A Signature Cocktail for the Holidays

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10 years ago I decided to host a mash-up, multi-denomenational, excuse-to-celebrate, Chrismu-kwanzaa-kkah party and it was such a blast, the next year we did it again. Somewhere along the way, what started as a one-off fête, turned into an annual event, and one of my favourite nights of the year – a chance to catch up with good friends, some of whom I’d see on a regular basis, some of whom I’d only see on this one special night. Throughout the years the group grew and grew until my tiny one-bedroom apartment was bursting at the seams with festive cheer. There were never enough places to sit, but in some ways that made it even better – the small space meant people got up close and personal, making instant friends across so many different groups.

This is the first year in a decade that I won’t be hosting this shindig and I’m starting to realize just how much I’m going to miss it. Not only was it an excuse to booze it up and eat leftover cheese and canapés for a week, but it was also an opportunity to sip cocktails with friends and family and share the spirit of the season. Despite the face that I’m currently 16,000 km away, beaching it up in tropical temperatures, my heart is still getting into festive mode. And if I can’t be there to raise a glass in person, at least I can share a recipe for one of my favourite holiday cocktails. Maybe it’ll make it into one of your celebrations, and a little piece of me will be there celebrating with you. Cheers!

The Classic Negroni

A Negroni is one of my favourite cold-weather drinks. Smooth but not too sweet, it starts to warm you up from the second it hits your lips. There are no mixers in this aperitif, and it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s guaranteed to get the party started and will keep you feeling festive all night long.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 ounce gin
• 1 ounce Campari
• 1 ounce sweet vermouth
• Orange peel for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Combine the gin, vermouth, and Campari in a chilled old-fashioned glass with ice. Stir gently.
Run a slice of orange peel around the edge of the glass, lightly squeezing to release the oils. Drop the peel into the glass and enjoy.

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