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Boost holiday spirits with holiday ‘spirits’

The holiday season is a festive time of year when opportunities to entertain abound. The search may be on for the ideal food and beverage recipes to tie into the holiday season.

Although just about any drink can be given a holiday spin with the right name (think Merry Martinis), you may want to come up with a theme drink that fits with your particular party. Explore these ideas for delicious and festive alcoholic and nonalcoholic options.

White Christmas Hot Chocolate

3 cups light cream or half-and-half
3/4 cup vanilla candy melts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 ounce Irish cream liqueur

Combine 1 cup of the cream with the candy in a saucepan. Melt over low heat, being careful not to burn. Add the remaining cream, vanilla and cinnamon until everything is heated. Add the liqueur and stir. Garnish with more cinnamon. Serve warm.

The Candy Cane 

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
1/2 ounce heavy cream
Dash of grenadine for color

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a candy cane.

Sweet Santa Shots 

1 ounce Midori liqueur
1/2 ounce grenadine syrup

Carefully layer the grenadine syrup and the Midori liqueur in a shot glass to have red and green layers.

Holiday Sparkle 

2 ounces apple cider
1 ounce club soda
Cinnamon stick

Mix cider with club soda and serve in a tall glass with a cinnamon stick garnish. A refreshing and nonalcoholic drink option.