“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
As the humming breeze of winter sets in, we take a leap into the joyous holiday season. With our tables laid with delicious food there can’t be anything better than good drinks to go with it. We’re not talking about the high end cocktails but the traditional ones that have been ruling since centuries. To help you tis the warmth in these Christmassy beverages, we have some of the classics to avail at our counter.
It is also known as egg milk punch and is a chilled sweet, dairy based beverage. It is traditionally made with milk/cream, sugar, spirits and whipped eggs that give it a frothy texture. The spirits can vary from brandy, rum or bourbon. It is garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg. If you wish to preserve this drink, strong alcohol content and refrigeration is recommended, which will help it taste better when aged.
Amaretto in Italian means ‘a little bitter’. It is a sweet, almond-flavoured Italian liqueur from Saronno, Italy. Apart from a heavenly drink, Amaretto serves a variety of culinary uses like adding to desserts, meat, or fish. French Connection and Godfather are some cocktails made using Amaretto.
It is a beverage of hot mulled cider which was traditionally drunk as a part of wassailing. Wassailing is referred to an old tradition where people went door-to-door singing Christmas carols. The other wassailing means visiting orchards in cider producing regions and singing to trees for a good harvest in the coming year. Wassail has evolved to become a mulled cider made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
It is a mixed drink made of whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, a dash of egg white. For those who cannot have egg can swap it with pineapple juice. The traditional garnish for this drink is an orange slice or cherry.
It is the ultimate comfort drink that leads you in ecstasy. With simple ingredients, hot chocolate is very easy to make. It is also known as hot cocoa and includes shaved or melted chocolate or cocoa powder, warm milk and sugar. You can be creative with your choice of garnish and top it with marshmallows, nuts or whipped cream.
The classic use of cranberry in this festive season calls for a splash of margarita. You can use your creative side or simply mix orange juice, tequila, lime juice and cranberry juice for this stunning cocktail. In a Margarita or Martini glass place a thin layer of honey at the rim and dip it into a saucer containing orange zest, salt and sugar. Pour the mixture of your cocktail in it and sip onto this ravishing drink.
It is traditionally made with a mixture of advocaat and lemonade. Advocaat is a Dutch alcoholic beverage made of eggs, sugar and brandy and is quite similar to eggnog.
Hot Buttered Rum
It is a mixed drink made of rum, butter, cider, a sweetener and spices. Popular during the holiday season, the drink has a history since the colonial days. It is usually made by blending buttered rum batter with dark rum or aged rum. The recipes for rum batter go back to a 1917 publication of The Ideal Bartender which describes the recipe as butter, nutmeg and sugar.
The warm and soothing Hot Toddy is made of whisky, hot tea, lemon and honey. Whisky can be replaced by rum or brandy as per your preference. It is a basic comforting winter drink during the Christmas season that also helps in relieving symptoms of cold and flu.
It is an infused drink made by heating cider, spices, sugar and apple juice on a low flame. With all these flavours you get harmonious results which add a zing to your palate.
It is a European beverage made with red wine mulled with various spices and raisins. It is served warm to give you the comfort you have longed for.
This typical beverage hails from Spain and Portugal which consists of red wine, finely chopped fruits, sweetener and a small amount of brandy. For a non alcoholic version you can substitute it with orange juice.
It was discovered in the 17th century by the employees of the British East India Company. The punch is a combination of spirits, water, lemon, sugar and spices that turned out to be a synonymous drink at every festive celebration.
The classic holiday candy cane can be turned into a mind blowing drink made with vanilla rum, white chocolate liqueur, peppermint schnapps and candy cane for garnish.
It is a brandy-based cocktail that gained popularity in the 20th century. The earlier version had gin and was simply called Alexander. It is made of fresh cream, cognac, and crème de cacao which is further garnished with nutmeg.
Tom and Jerry
This traditional Christmas cocktail is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum, garnished with nutmeg and is usually served hot. Adding vanilla extract is optional in case you need more depth to your taste. For kids you can skip the alcohol.
Free Press Journal wishes all our readers a Healthy and Merry Christmas!