In this blustery weather, there’s nothing better than some warm holiday grogs to kick off the cheer of the season. With or without alcohol, the following holiday drink recipes can add some flair to your festivities. Enjoy the aroma of mulled cider, sip a rich cup of Mexican hot chocolate after a snowy walk, or serve a ginger-infused eggnog or espresso almond latte while wrapping presents. Whatever the occasion, you’ll love these delicious holiday drinks.
Serves 4 to 6
1 quart good-quality eggnog
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup ginger syrup, or to taste
4 ounces light rum, optional
2 tablespoons chopped, candied ginger
Combine the eggnog, cinnamon, ginger syrup and rum in a large pitcher. Stir well and chill for at last 2 hours. Pour into 4 to 6 mugs and top with a sprinkling of candied ginger and grated nutmeg.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
4 cups whole milk
Four 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
8 ounces chopped Mexican chocolate (or other good-quality bittersweet chocolate)
1/4 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder, or to taste
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
4 ounces tequila, optional
In a large heavy-duty saucepan, combine the whole and evaporated milk, chocolate, chili powder, cinnamon and vanilla bean over moderate heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate is completely melted and the drink has a creamy consistency. Remove from heat; allow cinnamon and vanilla to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the sticks and pod before serving. Stir in the liqueur, if using, and top each portion with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.
Spiced Citrus Apple Cider
Serves 8 to 10
2 quarts apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks, plus additional as garnish
3 whole cloves
2 allspice berries
1 orange, cut into thin slices.
Juice of half fresh lemon
8 ounces apple brandy, optional
Combine ingredients in a large pot over moderate heat. Allow to simmer 10 minutes to develop flavors. Strain and serve each portion with an ounce of apple brandy and cinnamon stick.
Champagne or sparkling wine
Fresh pomegranate juice
Fill each champagne flute three-quarters full. Add a splash of pomegranate juice to taste.
Espresso Amaretto Latte
8 to 16 shots good-quality espresso coffee
2 cups half-and-half, warmed
1/2 cup almond-flavored liqueur, optional
Whipped cream and shaved semi-sweet chocolate, optional
Combine coffee with warmed half-and-half and liqueur (if using). Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.