I’ll be the first to tell you, holidays are not always my favorite times of the year. They’re hectic, often filled with awkward interactions, and sometimes downright un-fun. But, all whining aside, they’re a good time to catch up with friends and family, get in the spirit of giving and generally recognize how good we all have it. Okay, enough weighing of pros and cons. You know what makes an occasion, holiday or otherwise, that much better? Drinks, and good ones to boot. Valerie Peterson sums it up nicely. “[T]he antidote to holiday stress is, quite simply, to keep good spirits in you.” Good spirits indeed.
Peterson’s Holiday Helper is a sort of guidebook to get you through the holidays while keeping plenty of spirits in you. Sure, there are some non-alcoholic tipples mixed in for good measure. But, that’s not what this book is about. It’s about new cocktail recipes, classics and intriguing twists on classics that will nicely fit in to your holiday festivities (or infrequent patches of quiet solitude).
Valerie’s book takes you chronologically from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years. Keep that order only lightly in mind though. Most of the recipes would be good at any time during the holidays and most of the year for that matter.
There are classics and slightly tweaked classics. For example the Merry Berry Mojito, the classic Tom and Jerry and the always delicious but nearly ubiquitous mulled cider. Valerie mixes in, no pun intended, her own new creations as well like the Green Elf, which sounds quite delicious. I’ve included the recipe below if you’d like to get a head start. There is even a recipe for making your own homemade coffee liqueur. Very cool for me since that’s one that I’ve been wanting to experiment with.
Green Elf (Peterson's Holiday Helper)
1 1/2 oz Green Apple Liqueur 1 oz Gin 1/2 oz Lime Juice 3 Dashes Peach Bitters
1) Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice 2) Shake until well chilled 3) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
To top things off, the book is filled with classic holiday pictures, ads and other mementos of the season that are fairly entertaining unto themselves (sometimes in that point and giggle kind of way). If you’re looking for a guide to some holiday themed cocktails or a fun gift for a cocktail enthusiast this book is worth checking out. Cost is $16.95 and I have no doubt you know where to find it should you so desire.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.