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Holiday libations and lamentations

I wrote this column four Christmases ago. I’ve since retired and like many I’ve spent a lot of time at home in 2020. However, even with all that time on my hands, I still find myself in the same situation that prompted me to originally write this column. If you missed it the first time, enjoy! Hope it brings a chuckle. Happy holidays and warm wishes for a better year.

T’was a few days before Christmas and here is the rub, not a task’s been completed, it’s all stuffed in tubs. Not a cookie’s been baked, not a gift has been wrapped and all I can do is yearn for a nap.

I’d love to sit by the fire and admire the tree but there’s too much to do, oh woe is me! I’ll get it all done, I always do, but I’d rather relax, sharing with loved ones a drink, or two. Wouldn’t you?

Noel Nog

2 quarts prepared eggnog

1 cup bourbon

1/2 cup white rum

1/2 cup brandy

1 T. vanilla extract

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 quart eggnog-flavored or vanilla ice cream

Directions: In large container combine the eggnog, bourbon, rum, brandy, vanilla and nutmeg. Mix gently. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

When ready to serve, pour the eggnog mixture into a punch bowl. Float small chunks of ice cream in the eggnog. Makes 3 1/2 quarts. (For a smaller portion cut recipe in half.) Refrigerate any leftovers.

Hot

Cranberry Punch

(Substitute vodka for the water for an alcoholic version. Add after removing from the heat.)

2 tsps. whole allspice

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 sticks cinnamon

2 tsps. whole cloves

2 cups cranberry juice

2 1/2 cups pineapple juice

1/2 cup water

Directions: Place first four ingredients on a piece of cheesecloth and tie closed. Place the spices in a large saucepan and add the juices and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove spices and serve. Serves 6.

Caramel

Apple

Sangria

2 red apples, cored and chopped

1 (750 ml) bottle white wine (like Riesling)

6 cups apple cider

1 cup caramel-flavored vodka

Several cinnamon sticks, if desired

Directions: Place the chopped apples in the bottom of a large pitcher. Pour in the wine, cider and vodka and stir well to combine. Refrigerate overnight, or till well-chilled. Stir before serving. Serve over ice. Serves 10.

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