Cheers to the season: Holiday brews and blends
BY CHARLIE HARRINGTON For Sun-Times Media
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Give your gathering the right spike. Impress your family and friends with the best simple beverage and brew ideas. These seasonal thirst quenchers can leave you cheering while keeping you cozy all season long.
SHAKE UP THE SEASON
Try these simple and exciting seasonal beverage recipes that will have guests raving.
Apple Rumbutter Cider
Add 1-ounce spiced rum, 1-ounce butterscotch schnapps and 2 pinches of ground cinnamon into 8 ounces of hot apple cider. Garnish with cinnamon stick or, for extra credit, add a slice of caramel apple dusted with powdered cinnamon sugar.
Add 1-ounce vanilla vodka, 0.5-ounce cream and 3-ounce Chai tea with a dash of cinnamon and sugar inside your shaker with ice. Shake, strain and pour into martini glass with sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.
One and All Peppermint Patty
(recipe serves 4)
*Café Peppermint Patty — Substitute 2 cups of coffee with 2 cups hot cocoa. Repeat above steps, and top off with Irish cream liqueur.
Merrymaking Punch N/A
(2 liter-sized recipe)
1.5 cups frozen cranberries or blueberries
8 ounces pomegranate juice
8 ounces orange juice
8 ounces cranberry juice
16 ounces orange soda
Add all ingredients to serving pitcher.
*For a spike, add Citron vodka.
Grab your celebration glass and bottle of moscato or champagne. Add 0.5-ounce peach schnapps and a drop of orange juice. Garnish with strawberry and orange peel.
*The virgin variety: Use sparkling apple cranberry cider and splash of orange juice. Garnish with strawberry and orange peel.
BREWS TO WARM THE SEASON
Make it easy with sure-bet picks that will complement the holiday atmosphere and make the perfect gift.
4.5-percent ABV European cider made with handpicked apples. A great alternative to white wine.
Lagunitas Sucks Ale
7.6-percent ABV Pentaluma CA/Chicago. Perfect for winter months, this ale is a cereal medley of barley, rye, wheat and oats. Dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous flavor. Available in handy six-packs or 32-ounce bombers.
Goose Island Bourbon County
14.5-percent ABV Chicago. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. Dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel within where the bourbon is aged.
Winter Variety Pack
Four distinctive craft beers for the season. The ever-popular seasonal Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing, Winter Hook, Alchemy Ale and Brrr Red Ale.
Choc Top Winter Combo
A great complement to wintertime, Shock Top Chocolate Wheat and Shock Top Belgian White combination pack. Try both styles in the same glass.
SMIRNOFF ICE Celebration Pack Limited Edition
Four pack features Original ICE, Cranberry Lime Splash, Sparkling Crisp Apple and Peach Bellini. Unique sparkling cocktail-inspired flavors fit for all holiday occasions.
Guinness Extraordinary Winter