When I was little, like most kids, I was a holiday junkie. I spent the entire month of December making snowflakes out of paper, watching every Christmas movie I could get my hands on, and perfecting my letter to Santa Claus in my best handwriting. I used to spring out of bed at 6:00 am on Christmas morning and creep down the stairs to see the lights on the tree reflecting gloriously off of the shiny gift wrap. Then my brother and I would go harass our parents until they’d get out of bed, too.
The holidays are different now that I’m older, but it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. I’m old enough to really appreciate the time I spend with my family and friends. I get to observe all of my favorite traditions, like decorating the tree, the annual vegan cookie extravaganza, and most recently, my family’s annual ‘sit around the fire and watch YouTube videos’ night. Unfortunately, I always observe my least favorite traditions too, like last minute shopping and accidentally listening to ‘The Christmas Shoes’ in its entirety.
One of my new favorite things about the holidays, though, is the cocktails. When the weather outside is frightful, you are nowhere near done with your shopping, or you just want to raise a glass with your nearest and dearest, seasonal drinks are sure to lift your spirits. Here are two of my vegan favorites.
Holiday Magic Mulled Wine
For 6-8 servings
1 standard bottle (750 ml) of vegan red wine (Check out barnivore.com to see if your favorite brands of wine, beer, and sprits are vegan. I’m a big fan of the Charles Shaw blend red wines for this recipe. They have the best taste to price ratio.)
1 cup of apple cider
¼ cup of brandy
¼ cup of agave nectar
1 orange, cut into rounds
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Pinch of ginger
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Cup-Of-Cheer Hot Cocoa
(For one serving)
1 tablespoon vegan hot cocoa mix (Lake Champlain has some great ones, but you can make your own with two parts of powdered sugar to one part cocoa powder)
1 cup of vanilla almond milk
1 shot of Kahlua
Heat the almond milk in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. Add cocoa mix and kahlua, stir with a candy cane. Slip into the holiday spirit.
Happy vegan holidays!