Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Beverages

There are many holiday songs that mention good things to drink. Holiday beverages are the perfect topper for a great dinner or the wake up for morning breakfast. Here are a few holiday drinks to include on your menu.

What is the single favorite drink at Christmas? It’s eggnog. Eggnog is made with, you guessed it, eggs. Some people may be concerned about raw eggs. If that’s the case, you can purchase chilled eggnog in the carton. There are 1,001 recipes for eggnog floating around so use the one that suits your taste buds.

Eggnog is traditionally an alcoholic drink, using whisky, rum or brandy. If you have kids you can ixnay the liquor for a tasty non-alcoholic version. Don’t forget to top your creation with nutmeg and/or cinnamon for flavor.

Another tasty drink is apple cider. This warm apple drink keeps the chill away when the weather outside is frightful. For a different taste, add slices of citrus fruits to the warm cider and cinnamon sticks. Garnish the glass with curly Qs of citrus rind.

Holiday punches are a hit with all ages. Whether it is a citrus punch or a sparkling one (champagne) you can spruce up the presentation. Add colorful ice cubes to the punch. Try red and green Kool-Aid ice cubes. For more red and green garnish, add maraschino cherries to drink and punch glasses.

A popular European holiday drink that has found a place in the U.S. is wassail. It is a spiced punch that is served hot. Many modern versions use mulled cider but traditionally they used mulled beer. All of the ingredients were heated together in a bowl and topped with toast. Soggy bread aside, this drink choice can begin a new holiday tradition in your home.

Teas are also good. If you have a diabetic person in your family, teas may be easier to handle than some of the alcoholic or sweeter flavored drinks. Try peppermint tea or sugar-free apple cider mix so that they can join in the festivities as well.

We almost forgot the hot chocolate. That’s the reason you bought the reindeer mug, right? It warms the cold places and tastes great with a Christmas cookie or a slice of cake. Instead of water, like most drink mixes call for, use milk instead. Milk makes hot chocolate taste creamier. Hot milk at bedtime will send your kids off to Sleepytown.

These are just a few of the traditional holiday beverages most people turn to when Christmas rolls around. You may have others you’ve grown to love over the years. Either way, leave room for a new beverage tradition to join the ranks.

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