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In the Kitchen: Holiday beverages to please

It’s always fun to sip a special, holiday beverage while sitting in front of a roaring fire looking at the decorated Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music or watching a beloved holiday movie. 

Here are some special beverage recipes that are sure to be a hit with your friends and family. 

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a cup of eggnog. Whether you spike it or not, this creamy eggnog is delicious. 


4 cups half and half

1 ¼ cups sugar

12 egg yolks

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup brandy

1/4 cup bourbon

2 cups heavy cream

Freshly grated nutmeg for serving

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the half and half and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot. In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks. Gradually add a little bit of the hot milk and then return the eggs to the pot, gradually whisking together. 

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about two or three minutes. Strain into another bowl and cool completely. Whisk in the rum, brandy and bourbon, if using. 

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about six hours. When ready to serve, pour heavy cream into a chilled bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chilled custard. Ladle into mugs or glasses and sprinkle with grated nutmeg. 

Mulled wine

1 large seedless orange

12 whole cloves

12 allspice berries

2 cinnamon sticks

1 bottle of fruity red wine, such as Merlot

1/2 cup honey (more to taste)

2/3 cup orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the orange zest off of the orange — avoid the bitter white pith. In a small square of cheesecloth, tie up the orange zest, cloves, Allspice berries and cinnamon sticks. Squeeze the juice from the orange and set aside. In a pot, combine the wine, honey, orange liqueur, juice from the orange and the spice packet. Heat over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Serve hot. 

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Shirley Temples are beautiful and the kids will love them. Don’t forget the maraschino cherries and use holiday-themed, clear plastic cups. Shaved ice would really make these special. 

Classic Shirley Temples

1 ounce grenadine

8 ounces lemon-lime soda, such as 7-Up

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Shaved or crushed ice

Add ice to cup and pour grenadine on top. Fill up with lemon-lime soda and garnish with maraschino cherries. 

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Hot buttered rum

1 stick butter

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ½ ounces dark rum

2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Boiling water

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, orange zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. Put 2 tablespoons of spiced butter mixture into a mug. Add 1 ½ ounces of dark rum per mug. Add a little bit of orange juice and fill with boiling water, stir and serve. 

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Hot apple cider (spiking optional)

1 gallon good quality apple cider

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon allspice

Pinch nutmeg

2 teaspoons whole cloves

1 orange

2 cups bourbon (optional)

Cinnamon sticks for garnishing

In large pot, heat apple cider, brown sugar, Allspice and nutmeg. Stir until sugar melts completely. Press whole cloves all around the orange and add the orange to the cider. Simmer 30 minutes. Ladle into mugs, adding bourbon if desired. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.