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Hot Chocolate for Christmas

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Whether you’re snuggling up to a warm fire, getting frisky at the company Christmas party, or still commiserating Trump’s election (who isn’t?), booze will likely to become your BFF this holiday season.

While seasonal classics like Bailey’s hot coco will never get old, when it comes to spiked recipes, there’s always room for innovation. This year has defied all expectations, so before it’s up, be sure to get down with these deliciously boozy meals.

Drunken Grapefruit Salad

Amidst holiday sweets, a dish that gets you tipsy without toppling your waistline is truly a Christmas miracle. Low-cal, easy to prepare, and perfectly timed—peak grapefruit season begins in December—this Tanqueray-spiked grapefruit salad is sure to become a holiday staple.


8 cups refrigerated grapefruit, drained and juice reserved

1/4 cup white sugar

3 fluid ounces Tanqueray gin

8 leaves fresh mint, minced

8 whole mint leaves


Mix grapefruit, 1/2 cup reserved juice, and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Transfer grapefruit mixture to 8 serving cups; top each with about 1 teaspoon gin.

Sprinkle minced mint over each cup. Garnish each cup with 1 mint leaf.

Tequila-Spiked Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa

Nothing completes your holiday happy hour like a serving of chips and dip—but why let the fun stop at your sip? To perhaps no one’s surprise, Don Julio and your favorite salsa recipe are a match made in heaven. Stir one tablespoon of tequila into any salsa, or try this new mix.


2 small firm ripe mangoes

2 cored pineapple, rings, about 1/2-inch thick

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

2/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)

1 tablespoon tequila

1 teaspoon paprika


Cut 1/2-inch thick slice from flat sides of each mango. Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, without cutting through the skin. Reserve remaining mango for another use.

Grill mango, cut-side down, and pineapple over medium heat of well-greased grill 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning pineapple once. Cool until able to handle.

Push mango from skin side to pop the flesh up. Cut both mango and pineapple into bite-size pieces. Mix grilled fruit, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, agave nectar, tequila and smoked paprika in medium bowl until well blended.

Booze-Infused Pizza

I know. As a New Yorker, I too am somewhat offended by the idea of tainting an all-time classic, with alcohol nonetheless. Yet Boston restaurant Salvatore’s has generated quite the buzz over their Vignola Cherry Pizza, featuring Italian cherries soaked in raspberry vodka. Salvatore’s doesn’t share their famous recipe, but we’ve whipped up our own using their same ingredients.


1 pre-made package of pizza dough

Two tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

¼ pound prosciutto

½ cup gorgonzola crumbled cheese

½ cup mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup cherries

1 cup raspberry vodka


Place cherries in a jar and pour vodka over them, let them soak for 12-48 hours. Remove cherries from vodka and pat dry.

Place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 500 degrees Stretch 1 pound dough on a floured pizza peel, large wooden cutting board or parchment paper.

Brush dough with olive oil, then top with cheese, prosciutto, and cherries. Drizzle honey on top. Slide the pizza (with the parchment paper, if using) onto the stone or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Whiskey Bacon Mac and Cheese

When it’s snowy and freezing outside, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of mac and cheese. Except, maybe, whiskey-infused bacon mac and cheese. Rich, creamy, and smoky, this dish quite literally defines “treat yourself.” Please do so, shamelessly.


10 slices bacon

½ cup Whiskey

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound macaroni pasta

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Whiskey

2 cups milk

3 cups medium or sharp cheddar cheese

4 slices provolone cheese

½ teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup whiskey to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat. On a plate, combine brown sugar and cayenne. Dip bacon into whiskey and then press each side into brown sugar mixture to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 7 minutes, then flip and bake for about 5 minutes. Watch the bacon so it doesn’t burn. {The sugar will run all over the pan, and the bacon with have a shiny lacquered look.} Remove the bacon to a plate coated with non-stick cooking spray to cool. Chop bacon; set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain pasta; set aside.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. {You will have a very tight roux.} Add 1 tablespoon whiskey and whisk into roux. Whisk in 1 cup milk until combined. Add remaining milk. Whisk frequently until sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Add cheeses; whisk until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth. Add paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over pasta, and add bacon. Stir until pasta is completely coated in sauce. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Bad Santa Bourbon Spiced Brownies

Boozy holiday desserts are limitless, so we’ve done you a solid and picked out the creme-de-la-creme (pun intended). If a creamy chocolaty combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, candied chestnuts, and spicy-sweet Bulleit Bourbon doesn’t sound like a dream boat, you must be the Grinch.


175g Unsalted butter, cubed

125g Dark chocolate, chopped finely

275g Caster sugar

2 Eggs plus 2 egg yolks

3 Tbsp. Bourbon

1 Vanilla pod scraped of seeds

100g Plain flour

1 tsp Ground ginger

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Allspice

¼ tsp Ground cloves

¼ tsp Black pepper

3g fine sea salt

85g crushed Candied Chestnuts

90g chopped toasted pecans

Sea salt flakes for topping


Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F). Line the tray with baking paper with an overhang of 5cm. In a medium heat proof bowl melt chocolate and butter together on a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water, if so use a smaller sauce pan. Stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes.

While chocolate is cooling whisk eggs, yolks, vanilla bean seeds and sugar in a stand mixer to very pale and fluffy. I did mine for about 6 minutes.

Place your flour, spices and salt in a bowl and give it a good stir to combine well.

Stir in bourbon to the chocolate mixture. Remove egg mixture from the stand mixer and roughly fold the chocolate into the bowl until almost combined. Add flour, spices and salt and fold till no flour is seen. Add chestnuts and pecan and fold until just combined.

Pour into the tray, sprinkle salt flakes and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. For REALLY dense brownies go for 45 but I took mine out at 50 min.

Allow to cool in time then transfer to the fridge overnight before

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