The weather outside may be frightful, but don’t let it bother you! Winter’s dark nights are perfect for curling up with a good book and a hot toddy. These all-star warm drinks were invented for the holiday season, and are just as good at a party as they are on a quiet night at home. Treat yourself to a little festivity, with plenty of rum and spices.
1. The Classic: Hot Buttered Rum
Hot buttered rum is a true indulgence — basically a dessert you can drink. It’s worth the calories, so indulge away!
- 1 teaspoon of light brown or raw sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of finely minced organic lemon rind
- 3 pinches of cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 jigger of organic golden rum
- Boiling water
- 1 generous teaspoon of unsalted butter
Method: Place the sugar, spices and lemon in the bottom of a mug. Add the rum, then fill the mug with boiling water and drop in the butter. Let it cool a few minutes and enjoy.
2. The Lightweight: Skinny Peppermint Mocha
The drive-thru coffee shop makes some delicious holiday mochas, but you can make your own daily treat — guilt free, might I add — in your own kitchen. Also try this Pumpkin Spice Latte!
- 1/2 cup of coffee
- 2 drops of peppermint extract
- 1/3 cup of organic milk
- 2 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder (sweetened)
Method: Combine the peppermint, cocoa and coffee first. Taste it and adjust the flavor, then add milk.
3. The Teetotaler: Sleigh Driver
Who says you have to add booze to make it a special treat? This non-alcoholic punch recipe serves ten, making it perfect for parties. Or keep a pitcher in the fridge and heat it whenever you feel a chill. Also try this delicious Wassail recipe!
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 pears, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 quarts of apple cider
- 1 lemon, halved and sliced
- 1 tablespoon of ground allspice
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Combine the water, sugar, ginger and one chopped pear in a large pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then strain out the solids.
Add everything but the cranberries and vanilla, turn the heat to medium-high and let it cook for 15 minutes, stirring it often.
Drop in the cranberries and vanilla, reduce the heat and let it simmer for ten minutes.
4. The Party Punch: English Christmas
This recipe is a flaming showstopper that serves 27. If you manage not to light the walls on fire, you’ll have a very happy holiday party on your hands!
- 1 750 mL bottle of dark organic rum
- 1 750 mL bottle of dry red wine
- 3 cups of strong brewed tea
- 1 pound of superfine sugar
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1 lemon
Heat the juice, wine and tea in a punch bowl or chafing dish, without letting it boil.
Fill a large ladle with sugar, pouring the rest of the sugar into the punch bowl.
Saturate the sugar in the ladle with rum. Light it on fire! And pour it, still burning, into the punch bowl. Stir the punch to extinguish it.
Add the rest of the rum to the punch. Of course.
5. The Old-Fashioned: Tom and Jerry
What good is the holiday season without a good nog? This one comes from the late 1800s, and it’s an amazing treat at any time of day or night. Personally, I recommend it for Christmas Day.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of organic rum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Small pinch of ground allspice
- Small pinch of ground cloves
- Large pinch of ground cinnamon
- 2 2/3 cups of whole organic milk
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated whole nutmeg or ground nutmeg
Whisk the egg yolks briefly in a small bowl. Add the sugar, a tablespoon of rum, vanilla extract and spices, and whisk it again.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until they are stiff and glossy. Fold the whites and yolk mixture together.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over low heat, then remove it from the heat. Meanwhile, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the egg batter to each mug.
Slowly add 4 tablespoons of rum to each mug, stirring it constantly to keep it from curdling. Fill the mugs with warm milk, and serve sprinkled with nutmeg.
Photo by Acquired Life on Flickr.