Move over Thanksgiving! The real star of the holiday season is here. Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. It gives me the warm fuzzies for all of the right reasons. Food, family, fun...and drinks. These 5 cocktails will steal the show, not only because they're delicious, but because you can bring a piece of the world to your family and friends.
1. Puerto Rico's Coquito
Coquito is Puerto Rico's traditional drink for Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.
- Unsweetened coconut cream Cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
- 1 Vanilla bean
- 3 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 8 Cinnamon sticks
- 750 ml Añejo or spiced rum
- Combine all the ingredients except the rum in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat, let cool and stir in the rum.
- Transfer to bottles (making sure that at least one cinnamon stick goes into each bottle), seal and store in the refrigerator.
- Serve over ice in rocks glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
2. Chile's Cola de Mono
Although Chile is better known for its Pisco Sours, Christmastime means a glass of “monkey’s tail.” It's very similar to a White Russian.
- 4 cups whole milk (for non-dairy, use almond milk)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 teaspoon good Madagascar vanilla extract, or ¼ vanilla bean, scrapped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee (I used decaf)
- 1 cup Chilean Aguardiente (or Brandy)
- Combine the milk, water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and nutmeg in medium saucepan.
- Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
- Add the instant coffee and stir to dissolve.
- Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick.
- Add Aguardiente (or brandy).
- Chill for at least four hours, or ideally overnight. Pour into an pitcher and serve.
3. Jamaica's Sorrel Punch
Sorrel punch can be found throughout the Caribbean and in many Latin American countries, but it’s particularly popular in Jamaica as a Christmas cocktail.
- 2 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) dried hibiscus
- Two 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger, chopped fine
- 3 whole cloves
- 5 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups amber rum
- 2 cups ice cubes, or to tast
- Lime and orange slices for garnish
- In a heat-proof bowl combine the sorrel, the ginger and the cloves.
- In a saucepan bring 5 cups of the water to a boil, pour it over the sorrel mixture, and let the mixture steep for 4 hours or overnight.
- While the mixture is steeping, in a small saucepan bring the remaining 3/4 cup water and the sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let the syrup cool.
- Strain the sorrel liquid into a pitcher, discarding the solids, stir in the sugar syrup, the rum and the ice cubes, and garnish the punch with the lime and orange slices.
4. Italy's Bombardino
Literally “the bomb” in Italian, il Bombardino was created in northern Lombardia and is very similar to egg nog. Today, it is beloved across the Italian Alps and is usually served at ski resorts.
- 1.5 ounces brandy, such as Vecchia Romagna Brandy
- 3 ounces egg liqueur, such as Zabov Zabaglione
- Whipped cream, to taste
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Warm the egg liqueur in a small saucepan. Pour the brandy in a glass mug.
- When the egg liqueur is hot (but not yet at boiling point), slowly add it to the brandy. Stir well to combine.
- Top the cocktail with a generous amount of whipped cream, and finish it with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
5. Martinique's Creole Royale
It's a light cocktail and made with Creole Shrubb, a blend of white rhum agricole married with bitter orange peels and Creole spices.
- 1 oz. of Creole Shrubb
- 4 oz. of Brut champagne
- 1 dash of Angostura bitters
- In a chilled champagne glass, add Creole Shrubb and pour the champagne to top.
- Then add the bitters, stir and serve.
These cocktails are a great way to introduce Christmas traditions around the world to your guests, especially if they love to travel as much as you. Salud!