Christmas Cocktails and a Holly Ice Bowl

christmas cocktails ice bowlchristmas cocktailschristmas ice bowlchristmas cocktailsI wonder when “are you ready?” entered everyone’s vocabulary around Christmas. Besides Merry Christmas that’s the line I hear the most in December and it seriously instantly stresses me out. As soon as I hear it I have to think, am I ready? I thought I was but maybe not since they asked. They’re right, I could probably do more…maybe they’re being sarcastic because they can’t imagine anyone NOT being ready by now…or, or, maybe they’re being sarcastic because they can’t imagine anyone ACTUALLY being ready so early. I can’t stand that question. I really can’t.

I could stand a Christmas cocktail though. Check out this recipe for a Martha Stewart-style cranberry cocktail with red wine, maple syrup, vanilla bean, pink peppercorns and lemon zest! I also thought this recipe looked yummy if you like sweet drinks, and finally this guy looked pretty simple.

For the ice bowl, place holly leaves in a large bowl and then place a smaller bowl inside of it. Fill up the gap with water (the size of your inner and outer bowl and the gap it creates will determine the size of your bowl) and allow to freeze for at least 24 hours depending on how thick your bowl is. Getting the inner bowl to stay put is a bit tricky. I ended up taking some thin wire and wiring it into place as well as placing a weight into the center of the inner bowl. When you’re ready to use it, run a little warm water over the outside of the bowl if it isn’t popping out immediately. Serve ice in it or put a tea light in the middle. **if you do serve ice, keep in mind holly is poisonous so if you want to be super careful, put a piece of parchment down into the center of the bowl before you place ice into it. This will also keep the ice cubes from sticking to the ice bowl** 

I’ll admit, I’m not ready, not really. But not because I have a million things to do—even though I do–but I’m not ready for December to fly by so quickly and honestly with Thanksgiving being so late I think 2013 is kind of jipping us all a bit. That just means Christmas music and twinkle lights may have to extend a little bit further into January while I ease into the terrible beauty of a new year– sipping my pink peppercorn and cranberry cocktail perhaps.

– <3 A.