Around the holidays, even folks who don’t normally drink alcohol can be cajoled into having a festive rum-spiked eggnog or a hot toddy. My Great Aunt Billie said she never drank a drop of alcohol, but boy, when Grandma put a slice of bourbon- or rum-soaked cake in front of her, she just about licked the flowers off the plate.
Keeping responsible behavior, particularly the use of taxi cabs or designated drivers, in mind, I say let go a little bit this Christmas and warm your belly with a nice cocktail. Sometimes for me, that means something as simple as a glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry over ice. My mom gets into the spirit by sipping Kahlua and cream while wrapping presents or watching “White Christmas,” our favorite holiday movie.
As always, I’ve been bombarded by press releases from liquor companies and their public relations companies with holiday-themed cocktail recipes. But I don’t mind, because I get to share them with you! See several recipes below. And tell me, what kind of cocktail really puts you in the holiday spirit?
2 cans (30 oz.) coconut cream
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 or 2 cups DonQ Cristal
1/4 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tbsp. ground nutmeg
Mix all ingredients in a blender on high. Refrigerate. Serve cold, sip and enjoy. Yields about 3L of coquito.
Post In-law’s Visit Restorative Punch
3 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3 parts fresh Pineapple Juice
3 parts Chamomile tea*
1 part Lemon juice
1 part honey syrup**
1 part Dry Cognac
1 large ice block***
Peychaud’s Bitters to taste
1 fistful mint
Lemon wheels to garnish
Combine ingredients in a punch bowl and add an ice cube the size of your ego. Apply liberal, machine gun like, dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and stir well. Hold a handful of mint tips in one hand over the bowl and smack your hands together dispersing the mint oil upon the punch. Now take a very, very deep breath as you discard the mint. Distribute lemon wheels in the bowl as if dealing a deck of cards. Serve.
*combine 4 bags per 8 oz hot water steeping for 30 minutes and chill
**2 parts honey to 1 part hot water stirred until combined and chilled
*** take any clean container that can freeze and fill with filtered water. Freeze 8 hours. When taken out of the freezer you may want to run warm water over the outside of the container to release your ice block
- Hendrick’s Gin
The following cocktails were inspired by Christmas tunes:
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (by Thurl Ravenscroft)
It’s December and you’re not feeling the holiday spirit yet. Mr. Grinch would be proud. Make this simple cocktail that features Lucid Absinthe and maybe your tune will change.
1 oz. LUCID Absinthe
1 1/2 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
Splash of ginger ale
2-3 lime wedges
In a rocks glass, muddle 2 lime wedges. Add ice, Midori Melon Liqueur and Lucid Absinthe. Shake vigorously and return to rocks glass. Add ginger ale and garnish with a lime spiral.
Feliz Navidad (by Jose Feliciano)
Get a little Latin flair going while trimming the tree and rock out with Flor de Caña Rum’s hot spiced toddy.
3 oz boiling water
1.5 oz. Home-Spiced Flor de Caña (spice recommendation: vanilla bean, nutmeg, cinnamon)
0.5 oz. teaspoon of butter
1 cinnamon stick
Fresh nutmeg for garnish
Instructions: In an Irish coffee mug, add boiling water, rum, and top with a small slice of butter. Stir with cinnamon stick and garnish with fresh nutmeg.
To make your own home-spiced, Flor de Caña rum:
Take 2 oz. Flor de Caña and pour into a mason jar.
Add your favorite spices.
Cover and let sit for 24 hours.
Taste the rum daily and adjust accordingly.
Let it Snow (by Dean Martin)
In keeping with the holiday spirit, with a nod to a snowy Russian Christmas, toast with your friends and family with the Russian Court, featuring Russia’s number one premium vodka and some delicious sparkling wine.
1 ounce Russian Standard Vodka
½ ounce Acacia Honey
4 ounces Chilled Prossecco
dash of Reagan’s Orange bitters
1 Orange twist, for garnish
Directions: Pour honey and vodka into a mixing glass and stir until honey has dissolved. Then pour into a champagne flute and carefully top off with Prossecco. Finish with a dash of orange bitters and garnish with an orange twist.
All I Want for Christmas is You (by Mariah Carey)
Inspire your inner diva: play this all-time favorite holiday song by Mariah Carey while offering your beau a Xanté Hot Apple cocktail.
1.5 parts Xanté
3 Parts freshly pressed apple juice or apple cider
A cinnamon stick
Heat the freshly pressed apple juice together with the cinnamon stick. Add Xanté before serving.
- Deussen Global Communications