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Sip On This

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Christmas crowds, endless line ups and packed parking lots got you down? Go from stressing to sipping in no time flat with this step-by-step guide on how to leave a lasting impression with friends and family this holiday season.

Sip On This
Step 1: Go shopping

Always choose the best ingredients. According to Michelle Jalsevac, owner of Toronto's 'Miss Martini', "when making a great cocktail it's important to use a quality spirit. Bottle image and marketing campaigns don't always guarantee a great tasting liquid, it's the quality inside that counts…so choose wisely."

Here's your shopping list -

Liquor Store List:

  • Plymouth Gin
  • Cruzan Estate
  • Dark Rum
  • Cruzan Coconut
  • Rum
  • Xanté
  • Schnapps
  • Dry Red Wine
  • Apple Sourz
  • Liqueur

Grocery Store List:

  • Candy Canes
  • Superfine Sugar
  • Bosc Pear
  • Tea
  • Egg Nog
  • Peppermint
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Large orange
  • Large lemon

Step 2: Keep it cold

You can never have enough ice. Laura Panter, partner of the Martini club, recommends jazzing up your ice by "adding red berries or cranberry juice for added flavour and festive flare."

Step 3: Create the cocktail

Keep it simple. National home entertaining expert, Paul MacLaren from That's the suggests that when entertaining, "choose basic recipes that won't keep you stuck inside the kitchen all night fussing over complicated ingredients and techniques."

Canada's top cocktail experts recommend the following cocktails that are high in flavour and low on prep-time:

Paul's Pick: Candy Cane Martini

According to Paul, "the botanicals in the Plymouth Gin married with the minty flavour of peppermint makes this the perfect holiday treat."

  • 2 1/2 oz. Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz. Peppermint schnapps

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add both ingredients and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garish with a miniature candy cane as an edible swizzle stick.

For more recipes and at-home entertaining tips, visit

Miss Martini's Pick: The Red Nosed Reindeer

No holiday party would be complete without egg nog. "Pears are the star of this drink from the pear-flavoured cognac to the reindeer ears, this cocktail not only tastes great, but it's the ideal conversation starter," comments Michelle.

  • 1 oz Xanté
  • 1 oz Sourz apple liqueur
  • 4 - 5 oz. Eggnog

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry on the rim of the glass and opposite the cherry place two slices of pear (with browned skin)... Voila - the red nosed reindeer

For more recipes or further information on Miss Martini, visit

Laura's Pick: Christmas Punch

"By serving a punch, you not only free up your own time, but you can be socially responsible by controlling the amount of alcohol in the bowl," comments Laura.

  • 3 cups strong tea
  • 2 bottles of dry red wine (750 ml.)
  • 1 bottle of Cruzan Estate Dark Rum (750 ml.)
  • 1 lb. superfine sugar
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Heat wine, tea and fruit juices in a saucepan, but do not boil. This punch may be served from the saucepan or transferred to a heatproof punch bowl. Put sugar into a large ladle and saturate with rum. If ladle is not large enough for all the sugar, put remainder in punch bowl. Ignite rum in ladle and pour blazing into punch. Stir well, extinguish flames, and then pour remainder of rum into punch. Stir again and serve. Makes about 27 Servings

For more recipes or further information on The Martini Club visit

Step 4: Enjoy!!

Let the stress of the holiday party slip away as you relax and enjoy your company and cocktails you spent no time making!

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