26 ways to toast the holidays

Liven the holidays with these mochas, ciders, toddies, nogs, mulled wines, and more

Layered Mocha

MOCHA

Layered Mocha
Sip hot chocolate through layers of hot espresso and thick, cold cream in this deconstructed mocha. It's based on the classic bicerin (beech-e-reen), from Caffè al Bicerin in Turin, Italy, and it fits right into our coffee-loving culture here in the western United States.

Mocha Nog
You won't find any eggs in this nog; it's rich with chocolate milk, rum, coffee-flavored liqueur, hazelnut-flavored liqueur, and cream.

HOT CHOCOLATE

Totally Decadent Hot Chocolate
There's no holding back here. Vanilla bean, orange peel, chopped chocolate, and the sauce of your choice (caramel, butterscotch, or fudge) make this a special winter treat.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Almonds and cinnamon make this chocolaty beverage yummy.

Brandied Hot Chocolate
On a chilly day, our grown-up version ― rich with bittersweet chocolate and punched up with French brandy ― will warm you to your toes.

CIDER

Hot Spiced Cider
Try this kid-friendly beverage.

Sleepy Hollow Cider
This recipe is from the Luna Park restaurants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where chefs add pumpkin- and vanilla bean-infused vodka to spiced cider.

Spiced Rum Cider
Steep warm spices in cider, then spike the drink with a generous dose of dark rum.

Thanksgiving Star Cider
This hot cider is made with honey and steeped with dried hibiscus blossoms.

MERRY CRANBERRY

Christmas Kir
You can make the cranberry-kir base up to 1 week ahead. Keep it on hand for quick refreshment; use just the amount you need and keep the rest chilled airtight.

Cranberry Ice Aperitif
For this festive aperitif, we use cranberry ice from Gerri Gilliland, owner of Lula in Los Angeles. Rather than using the ice in a drink, you can serve it plain as a palate refresher or as a light dessert.

Cranberry-Wine Aperitif
Make at least 1 week ahead; flavor and color intensify with 3 to 4 weeks' storage.

Cranberry Mimosas
For a nonalcoholic version, substitute sparkling water for the sparkling wine.

Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail
Lemon-lime or club soda can be used in place of cognac and Champagne for a nonalcoholic version.

 

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