Saturday, December 23, 2017


Cheers to Christmas Spirits

There is an old German proverb that reads: 
To good eating belongs good drinking” 
The holidays are chock full of chances to eat and, therefore, drink, so let’s take a look at some delicious adult drinks that leave eggnog sitting side by side with his pal, the fruitcake. For some extra fun, I’ve included some well-known (and little-known) quotes about liquor:

(photo credit: )

“[O]ne sip of this
Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight
Beyond the bliss of dreams.”
~John Milton
 I love Fall with its crisp leaves and apple picking. I especially like to visit Long Grove, IL, where the apple cider mill still grinds out all sorts of apple goodness. So when I found this recipe for Apple Cider Sangria (did I mention I love Sangria?) I had to start off with the recipe here. It sounds so refreshing, a perfect offering at any holiday party.

1 cup mixed green, yellow, and red apples (quartered, cored, and thinly sliced)
1 orange orange (quartered and thinly sliced)
1 (750-ml) bottle white wine
1 cup apple cider (chilled)
1 lemon (juiced)
1/4 cup apple brandy
2 (12-ounce) bottles hard apple cider (chilled)
6-8 cinnamon sticks (for serving)
Pomegranate seeds (for serving)
·        In a large pitcher, combine the apple slices, orange slices, white wine, apple cider, lemon juice, and apple brandy. Mix and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
·        When ready to serve, mix in the hard cider.  Pour into glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks and pomegranate seeds.


“My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses.
Drinks right out of the bottle.”    
~Henny Youngman
  Every year when dinner was over and the tables were whisked away, my dad would quietly go into the kitchen. While the kids waited impatiently for the presents to be brought out, the adults would all look at each other with anticipation in their eyes, smacking their lips. Dad was the champion Brandy Alexander maker, and we insisted on having our Christmas treat every year. Luckily, I was able to “assist” him and came away with the secret to his creamy, delicious frostiness. As a family, once we lost dad, we lost a taste for those glasses of cheer, but this year, I’m planning on celebrating his memory by offering the best Brandy Alexanders to my guests as an after dinner treat. Cheers, Dad!
4 generous scoops vanilla ice cream
2 oz. brandy
2 oz.  crème de cacao

Add ice cream and liquor to blender and blend until you have the consistency of a milk shake. Pour into two glasses and sprinkle nutmeg, cocoa powder or shaved chocolate on top.


“Tea is so tame. A cocktail is lots more naughty.”   
~Richard Florance
 The first year my family tried mimosas while we opened our stocking stuffers and had breakfast, we started toasting way too many times, drinking up three bottles of champagne between 7 people. By the time we bundled up and got to my Gram’s house, we were pretty snockered. Gram was not happy with us, because our side of the family was her kitchen help both with food preparation and clean-up. That year, we sat and relaxed while our cousins and aunt sweated in Gram’s tiny kitchen, putting the food away and washing up. That was a great year, but we decided to limit our mimosas to one bottle of champagne before breakfast from then on.

What you need is just Champagne and Orange Juice.
 This recipe is simple, and allows each person to choose the potency of their drinks. Pour as much champagne in your glass as desired, then top off with orange juice. That’s it! Get fancy by adding maraschino cherries, strawberries, orange peel or orange slices, or nothing at all! 


“Stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and don't drink too much. 
Then again, don't drink too little.”    
~Herman "Jackrabbit" Smith-Johannsen
One of my favorite things about going to parties is when there is a punch offered. I’ve collected quite a few recipes for punches, and this one sounds yummy. I can’t wait to host another holiday party so I can make this fabulous bowl of cheer!

1c sugar
1 c water
2 c chilled pomegranate juice
1 c vodka
1 c chilled orange-flavored liqueur
1 c chilled club soda
1 c chilled cranberry juice
½ c (about 6 lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine sugar and water in pot and heat, stirring constantly. Take off heat when sugar is dissolved and let cool completely (refrigerate for faster results).
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a punch bowl with only ½ cup of the syrup you made(Refrigerate the leftover syrup, reheat and cool to use again).
Float frozen cranberries in punchbowl or make ice cubes with frozen cranberries. Pop these in a glass before pouring the punch for a great looking glass of cheer.


“Candy Is dandy
But liquor Is quicker”
~Ogden Nash
While we’re on the subject of punches, I found this on Pinterest. Looking at the photo, I don’t think one drop of this punch has passed through the Grinch’s taste buds –He couldn’t stay “grinchy” after drinking up a cup of this good cheer!

1/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
12 drops neon green food coloring
2 ltr lemon lime soda chilled
2 pt vanilla ice cream
¼ c Homemade Punch Syrup (see Christmas Punch recipe above)

Add milk and extract to syrup and refrigerate. Just before serving, transfer milk mixture to a punch bowl. Stir in the food coloring and soda. Top with scoops of ice cream. Cheers!


“Everybody should believe in something;
I believe I'll have another drink.”    ~Author Unknown
Here’s a pretty drink that will tickle your taste buds. Just add everything together in a blender until you have a slushy consistency and serve in glasses rimmed with fresh coconut flakes. I was going to try this one myself until I read the coconut parts. I am not a coconut lover, but many are, so enjoy!

4 c ice cubes
1 c chilled pineapple juice
½ c blue curacao
½ c light rum
½ c cream of coconut


“For fear that one drink will be lonesome, 
take another to keep it company,
and another to keep peace between them…”
~A Book of Old Songs, Healths, Toasts, Sentiments, 
and Wise Sayings Pertaining to the 
Bond of Good Fellowship, 1901
Are these drinks too cold for you? You might like to defrost with a Kahlua Hot Chocolate. It’s sure to put a warm smile on your face. I’m going to quote a line from the movie “Oliver Twist,” when Oliver holds out his bowl and says, “Please, sir, may I have another?” YUM!

1/4 tsp Cinnamon               
1-1/2 TBSP unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 Pinch Nutmeg
2 tbsp Sugar
2 cups Milk
1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
Condiments: Chocolate syrup, mini Marshmallows, melted Caramel
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium heat until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Kahlúa.
Serve immediately, garnished with mini marshmallows, salted caramel and chocolate syrup, if desired.  ∙ Serves 2

 Bottoms up, crafters - Enjoy the holidays!

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