Finally. We made it. We have reached the season where the air is crisp, leaves have fallen, the sky grows dark before your evening commute, and you can throw on a hoodie and run to the grocery store to grab a six-pack at 9 a.m. for an early Seahawks away game without judgment.
Something else that has changed—gloriously, if I may add— is that when you arrive home, your entire family is probably there—Mom, Dad, in-laws, weird cousins, your brother, his wife, their kids, and the humorless hipsters dating your weird cousins. But, the really fun part is the holiday cheer; everyone is imbibing holiday beverages. This time of year, how can you not? Holiday cocktails are outstanding because they are easy and accessible, plus they help ease the way through all the extra family time.
Eggnog: The Holiday Classic
The most popular beverages to toast the season usually involve eggnog. I can’t argue with that. Eggnog is delicious in that enjoyable-once-a-year sort of way. You just have to make sure you do it right. The key is to add a nice medium to dark rum. Gosling’s or Mount Gay are two of my favorites. And, don’t shortchange yourself or beloved family members by not dusting the top with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Peppermint Patty: The Sweet Treat
Another popular elixir among the spirited is the simple marriage of hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps. Sometimes referred to as a Peppermint Patty, this little treat is especially popular with those who don’t often partake. If you are a little more adventurous like me, you can upgrade from regular schnapps to Rumple Minze, a German liqueur that boasts 100 proof.
Hot Toddies and Buttered Rums: The Temperature Raisers
Other smile inducers are hot toddies and hot buttered rums. The hot toddy is sometimes thought of as a naughty cold remedy but is appropriate any time the temperature plunges. Start with your choice of either a nice bourbon or brandy. Add hot water, honey, lots of lemon, and you’re off to the races. Some folks enjoy something a little sweeter, and that is where the hot buttered rum shines. The ambitious may be tempted to make their own mix at home, but you can also purchase some at any grocery store. Spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan’s, pairs nicely here.
Zach’s Holiday Cocktail: The Newbie
I’ll end with my personal favorite, one that few know. Find some amazing hot apple cider; I like to get mine from coffee shops. Get a bottle of Tuaca and just mash together. Tuaca is a vanilla-citrus liqueur from Italy, and it is a great addition to your liquor cabinet arsenal.
So go! Start stocking up for holiday parties and the first wave of family invasion. And if you have time, stop by Cosmos and let me know how these drinks went over. Happy holidays and be safe!