My favorite berries to stock up on are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Not only do I freeze them whole, I have finally learned how to make my great-grandmothers old fashion jams. To freeze them, lay them flat on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper. Place them in the freezer and once they are frozen through them into a Ziploc bag. Don't toss them in a bag before they are frozen because when you go to take them out, they will be frozen in a huge clump.
Anyways on to the booze! What holiday party is officially started until the drinks are served. How about trying something a little different than the traditional eggnog. Try making a large batch of Jingle Jangle Juice.
1 1/2 cups of berry vodka
3/4 cups Grand Marnier
6 pints of berries, a mix of raspberries and blueberries
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of simple syrup
1 bottle of sparkling wine, something extra dry
1. Combine all the ingredients (except the berries and sparkling wine) in a large glass or plastic container (or pitcher). Stir well.
2. Wash the berries.
3. When ready to serve, first fill the punch bowl with ice. Pour a small amount of the mixture in a cocktail shaker.
4. Add about five to seven berries.
5. Top with ice and shake HARD. (Make sure you shake hard enough so that the berries break apart in the cocktail shaker.)
6. Strain into the punch bowl.
7. Keep repeating steps until the mixture is all shaken and in the punch bowl.
8. Top the punch with about 3/4 of the bottle of sparkling wine and stir well.
9. Top the punch with additional berries and serve.