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Over the holidays, friends and family gather to reconnect and enjoy the sweet sentiments of the season. It’s the perfect time to make entertaining at your home a winter custom and also an opportunity to gather poolside for fun and conversation. There’s no better icebreaker than an innovative winter cocktail or an old favorite. Whatever your culinary tastes, integrating some classic holiday flavors with a bit of a twist will let your guests know they are worth the extra effort.


Warm Concoctions for Cool Poolside Evenings

Whisky, bourbon and rum all invoke the coziness of the holidays. For your winter poolside gathering, take advantage of the peaceful water atmosphere and offer your guests some comfort drinks.

Irish Coffee

Serve up an inviting Irish coffee by dissolving 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in a mug containing 1 cup of hot coffee and adding 3 teaspoons of Irish whiskey. Then, top with a dollop of whipped cream. If it’s a chilly night by the pool, warm up the mug first by filling it with hot water and emptying before adding the coffee.

Hot Buttered Rum

Butter and rum pair well to make this drinkable delight. Whip up four servings of hot buttered rum by bringing the following ingredients to a boil:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in 2/3 cup of dark or white rum.

Make It Shaken or Stirred

The bartender in you might want to add some extra flair to your holiday poolside gathering with some easy mixes. So, why not try some seasonal flavors with your spirits? Here are two cocktails that are sure to spice up your festivities.

A rosemary maple bourbon sour is a mix of 3 oz. of bourbon, 1 oz. of maple syrup and 1/2 oz. of lemon juice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary (hence the name).

The Manhattan is for your poolside guests who love a classic cocktail with their party conversation. Shake 2 oz. of rye whiskey, 1 oz. of vermouth and two dashes of Angostura? aromatic bitters with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a maraschino cherry.

Say It With a Garnish

As with any event you host, you want your poolside holiday celebration to be the best it can be. Small touches like special garnishes showcase the thought you put into making the most of the evening. Garnish your drinks with mini candy canes, sugar-coated cranberries, sprigs of mint or mini gingerbread men. Small, thoughtful touches like this go a long way to creating a warm, welcoming and memorable event.

Hosting a poolside holiday party can be a great way to celebrate the season with friends and family. Once you have the perfect cocktails ready to serve, all that’s left is for you and your guests to gather around the pool, relax and savor the moment.