Cocktails / General / Spirits

Warming Christmas Drinks

When those cold winter nights arrive, sometimes a cup of tea just isn’t enough. Warming festive drinks such as eggnog are often seen on Christmas episodes of American TV shows, such as Frasier, when he tried to improve his father Martin’s eggnog by garnishing it with nutmeg, but accidentally added paprika. For some reason, it isn’t so popular here in the UK, so after enjoying an eggnog latte in Starbucks, I thought I’d try making the real thing for myself. I also tried out two more warming festive drinks: Hot Buttered Rum, and the Hot Toddy.


Served warm or cold, a festive treat!


A quick Google search reveals hundreds of different recipes, so browsed through a few to get a rough idea, and got to work. Making a batch takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it!

750ml Full-fat Milk
250ml Double Cream
130g Castor Sugar
5 Free-range Eggs
150ml Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1tsp Ground Nutmeg (Plus more to garnish)
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Vanilla Pod (Or essence)

Gently heat the milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon in a pan, and turn off the heat once just about boiling.
Separate the eggs, and keep the whites in the fridge for later. Add the sugar and yolks in a large bowl, and whisk until well combined. Slowly add the milk and cream mixture into the bowl, while continuing to stir. Once looking smooth and yummy, add the bourbon (or rum) to suit your taste. You could even omit the alcohol for kids or drivers, but where’s the fun in that?
Keep in the fridge, and when ready to serve, whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy, and mix in with the rest. It tastes creamy, smooth and luxurious either hot or cold, so try both! Finally, garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg (not paprika!)

Hot Buttered Rum

Frasier: You’re actually going to put butter in the rum?
Martin: It’s cold in the mountains, you need a little fat in your booze.

As you can maybe tell, I’m a fan of Frasier. The idea of hot alcohol with butter in it may sound a bit strange, but to warm your cockles on a cold winter night, it does the trick.

Hot buttered rum

Everyone needs some fat in their booze!

Per Person
50cl Dark Rum (I used Havana Club 7 year old)
1 1/2 tsp Demerara Sugar
1 tsp Butter
2 Cloves
Hot Water

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan, along with the cloves. Add the rum and combine, before pouring into small glasses, making sure you remove the cloves. Top up with some hot water, stir, and enjoy. I used around a 50/50 ratio of rum to water,  but if that’s a bit strong for your tastes, add some more water.
If making this just for yourself, you can add the butter, sugar, and cloves to your glass, add the hot water to melt them, before adding the rum.

Hot Toddy

A quick and easy drink to make, with just a few ingredients. Again, everyone seems to have their own recipe, so you can make up your own ratios to suit. Add a measure of whisky to a glass or mug, along with a teaspoon of honey, a couple of cloves, a sprinkle of cinnamon (Or a cinnamon stick), and top up with some hot water from the kettle. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, stir, and make sure the drink isn’t so hot that it burns your tongue!



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