4 Drinks To Get You In The Holiday Spirit

4-drinks-to get you in the holiday spirit

The holidays are a time to come together and enjoy the company of loved ones by sharing great food and drinks. There’s a CIA holiday-inspired drink for everyone. Are you in the mood for something warm on a cold winter’s night? Try the Banana Hot Chocolate! Looking for something rich to go along with your holiday cookies? Try the Holiday Eggnog recipe! Are you ready to introduce a new cocktail to your holiday menu? Try the Mulled Wine or Sparkling Holiday Punch!


Sparkling Holiday Punch



Makes 1 Serving

  • 3/4 ounce Canton Ginger Liqueur, or similar
  • 1.5 ounces tangerine juice
  • Dash of Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
  • 2 cranberries (they float, it’s fun!)
  • 3 ounces dry sparkling wine


  1. Into a flute or wine glass, add all ingredients.
  2. Recipe may be adjusted for quantity.
  3. A note on the bitters: with so many artisan bitters on the market right now, you can be confident in adding your favorite here. Anything with citrus or warm baking spices will fit the bill.

Holiday Eggnog



Makes 6 Servings

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided use)
  • Pinch salt (1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bourbon (optional)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and salt until the egg yolks are light yellow in color. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Add about 1 cup of the hot mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Put this mixture back into the pot of remaining hot milk and cream. Cook until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bourbon (if using), vanilla, and nutmeg. Pour into a medium mixing bowl and set in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.
  6. Serve immediately, or hold in a covered container for up to 10 days under refrigeration. If holding, shake or stir before serving.
*You may substitute American whiskey or dark rum.

Easy Mulled Wine

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Makes 4 Servings

  • 1/2 bottle of red wine, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups
  • 1 lemon, peel removed (without pith) and set aside, and juiced
  • 1 small orange or mandarin, peel removed (without pith) and set aside, and juiced
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • Sugar or honey, to taste


  1. Combine wine, brandy, citrus peels, juices, and spices in a small saucepan and heat gently until aromatic and simmering. Do not boil, and be careful to not ignite the alcohol over an open flame.
  2. Strain through a small mesh strainer into mugs and enjoy. Larger batches can be made using a slow cooker and a tea strainer to hold the spices.

Banana Hot Chocolate



Makes four 6-ounce servings

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Cut up the bananas into small pieces and place them into a heavy-bottomed pot with the milk, half-and-half, cloves, cardamom pods, nutmeg, and cinnamon stick. While stirring gently, bring the contents to a very low simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, making sure to gently stir the mixture every several minutes to ensure the milk does not scorch.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the contents through a fine-meshed strainer. Use a ladle or a spoon to push as much banana as possible through the strainer with the liquid.
  3. Pour the strained mixture back into the pot, place it over very low heat, and bring to a very low simmer. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate is dissolved.
  4. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and top with either whipped cream or marshmallows.