Garden Plate: Fanciful cocktail recipes that will lift your spirits for the holidays

What better way to brighten up your holidays than by crafting an imaginative cocktail? Here are some delicious recipes, from spicy red wine ice pops to pumpkin pitinis to sparkling pomegranate margaritas. cheers!

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Jack Frost may be picking your nose, but winter ice pop adult treats will warm your soul. ) to create the perfect single-serve “ice,” but popsicle trays work too.

spicy red wine ice pops

Servings: 12

1 750 ml bottle of your favorite red wine (Pinot Noir works well)

1 orange, quartered

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 spring rosemary

2 tablespoons caster sugar

Put the cloves in the orange peel. Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Heat over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it steam for 1 hour. Strain into pitcher. (This will make it easier to pour into bags or popsicle molds.) Let cool completely. Using a small funnel, pour into an ice-sized vacuum-seal bag. Do not fill more than half. Vacuum seal with maximum seal heat at minimum pressure. If using a mold, pour over the top of the mold and insert the popsicle stick. Freeze completely for at least 4 hours.

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The warm flavors of pumpkin pie merge into this dessert-worthy cocktail. Omit the alcohol for those who prefer a lighter version.

pumpkin paitin

Servings: 4

½ cup pumpkin pie puree

8 ounces vanilla flavored rum or vodka

1/2 cup half and half (fat free works best)

¼ cup dark maple syrup

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

2 cups of ice

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients. Transfer to a large drink shaker (or pitcher). Add ice, shake or stir. Strain into four martini glasses.

Tip: Wet the rim of the glass and place it in a shallow dish with cinnamon sugar for a fancy finish.

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Pomegranate juice provides the backdrop for this festive fruity cocktail. It can be kept in the refrigerator for 4 days, so make the flavor base ahead of time to save time.

Sparkling Pomegranate Margarita

Servings: 8

For flavor base:

2 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 sprig of rosemary

3 tablespoons caster sugar

¼ cup triple sec

To assemble:

1 sparkling rose 750ml bottle

1 lime, quartered for garnish

In a large pitcher, combine the flavor base ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Soak overnight (or up to 4 days) in the refrigerator. To assemble, remove the rosemary, add the sparkling rose and stir gently. Serve in a large margarita glass with a lime wedge.

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