AlcoHOLidays | Winter Solstice | Yuletide Cheer


Yuletide Cheer cocktail for the Winter SolsticeProviding the world hasn’t ended–or isn’t in the process thereof–I thought I’d stray from the culturally expected norm of Christmas and delve a little into the natural change of seasons that happens this time of year at the Winter Solstice.

The shortest day of the year, this time marks the official beginning of winter even as the days begin to lengthen towards spring once again. These lengthening days support the idea among ancient cultures (and their modern-day adherents) that the sun god is reborn at the solstice and continues to grow until mid-year when they days start to shorten, again. Of course, it’s not a reach to see why Christian leaders back in the day thought this time would also be appropriate to celebrate the birth of another son.

The Yule Log (yule coming from the Norse word for wheel and the idea that the seasons turn in a circle throughout the year) pops up in holiday decorations, still, and lends inspiration for the delicious Buche de Noel dessert; both of which carry on the traditions of the early fire and feasting festival.

For today’s cocktail I wanted something that was both sweet and a little smoky. This is what I came up with:

Yuletide Cheer

2 oz Apple Juice
3/4 oz Tuaca
1/2 oz Ruby Port
cinnamon stick for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail glass over ice and shake until nice and frosty. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cinnamon swizzle stick.

A simple drink for a busy season, the port lends the desired smoky quality without being as strong as, say, a scotch would and pairs nicely with the citrus and caramel of the Tuaca. Apple juice makes for a nice base for these two spirits and, with it comprising slightly more than half the drink, keeps the drink from being so high-octane that you’ll regret it in the morning.

The best of holiday wishes to you all.


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