Let’s face it, this year the holidays may end up looking a little different. Now that the current outdoor gathering limit for family functions is 15, what better way to celebrate and unwind over the holidays than by mixing a comforting drink or two to pair with all those savoury festive meals and sweet desserts.
Holiday drinks are especially delicious. There’s something particularly warming and comfortable about them that’ll help you relax your shoulders, unwind from the stress of the holiday season, and celebrate in style. And who doesn’t need that this year?
Here’s a list of fan-favorite warm holiday drinks guaranteed to help lift your spirits. So, go ahead, put a little holiday music on and get to mixing!
1. Slow cooker cranberry apple cider
- 12 medium apples, cut into large chunks
- 2 oranges, cut into large chunks
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries
- 8 cups sweet tea
- 8 cups water (approximate)
- 3 cinnamon sticks or 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. ground allspice
- Cinnamon sticks or frozen cranberries for serving, optional
- Add apples, oranges, and cranberries to a slow cooker.
- Poke cinnamon sticks into the fruit and sprinkle allspice over everything.
- Pour sweet tea over fruit.
- Then, pour in water carefully, being sure not to overflow your slow cooker. Stop when you have added the full 8 cups of water or when you have reached the top.
- Cook on high for three hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove fruit from the slow cooker and add to a large bowl (or two). Use a potato masher to smash the fruit to get all the fruit flavor and juice out of it that you can. Then, place the fruit along with the juices back into the slow cooker. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
- Turn off the slow cooker. Remove all the fruit again. Once you have removed all the fruit that you can, pour the cider through a strainer to remove any remaining bits. I recommend straining it at least twice.
- Squeeze the fruit through a cheesecloth to get all the juice out of it that you can, if desired.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate to enjoy later.
2. Mulled wine
- 2 bottles red wine (the author of the original recipe likes to use one sweet red and one dry red)
- 4 cups apple cider
- ½ cup brandy
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 8 whole cloves
- 12 black peppercorns
- Additional cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish
- Combine the cider, wine, brandy, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, cloves, and peppercorns in a large pot.
- Simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Remove cloves and peppercorns. Serve in heatproof glasses or mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or orange slice.
3. Slow cooker holiday sangria
- 2 bottles Spanish Rioja (or another dry light-bodied red wine)
- 1 cup brandy (the author of the original recipe used apple brandy)
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup simple syrup*
- 1 orange sliced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tsp. whole peppercorns (in a sachet)
- Add the wine, brandy, cranberry juice, simple syrup, orange slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and whole peppercorns to your Crock-Pot or slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Set the temperature to high and cook the sangria for one hour. Then, set the temperature on low to keep it warm for up to five hours.
- Serve in insulated mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Note: *Simple syrup — In a small saucepan, combine one cup of sugar with one cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes. Allow the syrup to cool before using.
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