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Come Party With Me: Snow Picnic — Drinks

Since the snow picnic is a lunch, a signature cocktail is not necessary. Instead offer guests beer, water, and wine. Place beer directly in the snow to keep it icy cold and serve the wine in plastic glasses. An Italian Chianti pairs nicely with the soup, salad, and sandwiches, while a buttery California Chardonnay is a nice white option. I plan on making a birthday toast with a bottle of bubbly during dessert.

After the snowball fight, invite guests back to your house for a glass of hot cocoa. Set up a hot chocolate bar before you leave for the picnic. Allow guests to stir in their own hot chocolate accompaniments. To check out the hot chocolate bar recipe,


Hot Chocolate Bar
From Giada De Laurentiis

Hot Chocolate:
4 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
Espresso shots
1 toffee candy bar, crumbled (recommended: Heath Bar)
Mini marshmallows
whipped cream
mini bottles of liquor: Peppermint Schnapps, Kahlua, Baileys, Frangelico, Cinnamon Schnapps
Cinnamon-Sugar, recipe follows

  1. Make the hot chocolate: in a medium saucepan, heat 4 cups of the milk over low heat, being very careful not to let the milk boil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, and the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  3. Add the cocoa mixture to the warm milk, and continue to warm the cocoa until hot.
  4. Pour into 4 mugs and serve along with the garnishes.
  5. For the hot chocolate bar: on a large serving tray or buffet table, arrange the mugs of hot chocolate, a small pitcher of espresso shots, a bowl of crumbled toffee candy bar, a bowl of mini-marshmallows, a bowl of whipped cream, a bowl of nutmeg, a selection of liquor, and a bowl of Cinnamon-Sugar. Invite your guests to flavor and garnish their hot chocolate as they desire.

Serves 4.

1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  1. Cut the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. Using the back of a knife, scrape along the inside of the vanilla bean to collect the seeds. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl.
  2. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside in a small serving bowl.
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