The Negroni, a popular Italian cocktail, has made a serious comeback in the past couple of years—and we can’t get enough of it. Traditionally, this punchy, bitter cocktail is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. But for the holidays, we took inspiration from the spices in mulled wine—star anise, cinnamon, and cloves—and used them to infuse the Campari overnight. The result is a crowd-pleasing holiday cocktail that’s very merry and quite delicious. We like to garnish each glass with a strip of orange zest and a whole star anise. Serving it over extra-large ice cubes will make it look like it came straight from the hottest cocktail bar.
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Because nothing dulls a party faster than getting stuck behind the bar.
Microwave Mulled Wine
There’s a nip in the air and decorative gourd season is almost over. It’s time for warming, festive beverages. This mulled wine recipe uses your microwave so you don’t have to babysit a simmering pot of wine for 20 minutes. And it’s a great way to put a cheaper bottle of wine to work. Don’t skip the brandy: it adds a boozy edge to the mix. The resulting spicy-sweet concoction is so tasty and easy to make that you’ll fly through that bottle of brandy in no time. One of the best parts about this recipe is that it gets tastier the longer the spices sit in it, so you can make the whole thing ahead of time, and just strain and reheat individual servings when the mood strikes.
Slow-Cooker Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
What’s better than a cup of steaming spiced hot cocoa? One that’s ready and waiting for you after a long afternoon of sledding or skiing. We slow-cooked a batch of subtly sweet cocoa sweetened with both powdered sugar (because it melts evenly) and molasses (for a rich base note). Traditional gingerbread spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make it smell like you’ve been baking all day when you’ve actually been out playing in the snow. If you have cheesecloth, bundle the spices inside of a square and secure it with kitchen twine. That way you won’t have to strain. Here’s an idea: use any leftover hot cocoa as a milk substitute in your morning coffee.