4 Delicious Recipes for This Year’s Holiday Get Togethers

All photos by Lorena Masso

Tingle Bell Champagne Punch

Makes 10 to 12 cocktails
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 bottles well-chilled champagne
½ cup bourbon
2 large oranges, cut into slices
1 large (16 ounce) jar of maraschino cherries

  1. To make a simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate or set aside until the syrup reaches room temperature.
  2. In a punch bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients and ¼ cup of the simple syrup and stir until combined. Garnish empty glasses around punch bowl with a slice of orange and a cherry, and place remaining slices of oranges and cherries in the punch bowl for decoration.


Mezcal Gimlet

Serves 1
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces mezcal
1 lime

  1. To make a simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium-size saucepan. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate or set aside until the syrup reaches room temperature.
  2. In a shaker half filled with ice, combine the mezcal, juice of one lime and 1 ounce of simple syrup. Stir until mixture is well chilled. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy!


large cocktail punch bowl with glasses


Mini Crab Tarts

Makes 60 mini tarts
1 whole crab (roughly 1 pound)
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
60 pre-baked frozen Athens phyllo shells

  1. Preheat oven to 380°F.
  2. To cook the crab, fill a large pot (approximately 6 quarts — enough to cover the crab) with salted water (approximately 1 teaspoon) and bring to a rapid boil. Add the crab and let it boil for 8 to 9 minutes. Extract the crab from the water, set aside and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove all the crabmeat from the shell and shred the meat as necessary. Place crab shell pieces in a plastic bag, seal and discard.
  3. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and with an electric mixer on slow, cream the cheese until soft. Once soft, add 3 tablespoons of chives and the remainder of the ingredients (except the phyllo shells) into the bowl with the cream cheese, and mix well using a slow setting.
  4. Remove phyllo shells from freezer, arrange them on a baking tray, and allow them to reach room temperature. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm (not hot). Remove the tray of warm shells from the oven and place on counter. Using a teaspoon, proceed to fill each shell with the crab and cream cheese mixture. Return the tray of filled shells to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes at 380°F. Remove the tray of shells once again from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven setting to broil, and once the oven has reached broil, return the tray of shells to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until the tops are browned. Remove from the oven and place on the counter to cool and set for just a few minutes. Garnish shells by sprinkling the remaining 1 tablespoon of chives over them. Plate and serve.


Ahi Poke Tuna in Cucumber Cups

Makes approximately 96 cucumber cups
12 Persian cucumbers
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2½ tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoons Sriracha
About 12 ounces ahi tuna

  1. Cut the cucumbers into 1-inch bite-size rounds (approximately 7–8 rounds per cucumber). Once sliced, take each round and using a teaspoon or melon baller, remove the seeds and create a round well in the middle, about half the depth of the round. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil,
    3 tablespoons sesame seeds, 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions and the Sriracha, and mix all together well. With a very sharp knife, cut the ahi into small (approximately ¼-inch) cubes and add it to the sauce mixture. Stir well.
  3. To serve, spoon some of the ahi mixture into each cucumber cup, allowing for approximately 3 cubes of ahi for each cup. Once all cups are filled, lightly sprinkle all with remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and remaining 1 tablespoon of finely chopped green onion to garnish. Plate and serve.


festive table laid out with small bites and cocktails