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Important note: Have a look at this page before you prepare any of these drinks!
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APPLE PIE SHOT

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz apple cider
  • 1 Tbs whipped cream
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Preparation:

In a 2 ounce shot glass, combine vodka and apple cider. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

HOT APPLE TODDY

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz whiskey or apple brandy
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • hot apple cider
  • lemon wedge for garnish
  • cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 2-3 whole cloves for garnish

(more…)

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THIS POST HAS BEEN MOVED TO OUR NEW BLOG: http://oldxmas.blogspot.com/2009/12/ten-non-alcoholic-drinks-for-holidays.html                                                 http://oldxmas.blogspot.com/2009/12/ten-non-alcoholic-drinks-for-holidays.html

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I know that October  8th may seem rather early to debut the Christmas calendar for 2008, but the fact of the matter is that some of the ticketed events are already selling seats – and it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to bring the calendar online after these have sold out. Surprisingly, however, one very big holiday event kicks off before the end of this month – namely, the Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival, to be held at the Tacoma Dome October 22-26.

As with last year, there will be a strong emphasis this year on discovering and listing free and low-cost events throughout Whatcom County and greater Western Washington that the whole family can enjoy. This is in line with the general theme of this site: simplifying Christmas, and  creating pleasant and memorable experiences in the place of pre-Christmas stress and a post-Christmas flat wallet.

Events with a price for admission will of course be listed, as well – there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the producers of an event asking that a production or festival be supported by the attendees (although I must confess that $184-$450 price tags on a family-of-four admission to a certain time-honored production this year strikes me as near-larceny).

From now until Halloween, I’ll be very busy behind the scenes, here, gathering material for the site, and discovering even more events to populate the calendar (there’s a whole lot out there). Before I close this post, though, I’d like to ask you to keep the following phrase in mind: Ornament is for joy. Christmastime is a season of ornament, and has the potential to be a time of real value, of real joy, rather than a time for superficial affectations of joy and a closing value that can be summed off of gift-receipts.  But it’s up to you. If you’ve turned the holiday season into a finance-straining, nerve-shattering experience…well, it’s your own damned fault. About that, here’s some good news: it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make it better; you can make this very Christmas one to remember fondly.  And I can help you with that.

See you on November 1st: All Saint’s Day!

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Over the next couple of months visitors to Simplify Christmas (yes, visits have remained consistently high, even through the spring and summer months of 2008) will notice some fairly dramatic changes in the organization and appearance of the site as I prepare for the official start-up date of November 1st. The first big change is this new theme – which will be modified as needed before the official start-up. Update: 09/27/2208: I’ve decided to stick with last year’s theme – better features, overall.

Do not be alarmed by the changes – Christmas 2007 is past, and Simplify Xmas 2008 is going to be even bigger and better than last year!

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A cup o’ cheer, at ChristmasI’m not much of a drinker, myself, social or otherwise. But, for some reason, mixology fascinates me (as you’ve probably gathered, if you follow this blog). I’m not sure what it is – there is just something unspeakably arcane and alchemical about combining various spirits and powders and spices, and coming up with the proverbial “cup of cheer.”

Of course, there’s a flip side to this. Like the guy who came up with Long Island Iced Tea (or Homer Simpson and the “Flaming Moe”). Rather than being a kind of artistry, this seems to be a recipe for getting sloppy/pasty. A kind of nefarious bartender hack, its popularity nothwithstanding. In fact, that is the basis of its popularity, because getting sloppy/pasty/making street pizza has always been popular in certain circles.

So, if you’re looking to get sloppy drunk this Christmas, rather than enjoying a “cup of Christmas cheer,” or three, this site might be more to your liking.

For the rest of you merry gents and gentlewomen, here are some positively magical drink recipes for a cup of Christmas cheer–

Peppermint Stick

  • Creme de Cacao, white 1 1/2 oz.
  • Schnapps, peppermint 1 oz.
  • Cream 1 oz. (light)

Shake with ice; strain into a champagne glass. Garnish with a candy cane.

Hot Russian Christmas

  • Vodka 1 shot
  • Kahlua 1 shot
  • Eggnog 1 shot
  • Hot Chocolate

Prepare hot chocolate separately. To a mug add the shots of eggnog, vodka, and Kahlua. Fill to the top of the mug with hot chocolate, and stir well. Heat in the microwave for thirty seconds if hot chocolate has gone tepid. To make it festive looking, you may top it with whip cream and some colored sugar or a dash of nutmeg, or with a marshmallow, to make it foamy.

Ambassador’s Punch

  • Brandy 5 oz.
  • Creme de Cacao, dark 3 oz.
  • Rum, dark 4 oz.
  • Eggnog 1 qt. (cold)
  • 4 dashes of nutmeg

In a punch bowl, pour in everything except the nutmeg. Use a whisk or a wooden spoon to mix, then add ice to keep the punch cold. Serve immediately.

Brandy Alexander (an old classic)

  • Brandy 1 oz.
  • White Creme de Cacao 1 oz.
  • Cream 1 oz.
  • Pinch nutmeg

Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg.

Decent, affordable, real brandy: E&J or Christian Brothers. Not the flavored crap, and NOT Potter’s.

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Holiday Cheer Ice Cubes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Oranges
  • Pineapple slices
  • Strawberries
  • Maraschino Cherries, whole
  • Cranberry juice cocktail

PREPARATION:

  1. Slice fruit into small pieces (except maraschino cherries)
  2. Place fruit in bottom of individual ice cube tray compartments. Add one maraschino cherry per cube.
  3. Cover fruit pieces with cranberry juice cocktail.
  4. Freeze until solid.
  5. Add these jolly ice cubes to whatever beverages/punchbowls you like, or try one of these two:

Christmas Cranberry Cheer Punch

Contains alcohol

INGREDIENTS:

  • 64-ounce cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
  • 1 bottle red wine, chilled (substitute de-alcoholized wine, if you like)
  • 1/3 cup bottled sweetened lime juice (suggested brand: Rose’s)
  • 1 liter bottle lemon-lime soda

PREPARATION:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl.
  2. Add Holiday Cheer Ice Cubes
  3. Serve.

Christmas Cranberry Punch (no carbonation)

Contains alcohol

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Vodka
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 1-1/2 cups lime juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine ingredients in a large punch bowl.
  2. Serve with Holiday Cheer Ice Cubes

Recipes via Suite101.com

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Cranberry Punch Recipe:

  • 2 cans frozen cranberry juice, prepared*
  • 1 can frozen orange juice, prepared*
  • 2 16 fluid ounce bottles of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
  • Add fresh or frozen cranberries and oranges slices

Combine liquids, add cranberries and sliced oranges.

For an alcohol based version: add gin or vodka.

*or equivalent bottled juice

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