Holiday time is here and that means friends, family and parties! And nothing helps makes a holiday party more successful than some some good old-fashioned holiday drinks. Following are recipes for some snazzy new cocktails plus some old time favorites! Happy Holidays to All! (and please enjoy these drinks responsibly.):
Wassail was originally a word that meant to greet or salute someone — groups would go out wassailing on cold evenings, and when they approached a door would be offered a mug of warm cider or ale. Typically concocted with a variety of ingredients which include cider, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus fruit, sugar and cloves, there are many variations which may include the addition of your favorite alcoholic beverage.
- 1 Gallon apple cider
- 2 C. cranberry juice
- 1/2 C honey
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 oranges
- Whole cloves
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
- 1/2 C – 1 C brandy (optional)
Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they’ll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste — usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.
Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 – 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.
Creamy, pink and absolutely delightful, the Angel’s Delight is a semi-classic cocktail ideal for dessert.
- 1 oz cream
- 3/4 oz triple sec
- 3/4 oz gin
- 2-3 dashes grenadine
- Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
The origins and even the ingredients used to make the original eggnog drink are debated. Eggnog, or a very similar drink, may have originated in East Anglia, England, though it may also have been developed from posset (a medieval European beverage made with hot milk). The “nog” part of its name may stem from the word “noggin”, a Middle English term used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug used to serve alcohol. Another name for this British drink was Egg Flip. Yet another story is that the term derived from the name “egg-and-grog”, a common Colonial term used to describe rum. Eventually the term was shortened to “egg’n'grog”, then “eggnog”. Whatever story you believe, eggnog is a classic holiday drink that everyone can enjoy.
- 4 cups milk
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups light rum
- 4 cups light cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
- In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
- Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
This sweet highball drink begins with a blend of strawberries, pineapple and vodka and is topped with lemon-lime soda for a refreshing holiday cocktail. It’s topped with a mint garnish that adds a little cheer to the final presentation and is a great all-around holiday drink for two.
- 4 fresh strawberries
- 1 part vodka
- 2 tsp superfine sugar
- 5 oz pineapple juice
- mint sprigs for garnish
- In a blender, whiz the vodka, strawberries, sugar and pineapple juice together.
- Pour the mix equally into two highball glasses.
- Top with 7-Up.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Mulled wine (or Glogg as it’s called in Sweden), is wine, usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. Nowadays, it is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.
- 2 (750 milliliter) bottles red wine
- 2 ounces dried orange zest
- 2 ounces cinnamon sticks
- 20 whole cardamom seeds
- 25 whole cloves
- 1 pound blanched almonds
- 1 pound raisins
- 1 pound sugar cubes
- 5 fluid ounces brandy
- Pour wine into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Wrap orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves in cheesecloth, tie with kitchen string and put into pot. Let boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in almonds and raisins and continue to boil for 15 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place a wire grill over the pot and cover with sugar cubes. Slowly pour on brandy, making sure to completely saturate the sugar. Light sugar with a match and let it flame. When sugar has melted, cover pot with lid to extinguish flame.
- Stir and remove spice bag. Serve hot in cups with a few almonds and raisins.
Candy Cane is a delectable dessert drink made with peppermint, chocolate and berry flavors. Just the name alone will get you in the holiday spirit!
- 3/4 oz SKYY Berry vodka
- 3/4 oz Peppermint Schnapps
- 3/4 oz white Crème de Cacao
- 1/4 oz grenadine
- half and half
- Soda water
- Pour the vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, white Creme de Cacao and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake well.
- Pour into a cocktail glass rimmed with crushed peppermint candy.
- Fill with half and half.
- Top with a splash of soda water
Rim the glass with crushed candy canes or other peppermint candy, using the Schnapps or Crème de Cacao to wet the rim.
After a frosty night of caroling, this makes a marvelous hot drink for those who need a bit of help warming up.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups red wine
- 2 oranges
- 8 cinnamon sticks, garnish
- In a large non-aluminum saucepan, combine water, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and orange juice. Season with cloves, allspice, 2 cinnamon sticks and salt. Cut the rind of 2 oranges into strips and stir into the mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pour in the wine. Heat to just boiling and remove from heat. Serve hot with a cinnamon stick for garnish.
- 2 oz Midori
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- maraschino cherry for garnish
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Hot Buttered Rum
This recipe from Emeril Lagasse for the traditional winter beverage, is a wonderful addition to any holiday party or yuletide gathering (just not for the kiddies!).
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch salt
- Bottle dark rum
- Boiling water
In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs. Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway). Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately.
La Vie En Rouge
- 1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
- 1 1/2 oz. fresh pressed cranberry juice (can substitute with bottled cranberry juice)
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- Fresh rosemary needles
- In a tall mixing glass, muddle 10-12 rosemary needles lightly with simple syrup.
- Add remaining ingredients then add ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass with ice.
- Garnish with a rosemary sprig.