Every country in the world has a favourite drink that they like to call their own, and when it comes to this time of year, they're even more adament that their Christmas time drink is best. If you have been wondering how to add some kick to your Christmas parties whilst broadening your Christmas drink horizons, give some of these a shot.
Germany likes to call Glühwein their own, but this mulled spicy wine has become popular all over the world. The holiday drink that is usually consumed during Christmas is made from red wine that is warmed up and made spicy with cinnamon. Vanilla pods, sugar and citrus are added to make it rich and sweet. Sometimes a shot of rum, brandy or liqueur is added to give it a distinctive taste. Be careful, as this tasty treat can sneak up on you, especially if you drink it on an empty stomach.
Eggnog is usually made with cream or milk and includes eggs that are beaten giving it a rich texture and taste. The non-alcoholic version is available in grocery stores during the holidays and is popular in Canada and the United States. North Americans sometimes add rum, whisky or brandy because, as we all know, the holiday season can be a stressful time of year. Custard deserts can also be prepared using eggnog as a base for deliciously rich ice cream deserts. The origins of eggnog are debated. Europeans like to claim that it originated in medieval Europe, while the British swear that it came from the popular Egg Flip which was created in the late 1800’s.
Tom and Jerry
In the 1820’s American Pierce Egan created a new Christmas drink that he coined the "Tom and Jerry". Made with brandy, rum and eggnog it is usually served piping hot in a bowl or mug. Some recipes call for beaten eggs whites and vanilla with yolks and sugar added after the whites have formed a stiff peak. Spoonfuls of the mixture are mixed into a mug with rum and hot water. Nutmeg is added for colour and flavour. Anchor Hocking, which is a popular glass and tableware company in the North America, created a line of cups and punch bowls in the 1950’s and 1960’s that featured the popular Tom and Jerry cartoon characters.
Hot Buttered Rum
Originating in colonial times, this popular toddy is made with butter, rum, hot water and sugar. Cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon are added to give it a delicious spicy taste. You can make the drink yourself, but it is also available in speciality liquor stores. Variations of hot buttered rum include a mixture of the above which is creamed with vanilla flavoured ice cream. This drink is extremely popular at ski resorts all over the world.
Cranberry and Clementine
Cranberries are often associated with the holidays and this popular short drink consists of cranberry puree, vodka and cointreau. Created in the 1920’s in the United States, it is loved by those who adore cosmopolitans. Mixed together in a shaker with ice, the mixologist shakes the Clementine until it is extremely cold. It is then double strained and poured into martini glasses. Lemon-aide or seven-up is often added to give it some fizz.
Hot Apple Cider
This delicious sweet drink can be made with or without alcohol. Served hot during the holidays, it is made with apple cider or juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Delicious on its own, it is even better when rum or brandy is added to the mix. There is nothing better than a cup of hot apple cider after a hay or sleigh ride.
Spain is famous for Sangria, and when Christmas rolls around it becomes a popular wine drink around the world. Traditionalists use red wine, orange slices, cranberries and apples, but nowadays you will see it made with white wine, pears, grapes and honeydew melon. For centuries the Spaniards have been serving up this delicious concoction to celebrate the holiday season.
The British claim that they are responsible for wassailing. This old time tradition was used to wake up the apple trees and frighten the not so friendly spirits. It also assured a good autumn apple harvest. The beverage is a mulled punch which is made with sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cranberries and of course cider apples. Sometimes oranges can be added and for those that want a punchier cider, rum or brandy is added to the mix.
Midori, which is an apple flavoured liquor, is taken one step further when crème de menthe, crème de cacao and half and half are combined together. Mint leaves and raspberry are added for garnish to this delicious Christmas cocktail that was created by mixologist Victoria Damato-Moran. Be sure that you use white crème de cacao so that the finished drink looks good enough to consume.
Create Your Own
If you like to travel during the holidays and want to spend your free time doing something different, consider a holiday drink tour, especially if you live down under. Apparently Australia does not have a Christmas drink to call their own, and if you do decide to create a drink that Aussies will love, do not forget your Australian travel insurance. You could invent the greatest cocktail in the world, but if you cannot get back because you had too much Christmas cheer in the UK or the United States, your special cocktail, hot toddy or punch may never see the light of day.