Christmas usually means friends and family getting together, and we all know that food and beverages factor heavily into the holiday. So, let’s explore a few recipes for festive beverages, and it is my hope you find something you would like to try. Don’t forget during this holiday season to take some time for yourself and avoid getting overworked and exhausted. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but it is important. Take a break and watch a classic Christmas movie or two. That’s what I did, and now I find myself looking for more. Enjoy every day, and many blessings to you.
Spiced Christmas tea
2 cups water
3 tea bags of unflavored black tea
4 pieces star anise
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 cup passion fruit nectar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add tea bags, star anise and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and cinnamon stick. Stir in passion fruit nectar, honey and lemon juice. Heat mixture to desired temperature.
2. Place one star anise into each cup, and pour tea into the cups. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
1 tablespoon red or green colored sugar, optional
10 unpeeled orange wedges
5 unpeeled lime wedges
5 6-inch wooden skewers
2/3 cup raspberry juice blend
1 bottle (750 ml) sparkling apple cider or sparkling pear-apple juice, chilled
1. Sprinkle colored sugar on waxed paper. Moisten the rims of 5 wine glasses, one at a time, with some water. Dip each rim in sugar and set aside for about 10 minutes to dry.
2. Thread 2 orange wedges and 1 lime wedge onto each skewer and set aside.
3. Pour equal amounts of raspberry juice blend into each wine glass. Keeping in mind to avoid disturbing the colored sugar on the rim, pour sparkling cider or juice into each glass. Place 1 skewer into each glass and serve. Makes 5 servings.
Cherry bomb drink
1 cup grenadine syrup
1 liter clear citrus soda or sparkling water
18 maraschino cherries
1.Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add grenadine; stir to mix well. Pour mixture into two ice-cube trays. Freeze until solid, 2 hours or overnight.
2. Fill 6 glasses with the ice cubes made from the grenadine mixture. Pour the soda or sparkling water over the cubes, then add 3 cherries to each glass before serving. Makes 6 servings.
1 cup sugar
3 cups milk, divided
3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine eggs, sugar, 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
2. Pour into a large bowl; stir in nutmeg and the remaining milk and cream. Place bowl in an ice-water bath; stir frequently until mixture is cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Makes 2 quarts.
Hot cocoa with Kahlua
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 to 4 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liquor
Optional toppings: miniature marshmallows, salted caramel sauce and chocolate syrup
1. In a small saucepan, whisk sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, stirring, until mixture is heated through.
2. Remove from heat and stir in Kahlua. Ladle into mugs and if desired, garnish with toppings. Makes 2 servings.