Food Talk
Past Issues:

The Joy of Holiday Cheer

CandyCaneDrinkGuests arrive at your door, what better way to greet them than with a warm welcome and a hot or cold drink.

Depending on the weather outside, you’ll want to plan accordingly. Be ready to adjust at the last minute!

  • Snow, cold and ice outside? Offer something warm, like hot apple cider or mulled wine.
  • Warmer weather, rain? If the weather is mild, an iced glass of festive punch or sparkling wine is a festive choice.

Respect Your Guests
Always offer a choice. Give guests who are designated drivers or who opt for no alcohol a festive choice:

  • Fancy bottled water
  • Fruit punch
  • For all guests, have a jug of ice water to keep everyone hydrated. For a festive touch, freeze cranberries in ice cubes to add to the jug.

How Much Choice?
Pick a signature drink, for your party, with and without alcohol, and add one or two other basic choices, such as red/white wine, beer, or punch.
Some ideas to consider:

  • Peppermint drinks from peppermint hot chocolate to peppermint martinis
  • Craft beers
  • Replace the “chocolate” fountain with a drink fountain with fruit punch
  • Herbal and green tea infused drinks
  • Local artisan wines
  • Portuguese Vinho Verde wines, light, crisp and sparkling – these wines are typically lower in alcohol and calories


Choose From One of Two Signature Favourites

Chamomile Honey and Whiskey Cocktail

  • 6 chamomile tea bags
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces whiskey or bourbon (2 shot glasses)
  • Fresh chamomile flowers (optional)Pour hot water over tea bags and let steep 10 minutes.  Remove tea bags, pour tea, honey, lemon and whiskey into a shaker with 2-3 ice cubes, shake vigorously and pour over ice cubes. Makes 4 drinks

Sleigh Driver Mocktail

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 pears, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2-3 litres apple cider
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extractCombine water, sugar, ginger and 1 pear in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Strain out the solids and return the mixture to the pan.Add the remaining pears, cider, lemon and allspice and heat over medium-high, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Add cranberries and vanilla, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes before serving.