What to Drink for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and no matter who or what you worship there is usually alcohol involved. This is why I love the holiday season, not to mention the food.

With the economy tanking and the need to buy everyone you know presents, you want to pinch pennies any way possible. It is always cheaper to make your cocktails at home instead of going out to the bar, not to mention you can avoid the cold and make people come to you. Plus, you can add that personal touch and show people how Betty Crocker you can be.

1. Glühwein – An amazing German drink served warm.

Ingredients:

1 stick cinnamon

6 whole cloves

Rind of half a lemon

2 Tbs sugar

One of: rum, brandy, vodka, schnapps

Directions: Use cheap wine (but the cheaper the wine = the more sugar you will need). Break up cinnamon sticks into three or four pieces. Remove lemon rind from lemon and cut into a couple pieces. In a pot combine wine, sugar, and spices. Cook over medium-low heat for 1/2 hour, covered, but do not boil.

2. Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail – The Poinsettia is an elegant Champagne cocktail perfect for holiday parties. It is super easy to make and very tasty. Remember that with any Champagne cocktail to mix all of the ingredients then add the Champagne just before serving.

Ingredients:

1/2 oz Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or triple sec

Champagne

3 oz cranberry juice

Directions: Chill all of the ingredients beforehand. Pour the Cointreau and cranberry juice into a chilled Champagne flute (fill the glass about halfway). Stir well. Top with Champagne.

3. Frostini Martini – This is a terrific winter martini. You also look sophisticated while drinking it. Remember, pinkie up.

Ingredients:

1 part Starbucks Cream Liqueur

1 part Starbucks Coffee Liqueur

1/4 part DeKuyper Peppermint Schnapps

fresh mint sprig for garnish

Directions: Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

4. Hot Buttered Rum – Hot drinks are the perfect way to keep warm during the cold weather.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch salt

3/4 cup spiced rum

2 cups boiling water

4 sticks cinnamon, for garnish

Directions: Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth. Add the rum and then 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until the butter mixture dissolves. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and serve.

5. Egg Nog – This is the ever popular classic winter drink. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

12 egg yolks

5 whole cloves

4 cups milk

4 cups cream

3 cups light rum

1+ ¾ cups sugar

2+ ½ teaspoons vanilla essence

1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

¾ teaspoon nutmeg, ground

Directions: In a saucepan over low heat, blend the milk, cinnamon, cloves, and half a teaspoon of the vanilla essence. Keep stirring and remove from heat just before boiling. In a bowl, mix together the sugar with egg yolks. Whisk well so they are light and fluffy. Gently pour the milk mixture while continuing to whisk. Transfer mixture back into your saucepan over a medium heat while continuing to stir. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to resemble custard. Pour and strain the mixture into a jug, making sure to remove the cloves. Leave jug in the fridge for an hour or two. Gently stir in the cream, light rum, remaining vanilla, and ground nutmeg. Put back into the fridge overnight. Serve in cups with a little extra ground nutmeg, cinnamon, or baking cocoa sprinkled lightly on top.

6. Glogg – This famous Swedish drink will be all the rage at your holiday party.

Ingredients:

2 cups water or orange juice

1 (3-inch) piece orange rind

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

5 whole allspice

2 cardamom pods, bruised

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Burgundy

1/2 cup sugar

Garnishes- blanched almonds, golden raisins

Directions: Combine first 9 ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, being careful not to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture, and serve immediately, or gently reheat before serving. (If you prefer a stronger flavor, steep spices longer before straining.) Garnish, if desired.

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