Martinis with a holiday twist

I love martinis. They are suddenly all the rage, and no wonder, with all the flavored vodkas hitting the shelves these days. They are beautiful, pack a punch and are damned tasty. The possibilities really are endless with these elegant drinks, and there is nothing quite like hitting up a great holiday party that has a signature cocktail. Why not give yourself a little something for the holidays and try one of these delicious holiday-inspired martinis?

Peppermint White Chocolate Martini: One of my favorites, this sweet and minty martini combines vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps and white chocolate liquor. Shake and pour into a martini glass decked out with a rim of marshmallow fluff and crushed peppermint candy or hang a mini candy cane over the side.

Snickerdoodle Martini: This sweet treat is easy to make. Combine Amaretto, Pinnacle Cinnabon vodka and cinnamon liquor in a shaker, strain into the glass and float a snickerdoodle cookie in the center.

Sugar Plum Martini: Shake grape vodka, blue curacao, a splash of tonic water and a drizzle of grenadine with ice and strain into a martini glass with a sugared rim and a sugared plum slice on the edge. Delish!

Sparkling Snowflake Martini: Shake Malibu rum, Hypnotiq and Cointreau and strain into a glass. Then, add a little bubbly and one ice cube. Leave it simple or garnish with a slice of star fruit.

Gingerbread Martini: The most notable winter spice makes an awesome drink. I’ve seen several ways to make this, but here is my favorite: Shake vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua and gingerbread syrup in a shaker with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a crushed gingerbread cookie rim and a bit of whipped cream.

Eggnog Martini: I don’t like eggnog at all, but for those of you who swear by this drink around the holidays, here is something to try. Shake up some eggnog with caramel vodka and a dash of chocolate syrup. Strain into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Cranberry Fizz Martini: Garnish your glass with lime juice and dip into red sugar. Shake vodka, cranberry juice and sweet vermouth and strain into the glass. Add a little champagne and a few cranberries skewered on a toothpick or drop a cranberry into the bottom of the glass.

Biscotti Martini: This is my own version of the coveted Italian cookie … in a glass. Prepare the glass with drizzles of chocolate syrup on the sides, then shake some vanilla vodka, amaretto, Kahlua (or coffee liquor) and milk. Strain into the glass and place a biscotti cookie right over the top for dipping.

Holiday Punch Martini: Who doesn’t love to see a big bowl of punch at a party? It’s almost always yummy. Shake up some pomegranate juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and Pinnacle Berry vodka and strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

Sugar Cookie Martini: Shake some vodka, cream, crème de cacao, Irish cream and butterscotch liquor and strain into a glass. Shake some rainbow sprinkles in for an instant sugar cookie. Santa may appreciate one, too.

Drink responsibly!

By Jennifer Russo