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Easy and festive holiday cocktails with Ginain Grayes of @cookprayslay

The holidays are in full swing and this month I’m sharing some quick and simple holiday cocktail recipes to level up your festive gatherings and celebrations. It’s that time of year we come together for good food and great company.

Related: Savor the Season: Restaurants serving Christmas dinner and brunch in Tampa Bay

These are just a few of my favorite sips that are sure to compliment any holiday spread. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re making it for a crowd or a party of one. All of these recipes can easily be transformed into ‘‘mocktails” for a family-friendly approach. Remember to always drink responsibly.

Cheers to a safe and joyous holiday season!

Spiced Apple Cider Punch

Spiced Apple Cider Punch recipe


  • 1 apple
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cups ginger ale
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup spiced rum
  • (For garnish) Thinly sliced apples, cinnamon sticks/star anise, citrus


  1. In a pitcher, combine apple cider, ginger ale, pineapple juice and spiced rum
  2. Stir together and add garnishes.
  3. Serve immediately & enjoy.

Festive Red Wine & Orange Sangria

red wine orange sangria recipe


  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine (Merlot, Pinot Noir, or fruity red wine)
  • 2 cups fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, oranges and cranberries)
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1-½ cips club soda (optional)
  • 6-8 sprigs, rosemary herb (garnish)
  • Ice (to your liking)


  1. Stir together orange juice and sugar in a pitcher until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add wine, fruit and brandy
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (you can chill for up to 24 hours) until it’s ready to serve.
  4. Gentle stir in the club soda before serving over ice. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

 Coquito Me, Please (5 minute Quick & Easy Recipe)



  • 1 can coconut cream (I use Coco Lopez brand)
  • 1 can sweet condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup rum
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • (Optional) cinnamon sticks


  1. Pour all the ingredients except the rum and cinnamon sticks into a blender. Blend on medium speed for about 1 minute. Taste to make sure your cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg are to your liking.
  2. Add the rum and blend again for another minute. Taste to make sure the amount of rum is to your liking.
  3. Pour into a glass bottle or mason jar and add a cinnamon stick. Refrigerate to chill for a couple of hours. Coquito tastes better after it’s chilled in the fridge for a day. Make sure to shake before pouring into a glass.

 Holiday Pear Mimosa

Holiday Pear Mimosa



  • 3/4 c. pear nectar
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • Pear slices, fresh, for garnish
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
  • Cranberries, frozen, for garnish


  1. In champagne flutes, add pear nectar and top off with champagne.
  2. Garnish with pear slices.

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Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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