Here we are, up to our collective knickers in foul weather, flannel, and family.
But, fear not, here are those fancy-schmancy drink recipes simplified so you can impress your guests without strangling them in curling ribbon!
What is this, anyway?
Noun: a warm, alcoholic beverage guaranteed to make you forget you’re related to Uncle Darryl?
Or, is it a verb? To get knackered and sing badly off-key throughout the neighborhood?
Either way, this aromatic brew is best served from a Crock-Pot.
Pro tip: Allow the guests to pour their own shot of whiskey or rum. You don’t know what they’re going through, do you?
4 cups apple cider
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
8 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
4 pieces candied ginger
Orange slices/cinnamon sticks (garnish)
Rum or whiskey
Bring everything to a boil on the stove, strain out spices (optional), and serve warm in a Crock-Pot. Garnish with cinnamon sticks or orange slices.
This beverage is for the guests who say they are “watching their calories” but secretly stuff gingerbread and divinity fudge in their coats as they wave goodbye (we know who you are, skinny Becky from accounting).
1 orange, sliced and seeded
½ cup sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 bottle red wine (The darker and cheaper the better. No one will know.)
Orange slices for garnish
Combine orange, sugar, water, and spices in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer to a Crock-Pot, add wine, and float orange slices on the top. Allow guests to serve themselves.
Everyone swears their eggnog recipe is the best, but it’s your house, dammit, and you gained four pounds just preparing this! So, tell Auntie Lydia to put a nutcracker in it.
Pro tip: Serve from a large bowl with a ladle. Don’t walk away while cooking milk and cream. Scorched eggnog from a Crock-Pot is not what you want the office to be talking about come Monday!
3 cups full-fat milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup rum
½ cup sugar (you can use a sugar substitute, but why bother at this point)?
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
5 black peppercorns
Pinch of nutmeg
Heat milk with all the spices, stirring carefully, until thickened. Add vanilla, remove from heat. Strain out the spices.
In a blender, whip eggs, rum, sugar, and milk mixture, and slowly add cream, pulsing every few minutes to develop a good froth. Pour into a serving bowl and ladle into cups or mugs. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Finally, make sure everyone’s keys are secured for their own safety. These holiday drinks are strong. There’s a reason they are only served once a year.