Fabulous Drinks for the Holiday Season
December is the time of year we start serving up drinks we may only enjoy during the holiday season. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply want a festive drink for yourself on a cold winter’s night, try one of these recipes.
“Mulled” is an old word for cooking something in spices – and mulled cider has been around for centuries. It’s a perfect non-alcoholic drink to serve at parties. Just toss the ingredients into a crock pot for a few hours beforehand. Don’t have a crock pot? No worries; just put the ingredients in a pot and place over low heat.
Very similar to mulled cider, except this alcoholic drink calls for burgundy. Again, just toss the ingredients in the crock pot or ordinary pot placed over low heat.
“Wassail” means “good health” and is traditionally consumed while “wassailing” or caroling. (This British tradition, by the by, is based on the ancient tradition of singing to orchard trees to improve the harvest.) Wassail is really just another name for mulled cider – except that it usually contains alcohol. Here’s a non-alcoholic version that can be made in a crock pot. For a more traditional version, combine 64 oz. of apple cider, 12 whole allspice, 6 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, zest from 1 orange, and brandy or rum. Traditionally, strips of orange peel might also go in the pot, as well as dried fruit. You may either make this in a crock pot or place it in a pot on low heat.
Here’s another delicious drink that is simple to prepare. It’s especially suitable for day time or office parties.
There are many variations on this classic holiday drink. Here’s a good, basic recipe: In a saucepan placed over low heat, pour 4 cups milk, 5 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Very slowly bring to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together 12 egg yolks and 1 ½ cups granulated sugar. As soon as the milk mixture comes to a boil, add to the egg yolk mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cook and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Don’t boil. Strain and allow to cool. Add 2 teaspoons real vanilla and 2 ½ cups rum, if desired. Sprinkle each serving with ground nutmeg.