I’ve been thinking a lot about holiday spirit lately. What is it exactly? I couldn’t put my finger on it so I decided to turn to my ‘oracle’. The search engine returned to me a list of things that supposedly constitute the holiday spirit. Decking the halls, watching holiday movies, gift exchanges, baking cookies, holiday get-togethers and the like. Well those things are certainly festive but do they really constitute the holiday spirit? I don’t feel that watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 27th time is the holiday spirit. And many of the suggestions offered end up being chores if my heart isn’t in the right place! So for now (since my oracle seems to have failed me) I’m going to keep it simple and simply say that for me the holiday spirit is embodied by the traditions we keep and giving – not of gifts but of ourselves.
Now… while I may not be certain exactly what it means, what it feels like or where to find the holiday spirit, I do know a thing or two about holiday spirits! I’m not saying that we need cocktails to be in or to get into the holiday spirit but it’s nice during the holidays to raise a glass of cheer.
I’ve chosen a few concoctions to share with you that marry spirits with berries, roots, fruit, coffee, chocolate and spices!
For those cozy winter movie nights or after a day of playing in the snow (or trudging through the rain as we do here in the Pacific Northwest!) there’s nothing like a cup of hot chocolate. Add a wee nip of peppermint schnapps and voila you have a Peppermint Patty. Nothing screams the holidays to me more than peppermint! BTW, Santa loves, loves, loves this Peppermint Patty!
And don’t put your tequila away when summer wanes. In addition to the fact that winter is citrus season and tequila pairs beautifully with citrus, tequila has spicy warm notes that are perfect for winter cocktails. I won’t be a tequila snob and be prescriptive about which one to use, but remember as with any liquor, tequila is produced in a wide range of quality and flavor profiles. For it’s subtle earthiness, Centenario anejo is my current fav. So let’s start this party with a Cranberry Margarita served in a sparkling sugar rimmed glass and garnished with fresh floating cranberries.
If you’re in the mood for something less sweet and tart, here’s another tequila number that I’ve dubbed Ginger in Spiceland. It’s garnished with apple wedges or a cinnamon stick.
In the same vein as the Ginger in Spiceland, if you’re looking for a little something to warm your cockles after a busy day of holiday preparations, steep some Stash lemon ginger tea, add a splash of tequila, sweeten with agave nectar, slip in a cinnamon stick and enjoy the warm spicy essence.
And finally, if you’re torn between an after dinner coffee or dessert have them both with this Coffee Alexander – an amped up version of the classic Brandy Alexander that substitutes coffee ice cream for the traditional heavy cream.
So hey!!! May your holidays be merry and bright and I wish you all the best on your journey to find your holiday spirit.
Please drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive. And designate a sober driver!
Holiday spirits… thanks for visiting Palatable Life.