Decadent Drinks For Trimming the Christmas Tree

eggnog, photo by Peter Burka via Flickr

eggnog, photo by Peter Burka via Flickr

Thanksgiving is seen by many Americans as the time to decorate the house and light the family Christmas tree. The lighting of the Christmas tree dates back to 17th century Germany, when families used candles to decorate their trees to celebrate the light of Christmas. The British modified this tradition by adding smaller candles and sugared ornaments, and the Americans adopted the tradition in the 19th century. Nowadays, we are way too safety conscious to entertain candle lit trees. Just imagine: the fire alarm sets off a mass panic, Dad grabs the fire extinguisher and the next thing you know all the presents under the tree are buried in a sea of sticky white foam. Good thing for LED lights!

Whilst stringing up those lights and strategically placing every, carefully chosen ornament, one must stop and take things a little slower, to appreciate this moment with your family. The kids are more than happy digging into the candy canes, and the adults also deserve a sweet treat. Try one of these three decadent holiday tipples. They are sure to make you all warm and fuzzy inside (and cloud the memory of the colossal amount spent on lighting your tree this year)!

Cousin Eddie’s Eggstrordinary Nog

Eggnog, meaning ‘in a wooden mug’, is believed to have come from medieval Britain and consisted of milk, cream, cloves, eggs and alcohol. Here's a modern day version for today’s palate, offering rich and creamy comfort, wrapped in a warm, boozy blanket. Don't worry about the raw egg yolks - the booze "cooks" it so it's safe to drink.

photo via Danielle Macdonald

photo via Danielle Macdonald

Beat egg yolks in a bowl, then slowly beat in the sugar. Whisk whole milk and cream into the mixture. Add rum and Bananas Schnapps if using. Cover bowl and place in fridge for two days. Take out of the fridge and just before serving, beat egg whites (only use half the amount of egg whites) until they are stiff. Spoon into the eggnog and stir gently. Grate nutmeg on top and serve.

Hot Chocoretto

If you are feeling a little naughty but would like to sip on something incredibly nice, try this spiked hot chocolate.

  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tbs sugar
  • 2 oz. Vincenzi Amaretto di Torino
  • Topping : whipped cream (optional)
  • Garnish: side plate of Italian almond cookies (biscotti)
photo by Danielle Macdonald

photo by Danielle Macdonald

Heat milk and cream in a saucepan, then slowly add and stir in chocolate chips and sugar, until fully dissolved. Pour Amaretto into the hot chocolate last maximum flavor. Pour into a thick glass or large mug and top with whipped cream. Serve with a plate of biscotti.

(Editor's note: for more boozy hot chocolate recipes, please click here.)

Modern American Sherry Cobbler

Sherry has made a big come back in recent years as a cocktail ingredient. The holidays are hectic, so here's a simple Sherry Cobbler for that tree lighting ceremony.

  • 3 oz sherry (dry Oloroso or Amontillado is best here)
  • 1 oz cranberry juice (100% juice - not cranberry cocktail!)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 orange slices
  • Crushed Ice
  • Garnish: mint sprig

Place oranges and sugar in a shaker. Add sherry and cranberry juice with crushed ice, then shake. Fill a glass (metal cobbler/julep glass preferred but not necessary) with crushed ice. Strain liquid from shaker and pour into the glass. Garnish with mint and serve.