Jingle Bells. Cocktails. Pass the Sugar Paper.

Merry Christmas, pretty people!

I hope Santa brought you all everything you wanted and more…even the naughty bunch.

Now, in usual fashion, I thought I would quickly share a bit of Christmas banter with you before you start digging into your fabulous holiday feasts.

Honestly, I don’t think many things can top Christmas. There is just so much love and joy in the air this time of year.

Nothing compares to the feeling of giving (and receiving if we’re being completely honest) gifts to the ones you love.

As stressful as I find Christmas shopping at times, I get so excited when my family members are about to open my gifts…especially when they’re wrapped in super chic holiday paper. Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

I know they say it’s not about what’s on the outside, but I think presentation counts for a lot, most certainly at Christmas.

Personally, when I see a pretty package with my name on it all tied up with ribbons and bows, it makes what’s inside all the more special.

I love taking the time to pick out my giftwrap every year because it really personalizes the present and shows how much thought and effort went into the gift itself. Shoot, even if you just went the “last-minute gift card from isle nine at the grocery store route,” taking the time to wrap it up beautifully will make a big difference to the one receiving it.

If you couldn’t tell, I am not a gift bag girl, which is why I always turn to Sugar Paper to help showcase my gifts in festive fashion.

I am completely obsessed with this brand, as I’m sure you recall from last year’s Christmas post.

Sugar Paper always comes out with the most stunning giftwrap and accessories. I love that they go outside of the holiday comfort zone and feature colors and patterns not typically associated with Christmas. In other words, think minimalistic, pastels, metallic gold, and muted tones as opposed to the standard bright reds/greens and loud prints.

I love the classy simplicity of this packaging, and think it is so gorgeous when all of the different styles come together as one.

I like to take my time when I wrap gifts, and try to make every present a little different from the last. Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Personally, I find this requires an entire day spent in pajamas, Pandora’s N*SYNC (Holiday) Radio blasting in the background, and a (strong) festive cocktail within arm’s reach.

The last “requirement” is optional, of course, but highlyyy recommended.

We all need to unwind around the holidays, right? Let’s be real, the holidays are freaking exhausting. So alcohol. Bubbly, spiced, and frosted please.

I love a good seasonal sipper when I’m doing my holiday prep, so I headed to my favorite website in all the land to get some inspo…PINTEREST! The ultimate go-to.

I was so excited when I found two holiday cocktails that I could add a my own little flare to.

+ Sparkling Pomegranate Rosemary Chrismosas

So, I know that combo sounds a little cray, but trust it’s delicious when it all comes together.

Ingredients

+ Champagne

+ 12 oz. Pomegranate Seeds

+ Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

+ 12 oz. Cranberries (frosted if desired)

+ Cranberry Juice or Pomegranate Juice

This cocktail screams Christmas, and it is so damn simple.

Grab a champagne flute, pour in your bubbly, add a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice, toss in a few pomegranate seeds, cranberries, a sprig of rosemary, and you are done.

If you want to be real fancy, you can frost your cranberries before tossing them in, which is also super easy (and will come in handy for the next cocktail as well).

To frost your cranberries you’ll need

+ Baking Sheet

+ Cooling Rack

+ ½ Cup Granulated Sugar

+ ½ Cup Agave (or simple syrup)

+ 12 oz. Fresh Cranberries

First, take your baking sheet and line it with foil. Then, place the cooling wrack on top of the lined baking sheet.

Next, pour 12 oz. of fresh cranberries into a bowl, add a ½ cup of agave, and stir the mixture together until the cranberries are fully coated.

Then, scoop the coated cranberries out onto the cooling rack and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or until the agave coating thickens). Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Once the coating has thickened, put the cranberries back into the bowl and add a ½ cup of granulated sugar.

Toss the cranberries in the sugar until fully coated. Once the cranberries are covered, scoop them back out onto the cooling rack, and put them back in the fridge for about an hour before using as a garnish. Not hard at all, right?

+ Spiced Cran-Apple Mule

Everyone loves a good mule, and this once packs a festive punch. SO yum.

Ingredients

+ 2 oz. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

+ 3 oz. Ginger Beer

+ 1 ½ oz. Spiced Rum

+ 12 oz. Fresh Cranberries

+ 2 Whole Granny Smith Apples

+ ½ Cup Agave

+ ½ Cup Granulated Sugar

+ Miniature Cookie Cutters (if desired)

Ok, so to begin, I would frost your cranberries using the method featured above.

Next, I would move on to the apple garnishes. Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

So, since my middle name is Extra, I went out and purchased mini metal cookie cutters that came in holiday shapes, and used these to cut my apple slices.

This little touch of detail gave the cocktail added festive vibes, but is totally optional. By all means, just chop those apples into thin slices or cubes if you wish.

If you enjoy overdoing it, though, here’s how I cut my apples:

First, I sliced two Granny Smith apples into thin rounds. Then, I used the cookie cutters to pop out cute holiday shapes. The pack I used came with a christmas tree, angel, bell, candy cane, star, and ornament cutter, so I cut a few of each shape.

*Pro Tip: If you’re making your cocktail garnishes in advance, use a combination of lemon juice and water to soak your apple slices, which will prevent them from browning. Works like a charm.

After you’ve cut your apples, fill a copper mug or rocks glass with ice and add 1 ½ oz. of spiced rum. I went for The Kracken Black Spiced Rum this time around, but any spiced rum will do.

Then, add 3 oz. of ginger beer, 2 oz. of unsweetened cranberry juice, stir, and place your frosted cranberry and apple cutout garnishes. I chose to stick a few frosted cranberries on a toothpick and float my apple slices.

Again, this cocktail is easy, festive, and tastes great.

+ + +

Now, I realize it’s a little too late to stock up on Sugar Paper and have yourself a tipsy wrapping party…unless you’re the ultimate procrastinator…in which case, drink up, Grinches! But, for everyone else, hopefully you can at least get your hands on some Sugar Paper next year, or maybe even sneak in a cocktail or two this evening.

Happy Holidays!

Until next time.

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