While the festive season is all about magic and merriment, it’s also prime time for spontaneous get-togethers, impulsive gift-giving and even the occasional snag.  Here are store-bought short-cuts and solutions so you can eat, drink, and be merry through it all!


Holiday Cocktails

Did your pals move the holiday after-party to your place? Neighbourhood friends make a surprise visit after the kids’ holiday concert?  Make any holiday drop-in hassle-free by keeping a few fun and easy drink recipes under your belt.

The go-to ingredient this season is Sensations by Compliments Italian Soda. This sparkling favourite makes a selection of refreshing cocktails and mocktails.

For a festive cocktail, and as an alternative to mulled wine, make a big batch of Pomegranate Sangria. Fruity and fizzy, it’s a cinch to prep: stir together red wine, fresh fruit, and our Sensations by Compliments Pomegranate Italian Soda. Put the pitcher in the fridge and let juices steep together overnight.

‘Tis the season for citrusy mocktails, too! This 10-minute Lemon and Ginger Fizz is bubbly and refreshing. The zesty ginger and sweet tropical pineapple juice pair perfectly with the tangy Sicilian Lemon Italian Soda. Or, mix up a Grape & Watermelon Mocktail Cooler in just 20 minutes for a perfect beverage with spicy salsas and dips.

To add festive flair to cocktails, tie leftover ribbons or bows around the stems of your wineglasses or flutes. The big bonus? Each guest can choose a ribbon colour to keep track of their glass, minimizing cleanup later.


Secret Santa

With a flurry of holiday events and plans, you’ve forgotten about the annual office gift exchange, and need a Secret Santa gift pronto.

Don’t panic! Wrap up Sensations by Compliments Luxury Belgian Biscuit Collection, a mouthwatering box of light and crunchy wafers dipped in rich, buttery Belgian chocolate. These melt-in-your-mouth treats will delight chocolate lovers.

It only takes a few minutes to bedazzle the box in solid red or white wrapping paper, and then coil festive ribbons around the outside.


Last-Minute Appetizer

After weeks of planning, you’ve finally nailed down the perfect menu for the holiday open house. But when the big day rolls around, you notice a gap in the appetizer table.

Sensations by Compliments Mini Shrimp Tacos will save the day! Smoky and crispy, these bite-sized tortillas are loaded with spices, meaty shrimp, and juicy tomatoes. Pop them in the oven before guests arrive, and then serve on individually sized plates with a shot glass filled with dip or salsa.


Brunch on the Fly

When guests unexpectedly stay overnight this holiday season, be prepared for brunch with Sensations by Compliments Atlantic or Wild Pacific Smoked Salmon.

In the morning, set up a build-your-own-bagel breakfast bar – with salmon as the star. Arrange a spread of bagels, and cream cheese with a variety of toppings, like capers, tomatoes, fresh lemon, and dill. The salmon’s smoky-buttery flavour melds with smooth cream cheese and toasted sweet bagels. Plus, this solution to brunch is almost effortless, which makes it easy for you too.

Remember to put a toaster near the sliced bagels, and to soften the cream cheese at room temperature beforehand.


Potluck Dessert

You had one job for the festive potluck: bring a decadent dessert. But the holiday rush got in the way, and now you’re looking for a quick alternative to homemade cheesecake.

Try this easy holiday hack: pick up a few boxes of Sensations by Compliments Mini Eclairs for the buffet table. Delicate and fluffy, these pastries are filled with silky Bavarian custard cream and dipped in creamy milk chocolate.

Dress them up even more by serving on pretty plates with a scoop of Sensations by Compliments Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream and a dollop of Sensations by Compliments Raspberry Jam.