A girls night in with holiday cocktails and apps is always one of my absolute favorite parties of the season. Low-stress, intimate and so much fun, it’s a relaxed and no-excuses way to get together with your girlfriends during the most hectic time of the year. No need for cocktail attire either. The dress code can be anything from jeans with heels and sparkles to nightgowns with fuzzy slippers (because if it’s just the girls, why not!?)
And don’t worry, there is no reason you need to pull the whole thing off all by yourself either…
Since the main theme is holiday cocktails and apps, setting a fancy table and spending all day in the kitchen will not be necessary. Instead, all you need to do is decide on one or two different main holiday cocktails to serve and one appetizer. Then ask and you will receive….
Ask your girlfriends to each bring one appetizer, one bottle of wine and a White Elephant Gift (for the gift exchange).
You can then assign the remaining items to four good friends:
- Spirited Holiday Cocktail Napkins (these Santa Napkins are so cute!)
- Holiday Paper Plates (trust me, you’ll be happy about these the next morning)
- Votive Candles (candles always make any event seem special)
- Music Play List (because you have to have holiday tunes!)
Eat, Drink & Be Merry….
Whether it’s holiday cocktails, Christmas cookies or appetizers, I still keep them all clean. And yes, a clean cocktail does have alcohol, it just doesn’t have refined sugar. There’s just no reason to serve the girls liquid sugar mixed with alcohol when a clean version tastes every bit as good!
Clean Holiday Cocktails
These are my three of my favorite clean holiday cocktails:
- Cranberry & Pomegranate Red Punch. Click HERE for the recipe.
2. Spirited Eggnog (Minus the Eggs, Dairy & Sugar!) Click HERE for the recipe.
3. Brandy Lemon Drops. See recipe below.
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- 7 organic apricots
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (divided)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( like this one from Watkin’s)
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 cups water
- Put the apricots in a microwave-safe bowl and add 1/3 cup of the lemon juice. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes to soften the apricots. Transfer the mixture to the freezer for 1 hour.
- Add the chilled apricot-lemon mixture along with the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, vanilla extract, brandy, maple syrup and water to a high-speed blender, like our favorite one from Ninja; process for 1 1/2 minutes, or until mixture is completely smooth. Chill for 1 hour. Serve chilled.
Note: All of the recipes for the Holiday Cocktails require a. This Ninja Professional it not pricey at all and during the holiday season, you can typically get it for less than $100.
Clean Holiday Appetizer Ideas
If your group of girlfriends are into clean eating then you will definitely be in luck! If not, here are a few easy ideas below…
#1: FESTIVE CHEESE BOARD
One of my favorite no-cook party appetizers is always a Festive Cheese Board (if you don’t already have one, pick up from Twine for less than $20.). I like to include a selection of organic dairy-free nut cheeses from Dr. Cow along with their sprouted sesame crackers, some dried apricots and figs, and fresh grapes and strawberries.
#2: CRUDITE PLATTER
Since I am always looking for ways to sneak in more vegetables, a Crudite Platter is a no-brainer. You can buy the veggies ahead and then all you have to do is make the dip. Green Goddess Dip, Creamy Chipotle Dip, and Honey Mustard Sauce are always good options.
#3: VEGGIE SOUP SHOOTERS
Veggie Soup Shooters served in shot glasses are another favorite and a festive way to eat your vegetables. Pumpkin-Chipotle Soup, Gazpacho with Parsley Pesto, Tomato Soup, and Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup are all good soup recipes for serving in shot glasses.
#4: EASY APPETIZERS
And of course everybody always loves Spiced or Candied Nuts. I have a delicious, Clean Candied Pecan recipe that takes no more than 10-minutes of hands-on cooking time. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas are also always a huge hit and very easy to make.
And finally, don’t forget to raise a glass and toast your girlfriends….the one below is one of my all time favorites:
“Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they’re always there!”