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Warming Holiday Drinks
Hot Buttered Apple Cider
Orange Mocha with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

Caffe Mocha Italia
Hot Spiced Wine (Mulled Wine)
Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Warm Ruby Spiced Cider
Caramel Swirl Hot Chocolate
Mulled Pomegranate Cider
Pumpkin Spice Latte

White Chocolate Mocha
This is the time of year when we are most likely to be hosting a get-together with family and friends.  We usually focus on the food that will be served but sometimes a special drink can be just as memorable.  Holiday drinks can range from hot chocolate or eggnog to spiced wine or cocktails.  They can have some alcohol mixed in or be non-alcoholic ... what ever suits your guests and the occasion.  For more holiday drink recipes go to Festive Holiday Drinks.

Apple cider is a popular drink for the holidays.  There are two kinds of apple cider, fresh and hard.  Fresh cider is squeezed from fresh apples.  It is very perishable and needs to be kept cold or frozen.  Many fresh ciders are now pastuerized.  Hard cider is fermented.  It tastes like sweet, fizzy beer and has an alcoholic content.  The apple cider used in the recipes on this page is fresh cider.

Come Over for Coffee
If you like to entertain but preparing an entire menu is too much for you, consider having friends over for coffee.
Pour hot coffee into carafes and give your guests some different flavoring ingredients.  Fill small bowls with ground spices, such as nutmeg, cocoa, and cinnamon. 
Be sure to label each one.  Pile sugar cubes in another bowl and add some flavored swizzle sticks, such as rock candy sticks, peppermint sticks, and cinnamon sticks.  Include some flavored syrups or liqueurs and a bowl of whipped cream.  Serve with a tray of cookies, biscotti, or sweet breads and you’re all set.  On a chilly day, nothing beats sharing a cup of hot coffee with friends.
Hot Buttered Apple Cider
(Serves 12)

3 cups Calvados (apple brandy)
7 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoon butter
12 cups apple cider
3/4 cup lemon juice
12 cinnamon sticks
Whole nutmeg for garnish

In a large stockpot over medium heat, bring Calvados, sugar, and butter to a simmer.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and butter melts.
Add cider, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil.  Ladle into cups. 
Add a cinnamon stick from the pot to each cup; grate some nutmeg on top.

Orange Mocha
with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

(Serves 4)

The only alcohol in this drink is in the whipped cream.
Just omit it if you want a non-alcoholic drink.

2 oranges
4 cups milk
6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liqueur

Peel the oranges (orange part only) in strips.  Reserve oranges for another use.
Put orange strips in a medium saucepan.
Add milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add chocolate, espresso powder, cocoa, and brown sugar.
Whisk to melt the chocolate. Strain the mixture into 4 mugs. 
Top with whipped cream.

To make the topping:
Whisk together the cream, brown sugar, and orange liqueur to form soft peaks.

Caffe Mocha Italia
(Serves 1)

6 ounces hot brewed coffee
1 teaspoon instant hot chocolate powder
1 ounce Amaretto liqueur
Dollop of sweetened whipped cream
Chocolate curls

Pour hot coffee into a large coffee cup or footed mug.
Stir in the chocolate powder until dissolved.
Stir in the Amaretto.
Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Hot Spiced Wine (Mulled Wine)

For the best flavor, use a slightly fruity red wine.
For a drier wine, you may need to add more sugar.

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
4 cinnamon sticks
Zest from 1/2 an orange
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cardamon pods (optional)
5 whole cloves
1/3 cup brandy or Cognac

Mix all the ingredients (except the brandy) together in a large saucepan.
Bring the mixture to just under a simmer over low heat.  Do not allow the wine to boil.  The wine is hot enough when the sugar has dissolved and the mixture appears to be steaming. Strain the spices from the wine by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of brandy to a mug and ladle the mulled wine over it.


Peppermint Hot Chocolate
(Serves 4)

1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 small candy canes for garnish

With an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup cream with 1 teaspoon sugar to soft peaks.  Cover and refrigerate.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoon sugar, and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth.  Stir in the peppermint extract.  Divide the mixture among 4 mugs.  Top with whipped cream and garnish with candy canes.

Warm Ruby Spiced Cider
(Serves 1)

6 ounces apple cider
1 bag of Ruby Chai tea
Cinnamon stick

Pour cider into a sauce pan and heat (try not to boil).
Turn off the heat and add teabag and cinnamon stick.
Let steep for 3-5 minutes and remove the tea bag.
Pour into a cup and serve with cinnamon stick.

Caramel Swirl Hot Chocolate
(Serves 6)

5 cups water
1 pound milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons prepared caramel sauce

Bring the water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth.
Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Divide mixture among 6 cups.

In a bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form.  Drizzle caramel sauce over and gently swirl with a spoon to form streaks.  Top each cup of hot chocolate with a generous portion of the caramel whipped cream.

Mulled Pomegranate Cider
(Makes about 3 quarts)

5 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1-1/2 cups sugar
8 cups water
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup orange juice

Put cinnamon sticks and cloves in center of an 8-inch square of cheesecloth.
Tie into a small bag with a string.  Place the spice bag, sugar, water, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice in a large pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered 10 minutes.  Remove and discard the spice bag. Stir in the orange juice.  Serve hot.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
(Serves 6)

Pumpkin Spice Mix:
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Pinch of ground cloves

1/2 cup espresso coffee
4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin purée

Ground cinnamon
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

In a bowl, combine the cinnamon powder, ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Brew your espresso coffee.  Add vanilla extract to 1-1/2 cups of milk. Froth the milk.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining milk, pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk and the pumpkin spice mix.  Warm milk mixture over medium-low heat. Do not bring to a boil.  Once it's hot, add the coffee. Stir well.

Make sure to fill the cups 3/4 of the way up with the drink.
Top with the milk foam. Dust with a little ground cinnamon.

To make the pumpkin latte extra decadent, add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream before dusting the cinnamon powder.

White Chocolate Mocha
(Serves 4)

2 cups whole milk or half and half
2 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups strongly brewed coffee

Sweetened whipped cream
Cocoa powder

Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir in the chocolate until smooth.  Add the coffee and stir until the mixture is well blended.  Pour into 4 cups.  Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
Italian Hot Chocolate
Wine to serve for Thanksgiving
Table setting items from the Dollar Tree
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20 of our favorite, tried and true, finger foods that are perfect for any occasion from Super Bowl to a Christmas party.
Enjoy hot beverages in crisp white
barrel mugs adorned with red and green peppermint candy and Winterberry accents.  Each mug holds 18-fluid ounces.
This green Grinch mug masquerades as Santa, smiling from ear to ear, eager to sour your beverage with holiday sneer and cheer!   Holds approximately 32 ounces; comes packaged in a full-color gift box.
Ceramic mugs stack together to create a whimsical snowman. Set of 4 mugs and wire rack included.
With a big star on the treetop, white and gold snowflake flying, and a cute snow shape lid designed to be dust-proof. Christmas glass mug has the magic power to make your drink looks like it's floating in midair!  The insulated glass design keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, while the outside surface always feels comfortable in your hand.
Enjoy our collection of our favorite Christmas cookies.  Share the sweet spirit of the season with Christmas cookies that "really say Christmas."
Simply place hot chocolate bombs into empty mug and pour 8 oz of hot milk slowly over the cocoa bombs and watch it dissolve - mix with a spoon until evenly mixed.
Great for stirring hot chocolate, coffee and much more!  Individually wrapped 100% edible candy cane spoons.
Makes a nice addition to gift baskets or as stocking stuffers.
Panettone - Traditional Italian Christmas Bread from Milan
Panettone, the tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread from Milan. 
Pandoro: The traditional Christmas bread from Verona
Pandoro or pan d’oro means ‘golden bread due to its pleasing yellow color.  It is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona.
christmas gifts and favors
Adorned with an apron over his classic suit and a chef hat, Santa holds a red and green tinsel garland with cut-out cookies in various shapes hanging off the garland like ornaments.
Transforms kitchen or dining room chairs for the Christmas season.