Sip and Savor:
Top 5 Holiday Libations
Nothing ushers in the holiday season like some spirited beverages. Be it the sweet warmth of mulled wine, the creamy indulgence of eggnog, or a sparkling champagne toast, holiday drinks add a memorable flavor to our festive gatherings. Let's embark on a journey through the flavors of the top 5 holiday drinks.
1. Mulled Wine: The Spiced Elixir
Mulled wine, traditionally made with red wine, is often heated with various spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and citrus peels. The warming effect of the drink and the delightful aroma of the spices make it a beloved choice when seeking respite from winter chills.
- 1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine (choose one that's rich, fruity and robust, such as Merlot or Zinfandel)
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2-4 tablespoons of sugar, honey or maple syrup, to taste
- Optional for extra spice: 1 small piece of fresh ginger, 5-6 whole peppercorns, 5 whole allspice berries
- 1/4 cup of brandy (optional)
1. Pour the wine into a pot or slow cooker.
2. Add the sliced orange, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the pot.
3. If using, add your optional spices (ginger, peppercorns, allspice).
4. Sweeten your wine to taste with your choice of sweetener (sugar, honey, or maple syrup). Start with 2 tablespoons and add more later, if desired.
5. Cook on low heat for at least 15 minutes and up to 3-4 hours, to allow flavors to mingle. Make sure the wine does not boil.
6. Stir in the optional brandy, if desired, for additional warmth and flavor.
7. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, adding more sweetener or spices if needed.
8. Strain the mulled wine and serve hot in mugs or heatproof glasses.
4. Hot Buttered Rum: Old-World Goodness
A traditional drink dating back centuries, hot buttered rum harmoniously brings together rum, butter, hot water or cider, a sweetener, and various spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The result? A toasty cup of old-world goodness that is pure comfort.
- 1 teaspoon of softened butter
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch of ground allspice
- 2 ounces of dark rum
- Boiling water
- Slice of orange or lemon for garnish (optional)
1. In a mug, mix the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together.
2. Pour the rum into the mug.
3. Fill the rest of the mug with boiling water.
4. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
5. Garnish with an orange or lemon slice if desired.
6. Serve hot and enjoy!
5. Irish Coffee: A Cozy Nightcap
When the merriment winds down, consider a cozy nightcap of Irish coffee. This delightful blend of robust coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and a dollop of cream eases you into a relaxed, warm, holiday mood.
These treasured drinks can leave your holiday guests feeling warmed, enriched, and in true festive spirit. Don’t forget to tailor these to match your personal preference and the occasion's tone. Here’s a toast to your holiday celebrations – may they be graced with good company, hearty laughter, tasty treats, and delectable drinks.
- 1 cup of freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1.5 ounces (one shot) of Irish whiskey
- Whipped cream for topping
1. Preheat your coffee mug by rinsing it with boiling water.
2. Pour the hot coffee into the warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full.
3. Add the brown sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
4. Blend in the Irish whiskey.
5. Top with a collar of whipped cream by pouring gently over the back of a spoon.
6. Serve hot and enjoy!
3. Champagne Cocktail: The Sparkling Celebration
The holiday season is a time of cheer and celebration, and what better way to celebrate than by toasting with a champagne cocktail? Add a sugar cube, a dash of bitters, and a lemon twist to your champagne for that sparkling magic that transcends the mundane.
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Chilled champagne
- Lemon twist, for garnish
1. Soak the sugar cube in the Angostura bitters and drop it into a champagne flute.
2. Slowly fill the glass with chilled champagne, taking care not to let it overflow.
3. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
4. Serve immediately and enjoy!
1. Eggnog: The Quintessential Holiday Potion
The mere mention of eggnog brings memories of Christmas Eve family feasts. This rich, creamy concoction combines milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs, and a spirit of choice - often rum, brandy, or bourbon. Sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top and voila, you have a creamy Yuletide treat.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 large egg whites
1. Begin by beating egg yolks until they become slightly lighter in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, continue to beat until it completely dissolves.
2. Next, add milk, cream, bourbon, and nutmeg to your mixture and stir to combine.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Gently fold the egg white mixture into your bourbon mixture. Chill and then serve.