4 Ina Garten Cocktails Perfect for Holiday Entertaining — Because a ‘Party Without Cocktails is Just a Meeting’

Ina Garten is known for her delicious recipes and her knack for entertaining — especially during the holidays. But a Christmas party isn’t just about the food. Paraphrasing Julia Child, the Barefoot Contessa says that “a party without cocktails is just a meeting.”

Ina Garten mixing up cocktails for Seth Meyers on February 6, 2019
Ina Garten | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten says cocktails are an important part of party planning

When putting together your menu this year for your holiday party, Garten says to include a special cocktail. An important part of party planning is finding the right cocktail that goes with the dinner menu and theme.

You want to choose something that will mix in some holiday festiveness and take the edge off of that Christmas stress. And, of course, it should taste really good.

‘The Barefoot Contessa’ star has a creative Tegroni cocktail recipe

During an episode of The Barefoot Contessa: Modern Comfort Food titled “A Barefoot Holiday,” Garten shared her creative holiday cocktail recipe that she described as “part tequila, part Negroni.”

Garten called the drink a Tegroni. And it’s made with equal parts tequila, sweet Cinzano, and Campari. The Food Network star recommends serving this cocktail on the rocks, and garnishing it with a grapefruit peel.

Ina Garten gets her inspiration from Julia Child — ‘A party without cocktails is just a meeting’

During the 2019 Christmas season, Garten posted about one of her favorite holiday cocktails — Sidecars with Dried Cherries. For this drink, you’ll need lemons, sugar, dried cherries, good Cognac, and Grand Marnier liqueur.

“To paraphrase Julia Child – ‘A party without cocktails is just a meeting!’” Garten wrote on Instagram. “My Sidecars with Dried Cherries are a classic old-fashioned cocktail with a twist – I make them with freshly squeezed lemon juice, Cognac and Grand Marnier plus Cognac-soaked dried cherries. They’re sweet and tart and the perfect holiday cocktail!!”

The Pomegranate Gimlet from ‘Modern Comfort Food’

In Garten’s latest cookbook Modern Comfort Food, the celebrity chef included the recipe for another “perfect holiday cocktail” — the Pomegranate Gimlet. Start by putting martini glasses in the freezer at least one hour before serving so they can chill.

Mix together gin (Garten recommends Tanqueray), pomegranate juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a large pitcher. Then, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice and add your drink mixture until the shaker is three-quarters full.

“Shake for a full 15 seconds (it’s longer than you think!). Pour the mixture into the frozen martini glasses and garnish with a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds and a slice of lime. Repeat with the remaining drink mixture and serve ice cold,” Garten says.

Ina Garten’s Cranberry martinis are loaded with vodka

From her book Make It Ahead comes Garten’s recipe for Cranberry Martinis, which she also featured on an episode of The Barefoot Contessa: Modern Comfort Food titled “Ultimate Cocktails.”

The ingredients you’ll need are sugar, fresh cranberries, strips of orange zest, a bottle of good vodka (Garten recommends Grey Goose), cranberry juice cocktail, triple sec, and ice.

Several days in advance, Garten says to place the sugar, cranberries, orange zest, and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let it simmer for five minutes — until the cranberries start popping open. Pour the vodka into a large pitcher, then add your cranberry mixture and cover. Store it in the fridge for at least two days before serving.

When a fan asked Garten if she made a mistake when she listed an entire bottle of vodka in the recipe, the Food Network star said it wasn’t an error.

“Yes, that’s correct. They’re martinis! (But I wouldn’t let a friend drive after drinking one!),” Garten wrote.

The Barefoot Contessa: Modern Comfort Food airs Sundays on the Food Network.

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