Most of us like parties. We don’t even need a good reason to celebrate or get together. My best friend and I would often say at the end of the school day, “Let’s go celebrate.” That meant we’d be stopping on our walk home to have a soda in a corner booth at the family restaurant on main street.
What were we celebrating? That school let out; that we’d done well on a test; that we hadn’t been sent to the principal’s office; anything; or nothing at all. We just enjoyed each other’s company and it called for a “celebration.”
This time of year, however, many of us find ourselves celebrating something. A holiday; the beginning of a new calendar year; a break from school; anything. And we want to celebrate those things with people we enjoy.
If you’re inviting friends in or attending a get-together elsewhere, you know from experience that the drinks are a big part of the celebration. This week, Foodie Friday is designated to holidays and party drinks. (And speaking of “designated,” if you intend to drink alcoholic beverages at your celebrations, plan for a designated driver. Please.)
This first recipe is traditional for Christmas. It’s a British beverage dating back to the 1400s. The word ‘wassail’ means “Be well.” So, it’s the perfect beverage for drinking to one another’s good health. I got this recipe from my community theater buddy, Valerie VanderMark.
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. water
- 6 c. grapefruit juice
- 3 c. orange juice
- 1 quart cider
- 12 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
In a saucepan combine sugar, water, cloves and cinnamon. Bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes. Strain the mixture. Add juices, simmer to blend flavors and serve hot. Garnish with orange slices. It makes approximately 26 servings
This recipe is for a very different kind of drink and I got it from a lady, Nina Bale, who lived in my home town. I remember Nina well because, like me, she was petite. And, goodness, she dressed with impeccable taste.
Nina Bale’s Slush
- 46 oz. pineapple juice
- 12 oz. can frozen lemonade
- 1 fifth Vodka
- 1 large can crème of coconut or coconut milk
Combine all ingredients and freeze in a large container. For the party, taking out as much as you need, blend in batches at low speed in a blender. Pour into glasses or a chilled punch bowl.
Other seasonal drinks include eggnog, with or without the alcohol; hot buttered rum; and glogg, a traditional Scandinavian drink. If you like your buttered rum sans alcohol, but want the taste of it, add a bit of rum extract. Glogg can be prepared without alcohol as well.
And don’t forget the great old stand-by, hot chocolate. There are so many ways to flavor it if you want to experiment. Drink up! And say a toast to Foodies everywhere.
Be a blessing to all you meet during this holiday season.