Classic Holiday Drinks – with a Twist!

Katelyn Preston December 23, 2016

With many of us hosting holiday parties over the next few weeks, we thought it would be nice to share three easy and festive holiday drink ideas! Simply follow the ingredient lists and instructions to create three twists on classic holiday drinks your guests are sure to enjoy.

Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Please your holiday crowd with Food Network’s Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe! For the adults, add peppermint schnapps, or keep the flavor traditional for the kids.   

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces chocolate, finely chopped
  • 24 peppermint candies, crushed (about 1 cup), for serving
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows, for serving
  • Optional: 2 cups peppermint schnapps, for serving**

Directions:

Whisk together sugar and cocoa powder in 6-quart slow cooker. Turn the heat to high, and slowly whisk in the milk to prevent lumps from forming. Add the vanilla and salt, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours. Sugar and cocoa should be completely dissolved.

Whisk the chopped chocolate a little at a time until incorporated. Replace the lid and cook until thickened – approx. 30 minutes more.

Turn the slow cooker to warn and serve! Make sure you put out the small bowls of mini marshmallows and peppermint candies for those who want to dress up their drinks.

**To spike the entire recipe, whisk 2 cups of peppermint schnapps into the cocoa just before serving. To spike individual cups, add 2 tablespoons of peppermint schnapps.

Warm Vanilla Cider

Martha Stewart is one of the queens of homemaking. This recipe for Warm Vanilla Cider is like a dessert and perfect for parties.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 whole nutmeg seeds
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • Optional: ¾ cup bourbon, for serving**
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Honeyed walnuts, for serving

Directions:

Combine apple cider, dark brown sugar, nutmeg seed and vanilla bean in medium saucepan. Simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat (**now’s the time to add the bourbon if you want to). Remove and discard the nutmeg seeds and any other solids in your mixture.

Divide into 6 mugs and top each with whipped cream and a sprinkle of honeyed walnuts.

Classic Holiday Eggnog

Eggnog is a holiday classic – did you know it’s also easy to make? Show off your skills at the next Christmas party by bringing homemade Eggnog, like this rendition from Chowhound!

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen large egg yolks (save the whites for later)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 liter bourbon
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup Cognac or brandy
  • ½ cup Meyer’s dark rum
  • Pinch of fine salt

For serving, you’ll need:

  • Egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
  • Ice (optional)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Directions to make the eggnog base:

Reserve egg whites and place in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Combine the yolks and sugar in a large bowl, whisking until well blended and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a gallon glass jar (or bottle it!) and make sure its tightly sealed. Refrigerate for at least 1 week, up to 3 weeks.

Directions to serve the eggnog:

The night before, place the frozen egg whites in the fridge to thaw. When you’re all ready to serve, let the whites come to room temperature. Put the room temperature whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Put fluffy whites in a punch bowl.

Put your heavy cream in the stand mixer bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 – 2 minutes. Put whipped cream in the punch bowl with the whites.

Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to recombine, and then add it to the punch bowl with egg whites and cream. Gently whisk the eggnog together until just combined and no large pockets of whites or cream remain – most importantly: do not overwhisk the eggnog!

Serve your homemade eggnog in punch cups over ice, if desired, with a garnish of freshly-grated nutmeg.

Enjoy your holiday parties!