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The Twelve Days of Christmas Drinks
by Chrysta Baker

Christmas Ornaments It is hard work shopping for presents and picking out all those Christmas ornaments and decorations, so you need to take time out during the busy holiday season to relax with some freshly baked Christmas cookies and a wonderful holiday drink. Whether you are fighting it out at the mall for those last minute gifts or are decorating your tree with some beautiful German ornaments with the family, these holiday drinks will put a smile on your face.

The First Day of Christmas Cider: A nice steaming hot mug of Christmas cider is a great way to chill those freezing bones after a long day of Christmas tree shopping and ornament hanging. Hot cider is simple to make and tastes great sitting next to the fire watching the lights twinkle and the Christmas ornaments glisten on the tree. In a saucepan combine one quart of fresh cider, one lemon zested, one cinnamon stick, three grates of fresh nutmeg, and a dash of clove powder. Bring the ingredients to a boil, strain, and serve.

The Second Day of Christmas Eggnog: You simply cannot decorate the Christmas tree with the German ornaments your grandmother gave you without a tasty glass of homemade eggnog. In two bowls, separate six large eggs and set aside the egg whites. Beat the egg yolks while pouring in one half cup of sugar until thick and golden. In a separate bowl, beat one pint of heavy cream until thick and pour into the yolk mixture. Beat the egg whites while pouring in one quarter cup of sugar until thick and pour into the yolk and cream mixture. Add four pints of milk, one tablespoon of vanilla, a dash of nutmeg and blend it all together. Serve the eggnog over ice and place your Christmas ornaments on the tree just like grandma used to do.

Christmas Ornaments The Third Day of Christmas Hot Chocolate: While the kids hang the ornaments on the tree, you might want to reward their efforts with a piping hot mug of holiday hot chocolate. In a saucepan over low heat, pour one and one half cups of heavy cream, one and one half cups of milk, one quarter cup of sugar, and a dash of salt. When it starts to steam, add six ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in three drops of peppermint oil and pour into mugs. Place a large dollop of whipped cream on top and garnish with a peppermint leaf. The kids will want to help with the Christmas ornament decorating every year once they taste this yummy treat.

The Fourth Day of Christmas Sparkling Punch: If you live in a warmer climate you might be decorating your palm tree with ornaments, so a more tropical holiday drink might be called for. This tasty sparkling punch will have all your friends asking for more. Combine one bottle of sparkling cider, one can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, one cup of lemonade, and one cup of maraschino cherry juice in a punch bowl. Serve over ice with a fresh pineapple wedge.

The Fifth Day of Christmas Cranberry Cocktail: This is another great fruity holiday drink that goes great with any Christmas ornament decorating party or the holiday meal. Pour some sparkling cider into a champagne flute about three quarters full and add one ounce of cranberry juice to the glass. Float on top a whole cranberry and a mint leaf for a really pretty garnish.

The Sixth Day of Christmas Hot Holiday Tea: In England, Queen Victoria is credited with making popular the trend of decorating the Christmas tree with lots of ornaments and decorations. The modern Christmas tree decorated with glass ornament balls and tinsel comes from this Victorian tradition. Hot tea is another popular tradition in England, so while you are decorating your Victorian style tree with all those beautiful Christmas ornaments, you might want to enjoy a steaming hot cup of holiday tea. In a tea cup, place one bag of your favorite tea, one tablespoon of honey, one cinnamon stick, a dash of nutmeg, and a lemon wedge. Pour in the boiling water, stir, and let steep for five minutes. Queen Victoria would be proud!

Christmas Ornaments The Seventh Day of Christmas Fizzy Punch: The kids will really love drinking this fruity, fizzy punch while they help you decorate the tree with all your favorite German ornaments that you have collected over the years. In a blender mix twenty ounces of frozen raspberries and twelve ounces of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed. Blend until smooth and pour through a strainer into a large punch bowl. Stir in forty-six ounces of pineapple juice and sixty-four ounces of lemon-lime soda. Mix together, pour over ice, sit back, and enjoy your German ornament collection as they sparkle on the tree.

The Eighth Day of Christmas Coffee: For that late night Christmas ornament decorating party, you might need a little pick-me-up with some tasty holiday coffee. Using a French press, place six whole cloves, one cinnamon stick, three whole nutmegs, and the appropriate amount of coffee for the size of the press. Stir and allow to steep for five minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and press down. Pour the coffee into a mug, add a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

The Ninth Day of Christmas Carol Punch: While people decorated their Christmas trees with lights and ornaments, carolers used to go door to door singing Christmas songs while drinking wassail. There are many different forms of this traditional hot Christmas punch, but they are all equally delicious. In a large pot add two quarts of apple cider, two large red apples sliced, half a cup of raisins, eight cinnamon sticks, and two teaspoons of whole cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer over a low heat for eight minutes. Add the slices of one whole orange and one whole lemon and one quarter cup of lemon juice. Ladle into mugs, along with the pieces of fruit, and enjoy the caroling.

Christmas Ornaments The Tenth Day of Christmas Cooked Eggnog: While some people might not want to risk making the traditional eggnog with raw eggs, this cooked eggnog recipe will fill you up without the worries. In a saucepan mix one quart of non-fat milk, four lightly beaten eggs, and one quarter cup of powdered sugar. Stirring continuously with a whisk to prevent burning, simmer the eggnog over a low heat for five minutes. Remove from the heat and add one teaspoon of vanilla, mix well, and refrigerate. When chilled, pour into glasses and add some ground nutmeg on the top. This cooked eggnog will take the worry out of using raw eggs so you can focus all your attention of opening those presents and decorating the tree with your favorite ornaments!

The Eleventh Day of Christmas Ice Cream Floats: Who says it is too cold at Christmas for ice cream? This holiday twist on the ice cream float goes perfectly with those warm Christmas cookies that you just took out of the oven. In a pitcher mix one quart of milk, one third cup of sugar, one and a half teaspoons almond extract, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one half teaspoon nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Mix until all the ingredients dissolve and pour over glasses filled with vanilla ice cream. This is the perfect reward for a long night of decorating the tree with all those delicate Christmas ornaments.

The Twelfth Day of Christmas Spicy Hot Chocolate: After the Christmas season is over and you are packing up the Christmas lights and putting away those last few Christmas ornaments, you might want to celebrate one last time with a good tasty cup of hot chocolate. This spicy version will end the holiday season on a high note. In a saucepan mix two cups of milk, one half cup whipping cream, and once half cup brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Add one quarter cup unsweetened cocoa powder, four ounces semisweet chocolate pieces, and one half teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir until smooth and serve. Top each mug with whipped cream and toast to another well done Christmas season!

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