If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, treat your guests to warm beverages that celebrate the many flavors of the season. According to USA Today, the top flavors for 2012 include pumpkin pie spice, peppermint and chocolate truffle, and you’ll find them in everything from potato chips and shakes to lip balm.
You can easily incorporate these, along with other seasonal favorites, in your warm holiday drinks. And before you head out to shop for ingredients, let DexKnows help you find just the right grocery store in your area.
Chocolate Truffle Hot Cocoa
Indulge your party guests with this delectable recipe, which tastes just like the chocolate truffles you’ll find at an artisan chocolatier. Heat whole milk (or low fat if you’re eating healthy during the holidays) in a saucepan until just steaming, but be sure not to let it boil. Whisk in unsweetened dark chocolate powder, brewed espresso, vanilla extract, sugar and a pinch of salt until blended. Top with flavored whipped cream. Taste of Home features this recipe, along with several whip cream variations.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
No doubt your local barista is serving pumpkin spice latte this holiday season, but it’s also easy to make at home. The basic ingredients include pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, vanilla extract, milk and brewed espresso. Top it off with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg, and it can stand on its own as a dessert or accompany your holiday dessert spread. To create a version with alcohol, stir in a little bit of spiced rum. Taste of Home has a complete recipe.
Warm Peppermint Eggnog
Eggnog is one of those holiday beverages people either love or hate, but peppermint eggnog is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Refreshing peppermint complements the creamy eggnog and makes this a kid-friendly drink you can enjoy while you’re putting up your Christmas outdoor decorations. Heat and whisk together store-bought eggnog and peppermint extract, or, if you’re more ambitious, make your own from scratch with this recipe from Martha Stewart. To turn it into an adult beverage, add a splash of dark Jamaican rum, brandy or peppermint schnapps.
Hot Cranberry Ginger Punch
For a tangy and refreshing change of pace, try a hot cranberry punch infused with fresh ginger. Simmer cranberry juice and thin slices of ginger in a saucepan for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors (don’t forget to strain before serving). You can also add a little bit of lime or orange juice to the mixture while it’s heating, and then sugar to taste. Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick, orange slice or fresh mint. Add a splash of vodka for your over-21 guests.
Apple Pie Cider
The next best thing to eating apple pie is drinking it, and this warm punch will hit the spot at holiday time. Instead of using the stovetop, you can simmer this mixture in a slow cooker while you’re out checking items off your Christmas shopping list or putting up your holiday home decorations. The basic ingredients include fresh apple cider, apricot extract (or liqueur) and cinnamon sticks. Top with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg, and enjoy it on its own or with holiday goodies. Check out the Martha Stewart website for a variation on this recipe.
Serve these warm holiday drinks as an aperitif or a dessert beverage, keep them alcohol-free and kid-friendly, or add a splash of spirits for a grownups’ party punch. For party planning, DexKnows can direct you to the best party supply stores in your area.
Category: Holiday Shopping