Given that the Christmas season is celebrated in numerous countries around the globe, there are equally as many traditional Christmas and winter party drinks. Whether your preference is for high alcohol content or just a warming beverage, you will find something in the following selections that are bound to lift your holiday spirits.
German Hot Mulled Wine – Gluhwein Recipe
A great German tradition that you can enjoy in your own home is Glühwein or hot mulled wine. Germany is better known for its white wine than red. Nevertheless, the darker vintage used here also makes for a terrific holiday beverage.
- One bottle of dry red wine
- One lemon
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- Three cloves
- Two sticks of cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom or ginger
Heat the wine slowly, being careful to avoid bringing it to a boil. Remember, alcohol has a low boiling point so you do not want to unintentionally make hot grape juice. Slice the lemon finely and add when the liquid is hot. Then add the sugar and spice. Allow the mixture to cool to just above room temperature. Serve by pouring into cups through a strainer. Top with cardamom or ginger.
Recipe for Wassail
The basic Wassail hails from the UK where it has been a seasonal favorite for centuries. This delightful mixture comes in a variety of styles.
- 1-gallon apple cider
- One orange
- One lemon
- Four cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Slice up the orange and the lemon into very thin sections, then scatter them around the apple cider, swirling the liquid well. Throw in the cinnamon sticks and cloves, and then add the allspice. Let the mixture set for half an hour to allow the spices to diffuse throughout the drink.
Then place the liquid over a low flame and heat gradually. Simmer for an hour, and then allow cooling for at least 10 minutes. Serve by pouring through a strainer, and then top each cup with a bit of nutmeg. For a variation with a little kick, add brandy or mead about 5 minutes before done simmering.
How to Make Mexican Coffee – Cafe Mexicano
Mexico celebrates Christmas with a twist, by enjoying a fine chocolate coffee.
- 1 1/2 cup coffee
- 1/2-cup heavy cream
- 4 tsp chocolate syrup
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Start with a fine dark brew. A French roast works really well for this drink. Keep the coffee hot as you will need it soon.
Stir the cream until it is thickened. Pour the chocolate syrup evenly into four warmed cups. It is easy to warm cups. Just fill them with a small amount of water and place into the microwave for a minute; making sure the water does not all boil away. Then remove and dump out any excess water.
Add the coffee to the chocolate and blend well. Then, sprinkle on the cinnamon and nutmeg and top with cream.
For a good old-fashioned American Christmas season drink, mix a dash of rum or brandy into some eggnog. Top with an ounce of triple sec and let the liqueur dribble down into the drink. Sprinkle with nutmeg and have a party!