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Holiday Appetizers and Party Drinks

Updated on May 30, 2011

Sometime during the holiday season, you may want to invite friends or out of town visitors to have appetizers and drinks with you, just for the fun of it.

An appetizer tree, cheese ball and braunswiger (liverwurst) ball recipes are included in this hub.

Drinks include margaritas, sangria and a golden pheasant drink with gin or vodka.

Eye-Catching and Easy

Appetizer Tree

For the tree: Take a 10 or 12 inch Styrofoam cone and pin lettuce or parsley on it. (I use T-pins)

For the ornaments: Assemble cheese cubes, ham and cheese roll-ups, shrimp, cocktail franks, radishes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or your own favorites. Attach with toothpicks.

You can use small holiday cookie cutters to cut shapes from cheese, bologna, green and red peppers, zucchini, cucumbers work well.

Use stuffed Spanish olives for a holiday touch.

For the tree topper: Cut a large star from a red pepper and 3 small stars from slices of American and Swiss cheese. Overlap small stars and attach to tree with toothpicks. Top with an olive.  Attach red star to tree behind small stars.

Cheese Ball

This cheese ball can be rolled in chopped walnuts. It is my favorite cheese ball and is much better than the ones you buy.

1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup)

1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or you can substitute mayo)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Combine all ingredients and thoroughly mix. Roll in chopped nuts, if desired. Chill until served. Can be made ahead.

Serve with crackers or veggies.

You can substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped ham and 1/4 cup chopped green pepper for the bacon and onion. Why not make two different ones?

Braunschweiger Liverwurst Ball

This is delicious, but not for anyone watching their cholesterol. It is like a liver pate, but better tasting.

1 pound braunschweiger liverwurst (You can get it in your grocery store deli)

8 ounces cream cheese

3 hard boiled eggs

1 medium onion

1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce

2 Tablespoons milk

parsley flakes

Chop eggs and onion until very fine.

In large bowl, mix braunschweiger, 4 ounces cream cheese, eggs and onion until smooth. Form into a ball.

In small bowl, mix other 4 ounces cream cheese, milk and Tabasco sauce until smooth. Spread on ball like icing and sprinkle with parsley flakes.

Basic Frozen Margaritas

The bite from the salt, the tingle from the tequila and the taste of sour lime make this taste like the authentic Mexican sensation!

Lime wedge

6 oz tequila (3/4 cup)

4 oz frozen limeade concentrate (1/2 cup)

1/3 cup orange liqueur

20 to 24 ice cubes (about 3 cups)

Moisten glass rims with lime. Invert into coarse salt. Chill glasses. In blender, process tequila, limeade and liqueur till smooth. With blender running, add ice cubes, one at a time, blending until slushy. Serves 8.


Prepare glasses or use granulated sugar instead of salt.

Strawberry Margarita: In blender combine tequila, limeade and liqueur. Add one 10 oz package frozen strawberries, broken up. Cover and blend till smooth. Add ice as directed for basic margaritas.

Grape Margarita: In blender combinetequila, one 6 oz can frozen grape juice concentrate and liqueur. Omit limeade. Add ice as directed.

Banana Margarita: In blender combine tequila, limeade, liqueur and 2 cups cut-up ripe bananas. Cover and blend till smooth. Add ice as directed.

Apricot Margarita: In blender combine tequila, limeade, liqueurand one 16 oz can drained apricots. Add ice as directed for basic frozen margaritas.


These recipes are courtesy of the St Petersburg Times.

White Sangria

1 750 ml bottle dry white wine

1/2 cup Curacao liqueur

1/4 cup sugar

1 orange, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

1 lime, sliced

4-5 large strawberries, sliced

1-10 oz bottle club soda

Mix wine, liqueur and sugar in pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. (Dissolve sugar in small amount of water, then heat and cool) Add sliced fruit and chill for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in soda and ice cubes.

Red Sangria

1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur

2 oranges, halved and cut into thin half-moons

1 lemon, halved and cut into thin half-moons

1-1.5 liter bottle dry red wine

Mix liqueur, orange and lemon slices in a large pitcher. With a wooden spoon, mash the fruit and mix the juice with the liqueur.

Pour in the wine and mix again. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving in chilled glasses with orange slices for garnish.

Gin or Vodka Drink

Golden Pheasant

12 oz gin or vodka

1/2 cup egg beaters

1-8 oz can frozen lemonade

1 cup confectioner's sugar

Chilled cream soda

Combine all ingredients except cream soda in blender. Process until well-blended. Refrigerate in closed container for 1 hour. This is the base.

To serve: Pour 1 shot of base over ice cubes in glass and fill with chilled cream soda.


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    • judydianne profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Thank you so much, N. The drinks ARE delicious! Everything is easy to fix, so you can enjoy your party!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Wow! great looking appetizers and all of the drinks look delicious. Thanks.


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