Hey, Christmas Drinkers! Now You Can Make Your Own Holiday Alcohol
Are you ready for the lowdown on Christmas drinks you can make at home?
December. That ONE month when it’s acceptable to spike your coffee throughout the day and no one will question it.
But if you want to battle the chill and prepare for Christmas in a slightly more classy way, here are the best winter concoctions from around the world. These are sure to warm the cockles and keep the winter frost at bay.
Not to mention, get you extraordinarily, happily (hic!) high.
It could be that in medieval times the ‘mulling’ of wine with sugar over a flame was born to make tannic red wines more palatable. It could even be that spices were added to bottled red wine to delay spoilage.
OR it could just be that an imaginative inn-keeper decided to warm his guests on a cold wintery night by putting together this potion! No one’s sure where credit is due, but over centuries mulled wine has come to be a European winter tradition as irreplaceable as a turkey on Easter.
Every country has its own recipe, tweaked in places to factor in a little local flavour. The most common mulled wine recipe is the British version – hot wine, heavy spices, orange and some sugar. Quite literally, Christmas in a glass.
Heat a bottle of red wine in a pot with ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 7-8 whole cloves, 1 bay leaf, and 2 sticks of cinnamon. Do not boil, only simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Stir in 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and a few squeezes of fresh orange juice. Place sliced orange rounds in mugs and ladle in the hot wine.
Hot Buttered Rum
There’s no saying where this tradition began, but all that’s really important to know when it comes to hot buttered rum is that it tastes every bit as good as it sounds. It first became popular in Colonial America, but has spread far and wide since then.
Drop a teaspoon of brown sugar, a small slice of butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a mug. Pour in a few shots of rum and top it off with equal amounts boiling water. Stir it together with a cinnamon stick and add a dollop of butter on top for some extra goodness.
The hot toddy is extremely similar in concept to hot buttered rum and a favourite in Scotland. To any Scotsman, even the slightest hint of the sniffles befits the sworn remedy: a hot toddy. Of course, this drink is also the remedy to almost EVERYTHING during Scottish winters – boredom, achy feet, a lost kitten – you get the drift.
Boil a cup of water in a kettle. Drizzle a tablespoon of honey onto the bottom of a large mug – then add a shot of bourbon and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Place a tea (black) bag in the mug and top it with the boiling water. Garnish with any combination of whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and a lemon wedge.
Eggnog can be traced back to medieval Europe when it was an aristocrat’s prerogative. Milk and eggs were scarce, and those with well-lined pockets added brandy or wine to the mix for a thick, warming drink. The recipe travelled across the seas with the English colonisers, to the ‘New World’ – which had eggs and milk aplenty. Brandy and wine though, was a pricey affair. Caribbean rum became the go-to substitute and a perfectly good one!
Combine milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon and slowly bring to a boil. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, whisking them together until fluffy. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stirring continuously, let it thicken over a medium flame. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain and let it cool for about an hour. Then stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and nutmeg. Chill it overnight before serving.
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