Warm Holiday Drinks

By Jessica Lymberopoulos December 22, 2012 No Comments on Warm Holiday Drinks

I love the feeling of a hot drink, warming my hands through the cup. It’s amazing how something so small and simple can chase away the chill of winter.

The following recipes and warm holiday drink ideas will all help make the season a little cozier. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

For adults (recipes below):

  • Yuletide Wassail
  • Irish Coffee
  • Mulled Wine (Glühwein)
  • Hot Spiced Cranberry Punch

For everyone:

Yuletide Wassail

(From The Little Black Book of Cocktails. Makes 24 3-ounce servings.)

Traditionally, one is supposed to sing a song before partaking of the communal wassailing bowl.


  • 1 quart ale
  • 1 quart brandy or light rum, warmed slightly
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 oz. sugar

Method: Heat ale almost to the boiling point with nutmeg, ginger, and lemon peel. Beat eggs with sugar. Add a little hot ale to the egg mixture to equalize the temperature and keep the eggs from scrambling. Gradually add egg mixture to the hot ale. Pour mixture into a pitcher. Pour warmed brandy into another pitcher. Turn ingredients from one pitcher into the other until mixture is smooth. Pour into your vessel of choice — traditionally a holly-wreathed Wassailing Bowl. Do not eat holly.

Irish Coffee

(From The Little Black Book of Cocktails. Makes one coffee.)


  • 1-1/2 oz. Irish or blended whiskey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sugar (to taste)
  • 4 oz. hot, strong, black coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Optional: cinnamon, chocolate curls

Method: Mix coffee and sugar in an Irish coffee glass or mug. Add whiskey and top with whipped cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or chocolate curls. As variations, substitute Kahlúa, Tia Maria, or other liqueur of your choice for the whiskey.

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

(From The Little Black Book of Cocktails. Makes 18 5-ounce servings.)

In merrie olde England, revelers would heat a fireplace poker and thrust it into the punch bowl. Do not try this at home.


  • Peel of 1/2 lemon, cut into curls
  • Peel of 1/2 orange, cut into curls
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 bottles full-bodied red wine

Method: Pour boiling water over the fruit peel, sugar, and spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Place in a punch bowl. Heat wine to just below the boiling point, and add. Add rum. Dot with butter and serve with cinnamon stick stirrers.

Hot Spiced Cranberry Punch

(From The Little Black Book of Cocktails. Makes 20 5-ounce servings.)


  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups light rum

Method: Bring to a boil sugar, 1 cup water, salt, and spices. Mash cranberry sauce with a fork. Add 3 cups water to cranberry sauce and beat with rotary beater until smooth. Add cranberry liquid and pineapple juice to hot spiced syrup and heat to boiling. Add rum. Serve hot with cinnamon stick stirrers.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Maxwell GS.


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