If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know we would never miss the chance to make
pretty websites cookies or cocktails. Ever.
If you’re a true OG, you may even remember Jeff & Darren’s annual (and famous) Cookies & Cocktails party — famous in the greater Pacific Northwest region.
While it didn’t happen last year (for obvious reasons), not only did it make its grand return this past weekend (and last until 4am!), but this year, Meghan is hosting her own on the East coast (Jen will be attending, obvs. Probably will not last until 4am.)
We’re firm believers in good booze and butter — not typically combined — and in collaboration over competition (although we’ll crush you in a gingerbread decorating contest), so we’re here today to share our favorite recipes with you, for all of your hosting, cheers-ing, midnight snacking (and leaving for Santa) needs.
These, friends, are the most favorite, TONIC-tested, tried (and tried!) and true…
We’ll start with the cocktails, then get into the cookies!
Peek inside the post
THE MOST FESTIVE DRINK YOU EVER DID SEE
Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer
Jeff has made this every year for C&C for two reasons:
1) it’s so pretty, festive, and delicious, and 2) it’s very much a fan favorite.
He always serves it first as it’s basically like saying “Merry Everything” when party-goers arrive.. it’s so light and bubbly. Plus, the pomegranate arils have been known to ride the bubbles which is a very fun party trick.
Ryan makes his own (equally delicious) version, what he and his fiancé call a Christmas Cranberry (basically Cointreau instead of peach, cranberry in place of pomegranate).
AS PRETTY AS IT IS DELICIOUS
Blood Orange Gin & Tonic
Admittedly, we’re both total suckers for a classic G&T, but level it up with a bit freshly-squeezed blood orange and you’ll have both of us caroling around the piano in no time. This version is stunning and refreshing.
THE CRANBERRIES DOUBLE AS DESSERT
If you’re anything like us, this little Moscow-Mule-Made-Merry-And-Bright number had you at “sugared cranberry garnish.” The sprig of rosemary (and flavor!) is just a bonus.
TONIC Tip: We go easy on the simple, use gin, and add a squeeze of lime. Jeff often goes for pomegranate airlis and juice instead of cranberry!
WHEN YOU WANNA PLEASE A CROWD
Make sure you click through to see the set-up here with the fir sprigs and orange wheels. *swoon* The ingredients sound unusual, but this is so easy, delish and memorable that everyone will feel like they’re under the mistletoe (you knew that joke was coming).
OUR HOUSE COCKTAIL
Just in case you’re new around here, we’ll catch you up: the Bomber is our signature TONIC cocktail and best of all, it’s extremely batch-friendly. It tastes like Christmas in a glass, and our friends are a little upset when we show up for a party without it.
FOR THE OLD FASHIONED LOVER
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, Morgan suggests trying this richly flavored, mildly bitter cocktail that also pairs perfectly with a cozy (dare we say white?) Christmas. With a complex aroma and flavor rich with cardamom, gentian and peppermint, it’s like an Old Fashioned, but assertive and different and definitely not expected.
TONIC Tip: Replace the simple syrup with maple!
BECAUSE TEQUILA IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA
While we remain devoted lovers (and consumers) of Tequila, Jeff really likes the mezcal option since the smokiness of mezcal pairs so nicely with the herbal notes from the spiced hibiscus syrup.
TONIC Tip: Top each drink with a little club soda for some fizz!
AN ACTUALLY GREAT MOCKTAIL?
Who says mocktails don’t have fun? With holiday-spiced grenadine syrup, club soda, and a hint of citrus, this is a grown-up Shirley Temple everyone can enjoy.
TONIC Tip: IF you do want to imbibe, a splash of Scotch is all you need.
REALLY. THE VERY BEST
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
The only regret you’ll have after making these? That you didn’t bake at least 2 more dozen. They are unreal and totally fussy and the worst part is you have to wait at least 48 hours before you bake them, but omg, WORTH. IT. (Don’t you dare rush them.)
Tonic tip: For best results, be sure to get Maldon sea salt flakes (or something REAL flaky) for the top.
THE ORANGE ZEST IS THE KEY
Brown Butter Gingersnaps
Yeah, you’ve had a gingersnap before, but not like this: soft, chewy insides and crisp outsides, with depth from the brown butter and a difficult-to-place but entirely welcome hit of flavor from the orange zest.
TONIC Tip: Do NOT skip the orange zest.
EVERYTHING YOU WANT IN A CHRISTMAS COOKIE
Peppermint Mocha Cookies
These may look a little time-intensive, what with the white chocolate dip and candy cane garnish, but OMG. They’ll be the prettiest cookie on your table, and as far as the taste — imagine a fudgy brownie with a peppermint finish… YUM. From now on, it just won’t be Christmas without them.
DON’T MESS WITH A CLASSIC
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Jeff’s mom has been making these peanut butter bars every Christmas since he was a kid, so he’s carried on the tradition and make them every Cookies & Cocktails aaaaand another batch for Christmas week, too. They are so easy, delicious, and total crowd-pleasers.
LIKE PERFECTLY SNOWY PILLOWS OF NUTELLA
Confession: we’re not even that into Nutella (GASP) OR particularly nutty cookies (DOUBLE GASP), and yet, these somehow defy all of that and make our holiday cookie top five. We bet they’ll make yours, too.
TONIC tip: If you can’t find hazelnuts, use walnuts instead.
AS GOOD AS THEY LOOK
Brown-Butter Toffee Sandwich Cookies
A friend brought these little toffee cuties to Jeff’s party this year and they are so pretty AND had the perfect snap that cookie dreams are made of. They’re like The Great British Baking Show does (sophisticated) Oreos…in the best way.
From our flour-covered kitchens to yours, there’s something for everyone here, so get to baking and bartending, friends! And you know we love feedback, so if you make and enjoy any of these recipes, will you let us know?
Tag us @tonicsiteshop and use #cookiesandcocktails on Insta, please!
Because we also love knowing what you love, we welcome all of your festive recommendations, too! Here’s to the company and conversation, the nostalgia and newness, and the blessing and beauty this holiday season holds.