Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Drinks for Everyone!

Winter and the holidays brings a plethora of seasonal drinks everyone loves.  In this post you'll find a few of the favorites with the recipes to keep and share!  Some may be familiar, and some new, but there's something for everyone!
Enjoy & if you have a favorite, share with us!

Wassail Recipe  (The Original Recipe)
from The Williamsburg Cookbook

As traditional and familiar as most any English Christmas carol, the song is among the season's more anachronistic, an evocation of a holiday custom that pretty much puzzles modern celebrants: wassailing. 

For a complete history of how this came to be, visit here-->

(20 servings)

1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
3 lemon slices
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
6 cups dry red wine
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup dry sherry
2 lemons, sliced

Wassailing is an ancient English custom, part of the feasts and revelry of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which have been revived in Colonial Williamsburg. The master of the English household drank to the health of those present with a bowl of spiced ale, and each in turn after him passed the bowl along and repeated the Saxon phrase “Wass hael,” which means “be whole” or “be well.”

Boil the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 lemon slices in ½ cup of water for 5 minutes and strain. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon slices.

Heat but do not boil the remaining ingredients. Combine with the syrup, garnish with the lemon slices, and serve hot.

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 cup Good Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (optional)
  • VARIATIONS: Orange Rind, Orange Syrup, Cinnamon Sticks, Raspberry Syrup, Abuelita Chocolate, Mint Extract, Peppermint Patties, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Shavings (
  • See a full discussion at "The Pioneer Woman" )
Preparation Instructions
  • To make the basic hot chocolate, combine milk with half-and-half in a small saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, then stir in chocolate chips. Stir until melted (though there will still be lovely particles of chocolate throughout.) If it's too chocolatey for you, splash in a little more milk. If it's not quite sweet enough for you, add 1 teaspoon sugar. Serve in mugs with whipped cream.
    Orange Hot Chocolate: Add 4 slices of orange rind as you warm the milk mixture. Add a splash of orange syrup if you have it, but it isn't necessary.
    Raspberry Hot Chocolate: Add 3 tablespoons raspberry syrup to the hot chocolate. Drop a couple of raspberries into each cup.
    Mint Hot Chocolate: Drop 1 to 2 miniature peppermint patties into each mug before adding hot chocolate. Stir to melt.
    Mexican Hot Chocolate: Substitute 2 discs of Abuelita chocolate for the chocolate chips. Simmer cinnamon sticks in the saucepan with the hot chocolate. Add 1 cinnamon stick to each mug before serving.
    Garnish any and all variations with whipped cream or chocolate shavings.

    Hot Apple Cider Recipe
    2 quarts 100% apple juice
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 apple, unpeeled and cut in half
    1 small naval orange, unpeeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
    2 tsp. whole clove
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
                                                          1/2 tsp. allspice
    Directions Carefully insert the whole cloves into the apple on both the flesh and skin sides (see picture above).
    Heat apple juice over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Once heated, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes.
    Promptly remove the apple halves, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and any clove remnants from the pot.  Serve hot.

    You can see a full discussion of this recipe at "a sweet pea chef"

    Hot Buttered Rye


    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup rye whiskey 
    • 6 tablespoons hot water
    • 2 tablespoons ginger liqueur
    • Freshly grated nutmeg


    1. Beat heavy cream and maple syrup with an electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until consistency of softened butter. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours. Pour rye whiskey, hot water, and ginger liqueur into a 6-oz. heatproof cup. Top with about 1/4 cup maple-cream mixture and freshly grated nutmeg.  

    Featured on Southern Living's My Recipes

    Merry Berry Christmas
    Make the kids feel like a part of the festivities with this mint and berry "mocktail." With fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, Merry Berry Christmas! party beverage is great in the summertime as well, but its vibrant red color makes it ideal for Christmas.


    • 5 fresh raspberries 
    • 4 fresh blueberries 
    • 2 fresh blackberries 
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons light agave nectar
    • 5 fresh mint leaves
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 cup crushed ice
    • 6 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons ginger ale 
    • Garnish: halved fresh raspberries and blackberries (optional) 


    1. Muddle 5 fresh raspberries, blueberries, 2 fresh blackberries, light agave nectar, mint leaves, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Stir in crushed ice and water. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (7 to 10 seconds). Pour mixture into a 16-oz. glass, and top with ginger ale. Garnish, if desired.  

    See this and more at Southern Living online
    Legend has it the Kahlúa Espresso Martini was created in the 1980s by a London cocktail guru late one night for a famous supermodel. The mixologist had the brilliant idea of combining a shot of espresso and vodka with our coffee and cane spirit to create a martini like no other. Perfect for a brunch with friends, an after-dinner cocktail or before a big night out.


    1 1/2 parts KAHLÚA
    1 part Absolut Vodka
                                      1 fresh brewed espresso

    How to mix it

    Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, Absolut Vodka and a fresh brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass.

    Pearman's Toddy 

    Laced with cinnamon, lemon, and Angostura bitters, this gin-based drink from Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue is a brisk, warming twist on a toddy.

    Ingredients (MAKES ONE COCKTAIL)

    • 1½ cups sugar
    • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus one for garnish

    • 2 oz. gin
    • 1 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
    • ½ oz. lemon juice
    • Dash Angostura bitters


    1. Make the syrup: Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a 2-qt. saucepan; simmer for 10 minutes until sugar has dissolved. Discard cinnamon sticks and set syrup aside. Makes about 1½ cups; syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

    2. Make the cocktail: Heat gin, syrup, lemon juice, and 2 oz. water in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat and add bitters. Serve in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick as garnish.
    This recipe and more featured on Savuer

    Angel's Delight

    Cream, triple sec and gin combine for an interesting cocktail delight. The Angel's Delight is a wonderful dessert cocktail to serve at a dinner party. The one caution I have for this drink is to be sure not to over do it on the cream because just a little too much can easily ruin an otherwise great cocktail. The pale pink color is a result of the grenadine, which you can make your self.

    Prep Time: 3 minutes  Total Time: 3 minutes  Yield: 1 Cocktail



    1. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
    2. Shake well.
    3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

    Find this recipe and more by mixologist Colleen Graham at

    Eggnog dates all the way back to the 17th century. In Britain, it was a drink for rich landowners, as they had access to milk and eggs from their farms that city dwellers in London didn’t have and couldn’t afford. The American colonists, however, had plentiful access to farms, and therefore milk and eggs, so the drink became more popular here and eventually transformed into a holiday staple.
    The following recipe can be used with any type of alcohol, though I don’t recommend clear liquors like vodka, gin, or light rum. A cup of dark or spiced rum, aged whiskey, or brandy (or combinations of them) all can make this drink shine.
    • 6 eggs
    • 3/4 cup of sugar
    • 1 quart of half & half
    • 1/2 cup bourbon
    • 1/2 cup brandy
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Separate the eggs, set whites aside. Beat the yolks with a mixer with 1/2 cup of the sugar, then stir in the half & half, bourbon, brandy, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar, until it thickens and you get “stiff peaks.” Fold the whites into the yolk/booze mixture, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, spoon into a mug and sprinkle nutmeg as a garnish.
    If you’re looking for a tasty variation on traditional eggnog, try the Tom and Jerry. It has nothing to do with the cartoon cat and mouse. Rather this classic drink was invented in 1821 by journalist Pierce Egan as a way to promote his book with one amazingly elongated title: Life in London: The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq. and His Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom, Accompanied by Bob Logic, The Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis. Warm, whipped, and made with brandy and rum, the Tom and Jerry was a holiday staple and popular wintertime belly-warmer up through the 1950s. Because the batter that makes up its foundation is more difficult to produce in a pre-packaged, ready-to-serve form, it was supplanted by eggnog which could be easily sold at the local grocer (though you can sometimes still find Tom and Jerry batter for sale in the Upper Midwest). But if you’re looking for a unique and classic drink to offer your guests, it’s a recipe worth dusting off and serving up in its traditional vessel — a gold-rimmed mug emblazoned with the Tom and Jerry name.
    Obligatory warning about raw eggs: if you don’t want to use raw eggs, you can buy pasteurized eggs, which have all the scary bacteria neutralized. If you want to use raw eggs, use fresh, unblemished eggs with a thick shell.

    See this and more at "The Art of Manliness"