Page 5 of 5   <      

Just Add Liquid, and Make a Stir

Libations, from left: the Sink or Swim, Silky Kiss, Sugar Plum Toddy, Sapphire Sugar and Spice Martini, Mistletoe Mojito, Holiday Red Sangria Punch.
Libations, from left: the Sink or Swim, Silky Kiss, Sugar Plum Toddy, Sapphire Sugar and Spice Martini, Mistletoe Mojito, Holiday Red Sangria Punch. (Photo By Renee Comet / Styled By Lisa Cherkasky For The Washington Post)

1 cup sugar

For the mojito:

3 lime wedges

3 to 4 torn basil leaves, plus additional for garnish

1 ounce simple syrup (see above)

Ice

2 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka, such as Stoli or Absolut Vanilla

1 ounce pineapple juice

For the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Set aside and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

For the mojito: Squeeze the juice from the lime wedges into a highball glass and drop the wedges in. Add the basil leaves and simple syrup and muddle until the basil is in pieces and the mixture is well combined. Fill the glass with ice cubes; add the vodka and pineapple juice. Combine the ingredients by placing the bottom of a cocktail shaker over the glass and shaking, or by stirring with an iced-tea spoon. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Per serving: 196 calories, 0 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Aimee Sanders; e-mail questions tofood@washpost.com

Holiday Red Sangria Punch

6 to 8 servings

In Spain, traditional New Year's Eve celebrations are not complete without grapes. When the clock strikes midnight, custom calls for eating 12 grapes in short order to ensure good fortune in the coming year. Taking the tradition to a new level, bartender Kelsey Rood at the Latin lounge Cafe Citron in Dupont Circle is mixing a modern sangria this holiday season.

This can be made up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerated, without the ice.

5 tablespoons sugar

Ice

1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, such as a merlot or cabernet

5 ounces apple-flavored liqueur

7 1/2 ounces orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

1 cup orange juice

1 cup ginger ale

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

12 seedless red grapes

4 medium red apples, cored and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

3 medium oranges, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 -inch cubes

Place the sugar in a 48-ounce pitcher. Fill 3/4 full with ice cubes or crushed ice. Add the wine and the apple- and orange-flavored liqueurs, stirring to combine. Add the orange juice, ginger ale and lemon juice, then the grapes and cut-up fruit. If you have a similar-size pitcher, pour the sangria back and forth 4 times to blend; or use a long-handled spoon to stir the drink well. Let the sangria sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then serve.

Per serving (based on 8): 289 calories, 0 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 13 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Aimee Sanders; e-mail questions tofood@washpost.com

Sapphire Sugar and Spice Martini

1 serving

Apples and cinnamon are the predominant flavors of this seasonal specialty at Lima, a Latin American supper club in downtown Washington. For this cocktail, mixologist Andrej Rasevic prefers using a simple syrup made with brown sugar. This recipe makes enough syrup for at least 25 drinks.

For the brown sugar simple syrup:

1 cup water

1 cup packed light brown sugar

For the martini:

1 tablespoon cinnamon, for garnish

1 teaspoon sugar, for garnish

2 1/2 ounces gin, such as Bombay Sapphire

1 1/2 ounces orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed

1 1/2 ounces apple cider

1/2 ounce (a splash) brown sugar simple syrup (see above)

Ice

For the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and cook about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Set aside and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

For the martini: Combine the cinnamon and sugar on a small plate. Wet the rim of a martini glass and invert, pressing into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.

Combine the gin, orange juice, cider and brown sugar simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into the rimmed martini glass.

Per serving: 256 calories, 0 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 7 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Aimee Sanders; e-mail questions tofood@washpost.com


<                5

© 2006 The Washington Post Company