Eggnog is the holiday drink of choice in our household. So much so that a few weeks ago, Gabe’s 10-year-old son was sick and told us he threw up four times in one morning. What was the issue? He had chugged an entire carton of nog (nonalcoholic!) when no one was looking. Needless to say, we have been closely monitoring the eggnog supply ever since.
But in other households, around the world and domestically, eggnog, mulled wine and hot cider are not the traditional holiday go-to libations. Instead, they may break out drinks like poppy seed milk (Lithuania), cinnamon-persimmon punch (South Korea), palm wine (Nigeria) or orchid milk (Turkey). The common thread is that they reflect a region’s agricultural and social traditions, representing an end-of-the-year treat family members and friends can share to celebrate the closing of one year and the beginning of another.
If you’re looking to toast the end of 2020 (who isn’t?) but are nogged out, try incorporating one of these festive global recipes into your holiday repertoire. They all make big batches, perfect for sharing, and can be made kid-friendly by leaving out the alcohol. Just keep an eye on the serving sizes so no one makes themselves sick.
Coquito (Spanish for “little coconut”) is a traditional Christmas drink in Puerto Rico. Made with lots of coconut, milk and rum, this cold and creamy beverage can be considered the island’s version of eggnog, sans eggs.
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 ounce) can cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups dark rum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
In a blender, combine all ingredients (except cinnamon sticks) and mix at high speed. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least an hour. Shake before serving. To serve, pour into a glass filled with ice (if you’d like) and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Glogg (written Glögg or Gløgg) is a Scandinavian mulled wine, which is served with nuts and raisins in the glass. The recipe for this spiced, warm drink varies by country and dates back to at least the 16th century. To make it nonalcoholic, swap out the wine for grape juice.
2 bottles dry red wine
1 bottle sweet white wine
10 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1-inch fresh ginger, sliced
1 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon bitters
1 cup vodka
Peel and juice the citrus fruits. Combine juice, wine, sugar, almonds and raisins in a large saucepan. Tie peels and spices together in a cheesecloth. Add cheesecloth pouch to the saucepan. Heat the wine and simmer for 15 minutes. Skim foam off the top of the pot. Remove from heat. Discard cheesecloth pouch. Add vodka and bitters. To serve, ladle wine, almonds and raisins into mugs. Serve with a spoon.
Popular in Jamaica, this beet-red rum punch is made from sorrel (dried hibiscus flowers) tea. The refreshing drink has variations in West Africa, Latin America and other Caribbean nations as well. To make your own, source the dried hibiscus flowers at an international market or online.
8 cups water
6 ounces sorrel buds (dried hibiscus flowers)
5 ounces fresh ginger, sliced
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup Jamaican white rum
1 1/2 cups simple syrup
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
Orange slices, for garnish
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Add the sorrel, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Let steep for 1 hour. (The longer it steeps, the tarter it will become.) Strain into a pitcher. Discard the solids. Add the rum, simple syrup, orange and lime juices to the pitcher. Stir. Serve in ice-filled cups garnished with orange slices.
Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad and — God willing and the sea levels don’t rise — catch you in 2021!
Alyson Sheppard is Lagniappe’s resident hangover specialist and Boozie’s most unreliable Midtown spy. Find her on Twitter: @amshep.
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