Unlike Passover, it's not traditional to consume kosher beverages on Hanukkah. If you prefer to serve a kosher drink, stock up on He'Brew, the well-made Jewish beer.

Other than that, offer guests wine and a signature cocktail. An unusual wine like an Argentine Malbec pairs nicely with brisket. Since this is a celebration, pour another wine for dessert. A sparkling wine, dessert wine, or sweet Riesling are prefect for preparing the sufganiyot. Don't overlook water, sparkling apple cider, and grape juice.

As the guests arrive, get the party started with a round of blue ginger gimlets. This twist on the classic cocktail is light and refreshing. For the recipe that will have you saying cheers,

Blue Ginger Gimlet
From Ming Tasi

27 oz. (3 1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp.) sweet-and-sour mix
6 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp.) freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6 medium limes)
26 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp.) ginger syrup, recipe below
40 oz. (5 cups) vodka, well chilled
Lime wedges, for garnish (from about 3 medium limes)

  1. In large pitcher, stir together sweet-and-sour mix, lime juice, and ginger syrup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Gimlet mix can be refrigerated up to 2 hours. When ready to serve, shake each cocktail to order.
  2. In chilled cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz. gimlet mix, 2 oz. vodka, and 3 to 4 ice cubes. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge and serve.

Makes 20 drinks.

Ginger Syrup
7 3/4 cups (about 4 lbs.) sugar
4 1/2 cups fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8 in. slices (about 3 large hands)

  1. In medium saucepan over high heat, combine 4 1/2 cups water, sugar, and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered until syrupy and reduced by half, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  2. Strain into medium bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

Makes about 27 oz.