Christmas. The time of year for large family gatherings filled with traditions, high spirits and reminiscing over tremendous amounts of food and festive drink. Wherever you are in the world, cultures celebrate the holiday season slightly differently from one country to another including their traditional seasonal beverages. If you are traveling during this time of year then you’ve got a great excuse to sample the local festive drinks, but don’t worry if you are stuck at home. We are sharing with you some of our favourite festive drinks found around the world that are tasty and easy to recreate in your own kitchen! Expect to be knocking up indulgent winter warmers from Europe’s mulled wine to the Caribbean’s Sorrel Punch to ease you into the Christmas spirit.
Top Festive Drinks from around the world
Cola de Mono, Chile
Let’s get down to business. Originating from Chile, a glass of Cola de Mono, or monkey’s tail is very much associated with the holiday season. The exact theory on the name of this drink is somewhat unknown, apart from the fact a few glasses of this will have you swinging like a monkey! Why is this? Well, Chile’s version of egg nog contains Chilean aguardiente (an alcoholic beverage of 45%+ alcohol content) with a flavour and texture similar to a White Russian. Guaranteed enjoyment as you indulge on this delicious concoction.
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
– 4 cups milk
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– ½ tsp nutmeg, ground
– 3 tablespoons instant coffee
– 1 cup Chilean aguardiente (or rum/brandy)
Bring the milk, sugar, vanilla and spices to the boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the coffee.
Put in the fridge to cool.
Once cold, add the aguardiente.
Serve very cold.
Rose + Rosé Bourbon Cocktail
When you’ve simply had your fair share of the same old festive drinks this Christmas, why not try something a little different that is still guaranteed to take the chill out of your bones. The whiskey combined with citrus in this winter warming cocktail are reminiscent of a comforting Old Fashioned, but the rosé wine keeps things light and refreshing, making this a perfect winter drink. A perfect concoction for when you can’t decide between whiskey and wine or simply want to try something new with a little added kick this Christmas.
– 2 ounces whiskey (Jack Daniels Single Barrel is a good shout!)
– 3 ounces rosé wine
– 1 teaspoon rose syrup
– 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
– Sparkling water to taste
– Grapefruit slices or peel, for garnish
Mix the ingredients and pour over ice in a lowball glass.
Top with a couple ounces sparkling water, and add grapefruit slices or peel to the glass.
The snowball. This old fashioned favourite is a fluffy, bright yellow, cocktail that will go down a treat with any granny. Having had its heyday back in the seventies, the Snowball that was once trendy has now become popular again and has made the list of favourite festive drinks. Mostly made up from Advocaat and lemonade, the drink originates from Holland where they substituted fermented avocados with thickened egg yolks to give a similar texture. It may sound slightly odd, but if you’ve never tried a snowball we recommend you give it a go and let us know. Make sure all ingredients are ice cold. You can also substitute the sherry for vodka but don’t over do it!
– 1 handfuls ice cubes
– 2 shots advocaat
– ½ shots lime cordial
– ½ shots sherry or vodka
– lemonade, to top up
All ingredients are to be ICE cold, if possible Vodka may be kept in the freezer.
Pour in the advocaat, lime cordial and sherry (or vodka) then top up with lemonade.
Stir thoroughly and serve immediately.
No Mexican holiday party is complete without a hearty pot of winter warming ¡Ponche Navideño! This warm, spiced Christmas punch is made by simmering typical Mexican fruits with cane sugar and spices until the heavenly aroma permeates the home. Ponche is typically served in Mexico on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and during the posadas, the 9 day Celebration leading up to Christmas. During these days of celebration, a steaming pot of Ponche is always kept hot and ready for guests.
– ½ oz Reposado tequila
– oz Brandy
– oz Ponche Base
Ponche Base Ingredients:
– 6 qt Water
– 8 Tamarind pods, shelled
– 3 Cinnamon sticks
– 1 tbsp Pink peppercorns
– 2 Star anise pods
– 1 tsp Whole cloves
– 4 oz Dried hibiscus flowers (AKA flor de jamaica)
– 1 (8-inch) piece Sugar cane, peeled and cut into straws
– 10 Guavas, quartered
– 16 Tejocotes, seeded
– 1 Apple, cubed
– 1 Pear, cubed
– 1 cup Toasted walnuts
– 5 cups Brown sugar
Using a large pot, bring water and tamarind pods to the boil over high heat.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain using a mesh strainer, pressing the tamarind to push as much pulp through as possible.
Return the strained mixture to the heat and bring to a simmer.
Tie cinnamon, cloves, hibiscus, star anise and peppercorns into a cloth bundle and place into the mixture.
Add the final remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low.
Simmer, stirring gently, until flavors are completely infused and fruit is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the spice cloth bundle and serve drink and fruit into serving mugs.
Eggnog is a delicious traditional holiday drink, best made fresh and served immediately! This recipe makes a fabulously rich, tasty fresh eggnog you can whip up in minutes. The origins of Eggnog aren’t very clear but it’s believed to have been developed from posset, a medieval European beverage made with hot milk and eggs. Wherever Eggnog originally comes from, we think you should raise a glass this year and enjoy the holiday cheer.
Ingredients: (serves 8):
– 700ml milk
– 240ml double cream
– 3 cinnamon sticks
– 1 vanilla pod
– 1 tsp grated nutmeg
– 5 eggs, separated
– 130g granulated sugar
– 175ml dark rum
Heat the milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg and bring to the boil. Remove from heat
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.
Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix together until smooth. Add run and stir.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaksor m and fold into egg nog until combined.
Grate nutmeg over the top and serve.
The holiday season in the Caribbean is all about music, food, family and drinks. If there’s one drink in the Caribbean which screams ‘Christmas’ it would definitely have to be sorrel. All islanders appreciate a cold glass of sorrel on those hot Caribbean days in the lead up to Christmas. There are many variations of this refreshing drink, so please use this as a basic guide for making sorrel and do add your own personal touch.
– 2 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) dried sorrel calyxes (also called jamaica or hibiscus)
– Two 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger, chopped fine
– 3 whole cloves
– 5 3/4 cups water
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 ½ cups amber rum
– 2 cups ice cubes, or to taste
– Lime and orange slices for garnish
In a heat-proof bowl combine the sorrel, the ginger and the cloves.
In a saucepan bring 5 cups of the water to a boil, pour it over the sorrel mixture, and let the mixture steep for 4 hours or overnight.
While the mixture is steeping, in a small saucepan bring the remaining 3/4 cup water and the sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let the syrup cool.
Strain the sorrel liquid into a pitcher, discarding the solids, stir in the sugar syrup, the rum and the ice cubes, and garnish the punch with the lime and orange slices.
Come the festive season, there’s nothing better than a spiced, warming glass of mulled wine. The idea of spiced, heated wine has a long history which dates back to Rome during the 2nd Century. Making mulled wine is pretty much down to personal taste, play around with the spices and sugar, or add a little Cointreau.
– 2 clementines
– 1 lemon
– 1 lime
– 200g caster sugar
– 6 whole cloves
– 1 stick cinnamon
– 3 fresh bay leaves
– 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
– 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
– 2 star anise
– 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
This is dead simple to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass.
Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine.
The next time you’ve got chilly guests, follow Joe Sheridan’s example. Warm their spirits with a spirited beverage that has been a favorite since 1942.
– Hot teaspoon
– 1 measure or shot (2 ounces) Irish whiskey
– 2 teaspoons brown sugar
– 5 to 6 ounces freshly-brewed strong black coffee
– 2 teaspoons heavy or whipping cream, half whipped (not too light, not too thick)
Place a teaspoon in a bowl with hot water to heat; let sit until ready to use.
Preheat a stemmed whiskey goblet (7-ounce coffee cup or goblet may be substituted) with boiling water so that it is good and hot. Pour out the hot water and discard.
Add the brown sugar in the bottom of the goblet. Fill with strong black coffee to within 1 inch of the top; stir gently until sugar is dissolved.
Add the Irish Whiskey; stir again and then let sit until the mixture is still.
Using the hot teaspoon, gently pour the prepared whipped cream over the back of the teaspoon (held just above the coffee’s surface).
Gradually raise the spoon as you slowly pour in the cream. This will result in a layer of liquid cream that floats on top of the coffee.
Do not stir the cream in the coffee. Irish coffee is best enjoyed by sipping the coffee through the cream.