Holiday Beverages~by Jenny Baxter of Jennys Kitchen

Merry Christmas Everyone! I can’t believe that the big day is less than a week away! So, I asked myself, a Holiday Open House before or after Christmas? Then I thought about all my previous parties and the memories just come flooding to me. Fire Island New York at Christmas is spell- bounding. I recall watching my kids skate on the pond amongst cattails and geese flying overhead their honking muffled by the icy waves hitting the shore brought a huge smile to my face. How many pots of spiked chocolate mint coffee did I serve to my neighbors after we walked home from Kismet Lighthouse singing carols? Then there was Monterey. Midnight mass at the Carmel Mission with a scrumptious buffet beforehand for our closest friends and Jim Toles reading” The Night Before Christmas” as the smoke from a sweet-smelling pipe danced above his head. How they loved my eggnog! Rio Vista Coast Guard Station always brought the true meaning of the Christmas spirit to those of us that lived there. The extended family feeling enveloped all of us as we came together for a New Year’s Eve bash knowing we only had to walk across the court yard and be home safely. It didn’t matter how many glasses of Mulled Merlot we had until it hit us the next morning! I guess it’s time to create yet another memory and another libation to remember it by! So, as I ponder my next event here are a few beverages you may wish to serve to your family and guests over these special holidays.

Chocolate mint coffee
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. grated chocolate
2 cups strong coffee
8 Tablespoons Peppermint Schnapps
Chocolate curls (optional)
Beat the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold in the chocolate. Evenly pour the hot coffee into four mugs and add 2 Tablespoons schnapps to each cup. Spoon on the whipped cream and garnish with the curls

Jenny’s Eggnog
Dozen egg yolks
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 cups brandy
Beat the yolks until light in color. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the brandy very slowly beating constantly. Let the mixture stand for an hour at room temperature. Add mixing well:
2 qts. Whipping cream
2 cups brandy
Chill in the refrigerator for three hours.
12 egg whites until stiff. Fold into the nog mixture. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the top

Mulled Merlot
In a large pot combine:
1 ½ liter bottle of Merlot
1 cup honey
1/3 cup Grand Mariner
Juice of one orange
Zest of an orange
Spice pack containing:
12 cloves
12 allspice berries
2- 3 inch cinnamon sticks
3 crushed cardamom pods
Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally until it is hot, but not boiling, about 30 minutes Transfer to a crock pot and keep warm

Well, it’s thyme to go.
Jenny Baxter
Jenny’s kitchen