The Hippo


May 24, 2020








Hippo Punch

Recipe created by Hippo Publisher Jody Reese — the most popular drink at the 2013 Hippo Holiday Party
750 ml bourbon (the better the bourbon, the better the drink)
750 ml green tea
3 lemon peels (full peel of lemon)
1 orange peel (full peel of orange)
Juice from 3 squeezed lemons 
Juice from 1 squeezed orange 
Sparkling ruby grapefruit juice
Fill ⅓ glass with ice. Add punch ⅓ from rim and top with sparkling ruby grapefruit juice.
Blueberry Basil Mojito
From Cotton Cocktails by Jeffrey and Peaches Paige
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 lemon wedges
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 ounces Cold River blueberry vodka
1 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces soda water
Fresh blueberries, to garnish
In a 10-ounce rocks glass, muddle the basil, lemon wedges and granulated sugar. Fill the glass with ice and add the vodka and Cointreau, then top with soda water. Stir with straw to mix. Garnish with fresh blueberries. 
Sailor Jerry’s Rumrunner 
From Cotton Cocktails by Jeffrey and Peaches Paige
2 ounces Sailor Jerry spiced rum
½ ounce Dekuyper banana liqueur
½ ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce coconut water
1 ounce orange juice
¼ ounce grenadine
Using a Boston shaker, fill the pint glass with ice, add all ingredients, and shake vigorously. Pour into pint glass. No garnish needed.

Impress your guests with a simple feast
Self-serve buffet and bar make party planning easy


Make your party food and drink decisions easy: just let your guests help themselves. Set up a buffet or lay out a variety of fingerfoods and platters so your guests can help themselves to whatever they want, whenever they want.

“People are moving around, so you want to have buffet style or just put out platters,” said Jerry Lipet of Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop in Manchester. “This way they can keep picking at food the whole time they're there.”
“I always say plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute,” said Craig Muccini, general manager of the Flying Butcher in Amherst. “Make sure you have plenty of food and plenty of wine. … Don’t overwork yourself. Your guests want you to have a good time, too.”
Planning the menu
When setting up a buffet or table of hors d’oeuvres and platters for guests to serve themselves, Lipet emphasizes variety is key. 
“You want your table to be colorful and festive looking,” he said. 
Lipet said customers often come to Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop this time of year with questions on how to feed hungry guests, from what to serve to how much to prepare. Angela’s and other markets offer catering and platters to order in advance, which makes it as easy as calling, picking up and serving. Cheese boards and antipasto platters are always popular choices for any holiday party. 
“It saves them a lot of the preparation time,” Lipet said. “People come in and they’re looking for ideas, like they want to have their own appetizer combinations.”
Lipet recommends serving a veggie platter in addition to cheese, crackers and antipasto. Then impress your guests with hot appetizers like scallops wrapped in bacon or mini reuben sandwiches. To keep them hot, place those appetizers in a chafing dish.
For cocktail parties or hors d'oeuvres, Muccini recommends putting a twist on a traditional Christmas dinner entree. 
“Tenderloin roasts are always popular for Christmas, but for the cocktail parties, people will serve a cold tenderloin roast on a cross-point with horseradish sauce,” Muccini said.
For Christmas dinners, prime ribs are Muccini’s number-one seller during the holidays.
“The days of ham and turkey seem not as popular,” he said. “It doesn't get much easier than cooking a nice roast for Christmas. … Roasts are quicker than turkeys or hams. … There’s not much cooking involved; you just put it in the oven and roast.”
While roasts are popular and simple to cook, Muccini comes from an Italian family, so this time of year, he often thinks about seafood instead of meat.
“I like to start out with seafood,” he said. “I like to leave red meat towards the end of the meal. … If somebody's looking to have hors d'oeuvres … oysters on the half-shell are easy. You can get them shucked ahead of time.”
He also recommends haddock, mussels and scallops, as well as shrimp cocktail since it’s a simple appetizer and always a crowd pleaser. 
“You like to have the party reflect you as the individual,” Lipet said. “Whatever foods you choose, you want it to reflect your personality.”
Bar service
You can make beverages self-serve, too. Make a punch or set up a bar area with sodas, liquor, wine and beer. 
“A red sangria is great because it’s fruity it’s festive,” said Peaches Paige of Cotton Restaurant in Manchester. “You can make it red or white, I would think in the winter for the holidays you could make red. But you can make both, and you can do that, just have a red and a white sangria, which is always nice for wine, and just have beer.”
Cotton released a cocktail cookbook written by Jeffrey and Peaches Paige last winter. Peaches Paige recommends preparing a cocktail recipe in bulk (like a punch or serve in a pitcher). Sailor Jerry’s Rum Runner makes a good fruity punch, she said, and is great in a larger batch. The Blueberry Basil Mojito is easy and sure to impress.
If you trust your guests to make their own drinks, Paige recommends keeping your bar stocked with the basics: lemon and lime juice, soda water, tequila, rum and gin. Keep nonalcoholic drinks at the bar for designated drivers, and be sure to have a variety (a couple white wines, a couple red). 
You can also stay festive by setting up a Keurig machine with apple cider and hot cocoa, peppermint schnapps, vodka, Bailey’s and whipped cream.
And, “There’s always the eggnog,” Paige said. 
As seen in the December 18, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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