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Thanksgiving is over, which means its officially time for hanging lights, furiously wrapping presents and enjoying the sweet treats that come with the holiday season.
To help make your weekends even more holiday-themed, the CU Independent has compiled a list of the best seasonal beers and DIY drinks we could find. Whether you’re throwing a white elephant party or just looking to unwind with a festive twist, these flavorful drinks are sure to fill you and your friends with some holiday cheer.
1. Avery Brewery’s Old Jubilation: This locally-brewed beer is a reddish-brown English Old Ale with a warm hint of hops, hazelnut, and cocoa flavors. Reminiscent of a warm evening by the fire, this beer glides down your throat with ease. Pair Old Jubilation with any of your favorite meat dishes.
2. Jubelale: This winter brew from Deschutes Brewery is a dark amber porter-stout mix with a malty flavor and a balanced amount of hops. It is a fun warm mix of spice and fruit flavors. Slightly sweet, Jubelale goes well with cheese and meat platters.
3. New Belgium Snow Day: This combination of New Belgium’s Midnight Wheat, Styrian Goldings, Centennial and Cascade hops bring you a dark carmel tasting mahogany beer. It is an unexpected twist of a hops and sweet malt. If you’re looking for something slightly unusual, you might want to try Snow Day.
4. Samuel Adams Winter Lager: This lager is a sweet brew with strong hints of orange and ginger that will warm your insides. The orange zest, ginger and cinnamon spice up this beer in a festive way. If you have a tendency to lean toward sweeter beers, give Winter Lager a try.
5. Odell Brewing Company’s Isolation Ale: This beer is a cold refreshing drink that combines the sweetness of caramel and malt ales. It doesn’t taste very hoppy and is somewhat calming. It feels like a cold snowy day and the smell of fresh snow in the air, Isolation Ale is a perfect drink to try when staying in.
Top DIY Holiday Drinks
For those of who want an alternative to beer, there are many other winter drinks that are just as tasty and are made with a variety of ingredients.
1. Hot Toddy
A hot toddy is like a tea alternative. The flavor is light, but has a bite from the lemon and a smokey flavor from good whiskey. Made with honey, it’s a warming drink that is as comforting as the end of a cold day.
1 oz. Whiskey
8 oz. Hot water
1 Lemon Wedge
2 tbsp honey (to taste)
Heat the water in either a kettle or the microwave. Once it is hot, pour it in a mug. Add the whiskey and honey. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the whiskey mixture and stir. Taste, if not sweet or strong enough, add more honey or whiskey. There is no right way to make a hot toddy; make it fit your preferences.
2. Hot Buttered Rum
This drink is rich and filling. Made with butter, dark rum and brown sugar, this drink is sure to warm you up in no time. Best enjoyed on a cold winter night with good friends.
To find instructions check out About.com’s recipe here:
Colleen Graham’s Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
For a different take on the same drink try this recipe from the Food Network:
Emeril Lagasse’s Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
3. Mulled Wine / Cider
For a potentially non-alcoholic alternative, try adding mulling spices to your favorite fresh apple juice. These spices can be found pre-packaged at liquor stores and some supermarkets seasonally. Most mulling spices even have wine suggestions so the blend of spices like cinnamon, orange zest, and cloves, can be added to an alcoholic drink. These spices will give your drink of choice a cheery holiday flavor.
4. Pepped up Hot Chocolate
Though some of these drinks may seem fancy, there is an alternative for those who want a quick and easy warm up. A dash of peppermint schnapps is a good way to turn any hot cocoa into a minty marvel that tastes fancier than it actually is. I recommend using a milk based hot chocolate recipe. Water-based hot chocolate recipes can become too diluted when the schnapps is added.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writers Crystal Anderson and Ana Faria at Crystal.firstname.lastname@example.org and Ana.email@example.com.