Sometimes you’re not creating impressive mixed drinks for your holiday party. Sometimes you’re watching Christmas movies on Netflix and you want to drink festive cocktails that require little effort or planning. Here’s to the lazy- God Bless US, Every One.
1. Almond Nog
I have tried every non-dairy nog I have ever seen, and my favorite so far is Califia Farms Holiday Nog. It’s got that sweet nutmeggy flavor with no weird texture or aftertaste, and while it’s not as creamy as real eggnog, the fact that it’s less intense makes me feel like I can drink it regularly throughout the holidays rather than just once. When mixing it with alcohol, you might want to add a bit of coconut cream to increase the fat content a little.
Recipe (single serving):
4 oz almond nog
1 tbsp coconut cream (optional)
1 oz bourbon or rum
additional nutmeg and/or cinnamon as topping
Blend almond nog and coconut cream (if using) together first, in a blender or by stirring until the cream is incorporated. Pour over ice. Slowly add alcohol of choice, stirring as you go. Shake, pour liquid into glass, top with additional nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Gin & Cranberry Sprite with Orange
I invented this cocktail in my head the minute I heard about cranberry sprite.
cranberry sprite, regular or diet
gin (I’m using beefeater)
Cut an orange into thin circular slices. Pour about half a can of cranberry sprite into a glass, add ice followed by an ounce of gin or more if you prefer. If you have cranberry sauce (it’s my favorite holiday food so I literally always have some homemade cranberry sauce in the fridge this time of year), stir in about a tbsp. If you don’t have it or don’t like it, it’s totally optional. Top with an orange slice and enjoy.
3. Cacao-infused Whiskey Hot Chocolate
This one actually does require a little pre-prep, but it’s worth having around. I love the idea of spiked hot chocolate but I find the whiskey flavor overpowers my enjoyment of the chocolate. The solution is chocolate whiskey.
For the whiskey:
vanilla bean (optional)
At least two weeks in advance, add cacao nibs to whiskey in any airtight glass container (1/4 c nibs for every c whiskey). The longer you leave this mixture, the more the chocolate flavor comes through. Strain out the liquid when finished.
For the drink (single serving, multiply as desired): **
1 cup water (or milk, almond milk, etc)
2 tbsp high quality cacao powder
1 tbsp brown sugar (regular sugar will work too, as will honey)
cayenne pepper and cinnamon to taste (optional)
Heat all ingredients except the alcohol in a small saucepan, temperature between medium-low and medium, whisking continuously until hot. Remove from heat and pour into a cozy mug. Stir in whiskey, or if you want a super-frothy version, mix in a blender. If you happen to have a cocktail skewer around, skewer a nice big marshmallow, or just drop it right in.
**Obviously you can also just use a packet of hot chocolate mix and some boiling water, in which case the recipe is, make hot chocolate and add the infusion. It’s still going to be really good, and if you have an electric kettle you don’t even leave the room. With the right forethought, in fact, you don’t have to leave the couch.
Stay cozy, my friends.