[Post updated for 2016]
Celebrate Christmas with these holiday cocktail recipes. We’ve collected some of our favorites from around the world to add a little global flair to your festivities. After all, the holiday season is all about traditions–and if those traditions involve food (like a Christmas cookie exchange) or beverages, even better!
Holiday Cocktail Recipe: Ponche Navideño (Christmas Punch)
- 4 quarts water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole cloves
- 5 long tamarind pods, husked and seeded
- 1/2 pound tejocotes or crab apples, whole
- 6 large guavas, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 red apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 (4-inch) sugar cane sticks, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1 orange, sliced
- Brandy, optional
- First, boil water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, tamarind, and tejocotes in a large pot over high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the tejocotes have softened.
- Next, remove the tejocotes from the heat. Peel them and remove the hard ends, then cut the tejocotes in half and remove the seeds. Return the tejocotes to the pot.
- Then, add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring gently. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Discard.
- Finally, ladle the ponche into cups, making sure each cup gets a few pieces of fruit. Add a splash of brandy to each cup, if desired.
Holiday Cocktail Recipe: English Wassail
- 6 small-to-medium honey crisp apples, cored
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 cups Madeira
- 4 oz English pale ale
- 48 oz hard cider
- 1 cup apple cider
- 12 whole cloves
- 12 whole allspice berries
- 2 cinnamon sticks, 2” long
- 2 strips orange peel, 2“ long
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- First, heat oven to 350˚. Place apples in a 9×9 glass baking dish. Spoon both light and dark brown sugar into the center of each apple, dividing the sugar evenly. Pour a cup of water into bottom of dish and bake until tender, approximately one hour.
- Meanwhile, pour the Madeira, ale and both types of ciders into a large slow cooker. Next, place the spices and orange peel on a piece of cheesecloth and tie it shut with kitchen twine. Then, add the cheesecloth bundle to the slow cooker along with the ginger and nutmeg.
- Let the contents of the slow cooker simmer for at least an hour while apples bake.
- When the apples are tender, remove them from the oven and pour the liquid from the baking dish into the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Using tongs, transfer the apples to slow cooker. Reduce heat. Ladle wassail into heatproof cups or mugs to serve.
Holiday Cocktail Recipe: German Eierlikör (Egg Liqueur)
- 6 fresh chicken eggs
- 1 vanilla bean
- a pinch of salt
- 300 ml of evaporated milk with 10% fat content
- 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
- 125 ml of overproof rum, such as Bacardi 151
- With the tip of a sharp paring knife, slowly cut into the center of the vanilla bean, being careful not to puncture the bottom. Gently pull the edges apart and scrape out the seeds into a large bowl.
- Next, crack the eggs, separating the yolks from the whites. Add the egg yolks to the bowl with the vanilla seeds, and add a pinch of salt. Discard the egg whites.
- Then, add the rum and evaporated milk to the bowl, stirring until the mixture is smooth and consistent in color.
- Using a sieve, add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. The mixture will become increasingly difficult to stir.
- Finally, when eierlikör is evenly mixed, refrigerate until just before serving.
Holiday Cocktail Recipe: Swedish Glögg (Mulled Wine)
- 2 bottles dry red wine
- 1 bottle sweet white wine
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 cardamom pods
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1” fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon bitters
- In a large saucepan, combine the red and white wine.
- Remove the orange and lemon peels and set aside. Squeeze the fruits and add juice to the wine.
- Place the citrus peels and spices on a piece of cheesecloth and tie it shut with kitchen twine. Add the cheesecloth bundle to the wine. Add raisins, almonds and sugar.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until flavors are blended and almonds have softened.
- Skim wine from time to time to remove any foam. Add sugar as necessary.
- Just before serving, add the bitters. Ladle into mugs or cups, and provide each guest a spoon for eating the raisins and almonds.
How do you and your family celebrate the holidays? What are your favorite traditions? Tell us in the comments section!
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