia’s mom is Swedish and made this every Christmas for as long as she can remember)
- one-liter bottle of port wine
- 1.5 cups brandy
- 5 cinnamon Sticks
- 8 cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp cardamom pods
- 1.25 cups slivered almonds (plus extra for garnish)
- 1.25 cups raisins (plus extra for garnish)
- Into a large pot on the stove pour the entire bottle of port wine. Throw all the spices, nuts, and raisins (minus the extra nuts and raisins for garnish) into a muslin steeping bag and tie with a string. Lower the bag into the pot of wine and cook on medium-low heat until almost boiling (careful NOT to let it boil!). Remove from heat and add the brandy. Mix well.
- Ladle Glögg into small cups. Into each cup add several raisins and slivered almonds.
- For a Mocktail Glögg, substitute the bottle of wine for 2 cups of grape juice plus 2 cups of apple juice.
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup light rum
- 2 cups half & half
- 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg (and more for a topper)
- In a saucepan on low heat combine the milk, cloves, ground cinnamon, and only 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (there will be more for later). Stir for five minutes, then slowly bring the milk to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat.
- In a bowl whisk six egg yolks until smooth. Add sugar and continue to whisk until light and fluffy.
- Into the bowl of sweet yolks, slowly whisk the spiced warm milk into the eggs, but do so in small batches. (This will help prevent the eggs from curdling).
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and stir on medium heat until thickened (about 3 minutes).
- Strain mixture into a glass bowl and refrigerate for one hour.
- Once cooled, stir in rum, half & half, nutmeg, and the remaining 1.25 tsps vanilla extract.
- Store in the fridge overnight and serve the next day!
- Julie also likes to use unsweetened almond and oak milk in place of cow milk and cream. For a Mocktail Eggnog, just subtract the rum, and voila!
And don’t forget dessert. To add to your holiday selections, these tasty twice-baked Italian-style cookies are a favorite of ours for an after dinner sweet or to dip in your morning coffee.
CRANBERRY & PISTACHIO BISCOTTI
- 1 Cup dried cranberries
- 1 Cup boiling water
- 1 Cup pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
- 2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup sugar
- Sanding Sugar, optional
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten w/ a little cold water to make an egg wash
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Mix in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chopped pistachios and cranberries and mix until dough forms.
- Using floured hands, turn out dough on a well-floured surface and knead several times. Cut the dough in half and form each half into a 13” x 2” log and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 3” apart. Flatten each log slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Brush logs with egg wash and bake until golden brown or slightly firm to the touch (about 25-30 minutes). Rotate sheet pan halfway through.
- ransfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board and with a serrated knife, cut diagonally into ½” thick slices. Place the slices cut sides down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp turning over once (about 20-25 minutes total baking time). Remove from oven and let biscotti cool completely on rack. The biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Whatever your holiday plans this season, we hope our recipes will help make your season bright.
Cheers and Happy Holidays from all of us at The Mountain Terrace!
Special thanks to Lucinda Eubanks of Art by Lucinda for her beautiful poinsettia watercolor for this post and sharing her talent and creativity with our corporate clients.