Season’s Sippables and Savorables to Celebrate Christmas and the Holidays

Soothe and sate your senses with this season’s sippables. Savor the seasonal flavors of apple cider, orange spice chai, peppermint cocoa, and others in hot beverages that keep you cozy and warm. Or, enjoy refreshing iced cocktails and mocktails that celebrate Christmas cheer and are ideal for holiday parties.

PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE COCOA

Ingredients:

2 cups eggnog or milk of choice (e.g. almond, coconut, hemp, cashew, or oat for vegan versions)

4-6 tablespoons carob or cocoa powder (depending on richness preference)

1 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (depending on sweetness preference)

1½ tablespoons peppermint extract

dollop of whipped cream to top off each mug full

crushed peppermint candies to garnish atop whipped cream

candy cane to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Add eggnog or milk to pot and set stove to medium heat.
  2. Stir in maple syrup or honey and taste test to gauge sweetness.
  3. Add in carob or cocoa powder, one tablespoon at a time, and stir in to dissolve gradually. Taste test again to gauge richness of the chocolate.
  4. Simmer to keep warm enough for drinking, but not boiling.
  5. To prepare crushed peppermint candies garnish, wash and dry a hammer. Place paper over a concrete floor. Double up a Ziploc bag and fill the bag with peppermint candies or candy canes (be sure to remove the plastic wrapping!). Double check to be sure bag is sealed completely, place bag on concrete floor, then crush the candies in the bag with the hammer.
  6. Pour candy cane cocoa into mug(s).
  7. Top with whipped cream, sprinkle on crushed peppermint candies, and tuck a candy cane(s) over the side of the mug(s).

SPICED (AND SPIKED FOR SOME) CIDER

Ingredients:

1 gallon apple cider or apple juice

1 apple + 1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 orange + 2 teaspoons cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

4 cinnamon sticks

Bourbon, whiskey, or rum (for spiked version)

Instructions:

  1. Wash fruit, then pierce the apple with allspice and orange with cloves.
  2. Add all ingredients (except alcohol) to slow cooker and turn on high for 2 hours.
  3. Simmer and add alcohol (optional).
  4. Sip and savor!

Recipe adapted from: tasty.co/recipe/holiday-spiced-cider

GINGER ORANGE SPICE CHAI BLACK TEA

Ingredients:

6 teaspoons or 6 tea bags black tea of choice

6 cups cold water

2 cups milk or nut milk (optional)

3-4 whole star anise

¾ teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 -3/4 teaspoon whole cardamom pods

½-3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

½-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-2 whole cinnamon sticks

½-3/4 teaspoon grated ginger or ginger powder

½ orange zest

10-15 drops stevia or 1½ Tablespoons honey or maple syrup 

Instructions Using Tea Bags in a Pot: 

  1. Fill medium pot with water, bring to a boil, and add all ingredients.
  2. Stir continuously until well blended.

Instructions Using Loose Tea in French Press:

  1. Boil hot water in pot or electric kettle.
  2. Add loose black tea and other ingredients (except cinnamon sticks, sweetener, and milk) to a French press.
  3. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on preferred strength of black tea.
  4. Pour into mugs and add milk and sweetener (optional).
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and top with ground cinnamon.

EGG-FREE NOG (IN CHAI LATTE) – OR NAUGHTY NOG (COCKTAIL VERSION)

Ingredients:

5 cups milk (or nut milks, like almond, coconut, oat, hemp or cashew)

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1½ teaspoons rum, brandy, or Bailey’s Irish Cream

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cinnamon stick per glass for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and mix together until liquid is smooth.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour or so to let thicken.
  3. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
  4. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

Recipe adapted from www.allrecipes.com/recipe/240728/egg-not-eggless-eggnog/

Whether it’s just for you, two, or a small or large gathering, celebrate Christmas and the holidays with a celebratory beverage in hand.

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