With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve just around the corner, ’tis the season to celebrate! Cold winter weather and gatherings of family and friends are traditions this time of year, and the flavorful, warming character of holiday brandy drinks enhance the pleasures of the season perfectly.
Warm, smooth and rich, brandy offers superb drinking – both neat and in an impressive range of mixed drinks – any time of the year. But brandy’s character seems particularly well-suited to the holidays, which is why several brandy libations have become holiday classics.
Eggnog is the quintessential Christmas drink and the following recipe may be made as written for a small gathering or multiplied for a big one.
Korbel Brandy Eggnog Recipe Makes Approximately 10 Servings
12 fresh eggs
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 cup vanilla
2 cups Korbel California Brandy
8 cups whole milk (or half and half for additional richness)
Separate egg yolks from egg whites and refrigerate the whites in a sealed container. Place yolks in large bowl and beat until color lightens. Beat in sugar gradually, and then beat in the vanilla, brandy and milk. Cover the container and refrigerate four hours. Place separated egg whites in a medium bowl and beat until stiff. Fold beaten egg whites into previously mixed ingredients and stir until smooth. Serve eggnog in individual glasses and dust with grated nutmeg.
Traditionally eggnog is served cold. However, for a unique cold weather libation, serve it warm. Put the glasses in the microwave on medium for a few seconds (be careful not to overheat) and gently spoon a thin layer of brandy on top.
New Year’s Eve is another opportunity to capture the warmth of the season in a glass. This Hot Toddy is a delicious way to usher in the New Year.
Korbel Brandy Hot Toddy Makes One Serving
1 oz. Korbel California Brandy
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup hot water
1 tea bag
Coat the bottom of a mug or Irish coffee glass with honey. Add Korbel California Brandy and the juice of lemon quarter. Separately, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea. Pour the steaming tea into the glass.
This recipe is an opportunity to be creative, as fragrant oolong, spicy chai, flavorful peppermint and even green tea can each contribute unique character to the finished product. Those who prefer additional complexity and finesse can substitute Korbel Gold Reserve VSOP Brandy for Korbel California Brandy.
Korbel has produced award-winning California brandy since 1889 and – unique among United Statesproducers – controls production from grape to bottle. Handcrafted in small batches, Korbel Brandy is aged to perfection in premium fire-toasted oak barrels to achieve golden amber color, generous butterscotch aroma and extra smooth taste.