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Perfect Holiday Cocktails

Festive drinks, delicious with or without the alcohol

Milk Punch Gingerbread Spiced Apple Cider. Festive holiday cocktails. (Threemanycooks.com)

Coconut milk is a healthy substitute for whole milk in food and beverage recipes. — Threemanycooks.com

Coconut Milk Punch

Serves 8

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark rum
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (1-1/2 quarts) coconut milk or coconut-flavored almond milk (see previous page)
  • Garnish: Grated nutmeg

Dissolve sugar in rum, brandy and vanilla in a large, heavy pitcher. Add milk; freeze until very cold or even slushy. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

Bloody Mary. Holiday cocktail recipes. (Threemanycooks.com)

Consider pickled okra, skewered cocktail onions, whole scallions, carrot sticks or bell pepper sticks to garnish your Bloody Marys. — Threemanycooks.com

Zippy Bloody Marys

Makes about 6 drinks

  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons juice from a large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Suggested garnishes: olives, inner celery hearts, shrimp, pickled vegetables such as onions, green beans or Giardiniera

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with any or all of the suggestions above.

AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at threemanycooks.com.

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