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“Home For The Holidays” takes a new meaning this year, but doesn’t have to ruin the season!

It looks like we won’t be leaving the house this holiday season, but on the brighter side, this also means no need for a designated driver either! We figured a bit of custom cocktail inspiration–and responsible drinking–is just what the doctor ordered to spread some cheer at home this year.

Ordinarily, the drinks we offer our clients through Personal Touch Dining are Spring or Summer themed signature beverages that help add flair to an event. We get rave reviews over the Strawberry Basil Splash and they even offer “Logo Cocktails” now! Drop the cheesy cocktail napkins. These are the newest way to send a message while delighting your impressed guests! Imagine each of these holiday drinks with your signature logo on top for the perfect viral social media post. Make your friends Grinchy-green with envy over your immaculate custom cocktail presentation this season!

If you’re like us, we’re looking to take the nostalgia of a perfect Christmas and mix in a little extra fun. Here at the Castle, the chilly mountain air and proximity to Julian, San Diego’s premier mountain retreat and apple-picking destination put us into the perfect headspace for the holidays. We took some classic Julian Apple Cider to help share the spirit and transformed it into a few signature holiday cocktails!

Apple Cider Sangria

Not only does this fall sangria recipe look beautiful, but after one sip you feel like wearing a cozy sweater with a spiced candle in front of a roaring fireplace. This apple cider sangria is a perfect drink to make from September through the new year and is just sweet enough, thanks to the cinnamon-spiced apples, pears, and orange. It’s sure to go fast, so we recommend making it in bulk using a multi-gallon beverage dispenser. Keep it in the fridge for guests to serve themselves through the tap!

  • Thinly slice a pear, apple, and orange. Place them in a bowl and mix with a sprinkle of sugar for a candied effect.
  • Add the fruit to a pitcher and pour in your choice of red wine. Allow standing 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
  • When ready to serve, fill each glass half-full with sparkling apple cider or regular apple cider. Top off with the red wine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or rosemary and serve!

Old Fashioned Spiked Cider

Looking for a drink that exudes all the fall and winter vibes? Try this Apple Cider Cocktail! Cider pairs perfectly with sweet and spicy bourbon in this sophisticated drink. It’s got a hint of lemon and a surprise ingredient that rounds out the flavors into a meld that’s intriguing, complex, and highly drinkable! Unlike so many classic cocktails, this one’s got no script of what a bartender might usually do. So we got creative and made an apple cider cocktail that’s so good, we’ll be drinking it all fall and winter. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apple Cider (sparkling or regular)
  • 1oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • a fresh squeeze of lemon
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters

Preparation: Combine bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice in a glass. Top off with your apple cider and squeeze a slice of lemon over everything. Garnish with a thin apple or orange slice for a bit of festive flair!

Mulled Apple Cider

Spicy, sweet, and most importantly, WARM! This mulled apple cider hits the spot every holiday and is one of the best non-alcoholic holiday drink options so that the whole family can enjoy it. This magical elixir makes your house smell like a Christmas wonderland while it simmers on the stove or is left warming in a crockpot. It’s also the easiest to make! Starting with some fresh unfiltered 100% apple juice, add a few sticks of cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, allspice, and a few star anise to a warming pot and let it stew. Ladle into your favorite holiday mugs and garnish with orange and cranberries for a beautiful holiday drink.

We hope you enjoy these apple-inspired holiday craft cocktails!

All we ask is that you enjoy these drinks responsibly and remember to share the love, not our germs, this holiday season!