Launch the festivities with spirited cocktails and no-fuss dips. (Serves 10)
Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail
Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail
Orange Chipotle-Spiced Pecan Mix

Traditional Hummus

Spicy Baked Pita Chips
Shrimp Skewers with Coconut, Jalapeño, and Cilantro Dipping Sauce

March 10, 2010
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross

The Holiday Liquor Cabinet
To make our cocktail recipes and other mixed drinks, here are helpful items to have on hand:
• Brandy (such as cognac or Armagnac)
• Orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
• Bourbon or Tennessee whiskey
• Gin
• Vodka
• Sparkling wine (Spanish cava and Italian proseco are most affordable)
• Assorted fruit juices (pink grapefruit, orange, cranberry, and such)
• Mixers (club soda, tonic water, ginger ale)
• Seasonal garnishes (star anise, cinnamon sticks)

Suggested tools to mix your drinks: martini shaker, strainer, bar knife, stirrer, ice tongs or spoon, double-jigger measure, bottle opener, and corkscrew. Basic bar tool sets start at about $20.