When families gather at the holidays, kids sometimes get foisted off with a bottle of soda. With these simple homemade sips, you can make a fabulous kid-friendly quaff first, serve it out to the juniors, and then turn each drink into a holiday cocktail for the grownups by adding a judicious amount of spirits. Happy holidays!
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Cinnamon-Chocolate Egg Cream
Egg creams contain no eggs, but they get their name from the foamy head that the drink makes when the seltzer is stirred in. A dash of cinnamon adds a holiday flavor, and grownups may find their egg cream even more festive with a tablespoon or two of whiskey in the glass.
A tart ginger syrup makes a zingy pink soda when mixed with cranberry juice. Add a couple tablespoons of the syrup to a glass of seltzer on ice with a little fresh lemon juice and you'll have the best ginger ale you've ever tasted. Or, parents can add a splash of vodka to the cranberry version for a refreshing Sea Breeze.
Hot Spiced Cider
You can make this with plain old apple juice, but it's far better with real pressed cider, with its fresh and tangy taste. Many supermarkets have it year-round in the refrigerated section. For a large group, double the quantities and heat the mixture on high in a slow cooker, which lets the spice flavor infuse the cider even more deeply, and then keeps the mixture warm for serving. Put out a bottle of spiced rum for adults to splash into their servings.
Fresh Mandarin-Lime Soda
Around the holidays, citrus fruits such as mandarins, clementines and satsumas appear in grocery stores, with a bright flavor that's usually a little sharper than regular oranges. Alongside limes, they make a lovely syrup for homemade soda. Let kids mix theirs with seltzer, and offer adults a shot of vodka to turn this into a festive holiday cocktail.
Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Only a faint amount of dark cocoa lightly colors the milk in this fragrant hot chocolate. White chocolate chips add sweetness and the taste of cocoa butter, highlighted by the bright flavor of peppermint. Adults may prefer skipping the peppermint extract in favor of a couple tablespoons of peppermint schnapps.
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