In honor of the Christmas season, I’d like to spend some time suggesting a few tasty recipes for stein fillsmanship at your holiday gathering. Nothing puts the icing on your fruit cake like a fine festive beverage to quench the thirst and warm the soul. Besides, a little social lubrication may be just the thing to keep grandma cooking up those family favorites all day long!!    
The most classic Christmas drink has always been; and always will be, eggnog. A traditional English drink that found its way over to the colonies sometime in the 18th century, eggnog is a hearty mixture of eggs, cream, sugar, and traditionally, rum. It can also benefit from a little vanilla and a sprinkle of nutmeg for garnish. In my family we like to take out the rum so that youthful steinfillers can enjoy as much as they want and for the adults, add a top off of B&B; (Benedictine & Brandy) that really rounds off the drink. 
Wassail is another famous holiday cocktail from our friends across the pond…its a hot punch resembling mulled cider (apple cider, cloves, oranges, lemons, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg,  and brown sugar all cooked up together) and often including red wine, bourbon, and/or sherry. It was the traditional drink of choice for English Christmas carolers and also imbibed during wassail ceremonies to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good harvest in the orchards…I personally remember doing a holiday party gig with the Maine Steiners way back when in which we were given free reign on the punch bowl, not knowing that it was an alcoholic drink…let’s just say our caroling was “extra merry” that evening and on this Christmas Eve, we at Fill the Steins will be once again singing our own favorite holiday tune:
“Love and joy come to you
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.”
Another tasty hot beverage that is perfect for a snowy Weihnachten is Gluhwein. Similar to Wassail and enjoyed regularly in Germany and Austria Gluhwein is a drink of mulled red wine commonly made with cinnamon, cloves, raisins, citrus fruit, aniseed, and sugar. It’s rough translation is “glow wine” from the hot coals over which it is heated. Drank in more than moderation and one’s facial region tends to also glow…in which case it’s time for the drinker to switch back to a good Bavarian lager.
Lime Daquiri
If you live in a climate where hot beverages may not be the rage or maybe if you are lactose intolerant or a vegan, I’ll leave you with one alternative holiday beverage suggestion from my own family tradition…the Lime Daquiri. Now I know there are many other drinks that yell, “Merry Christmas” a lot louder than a frozen lime drink, but dolled up with some green food coloring and garnished with a bright maraschino cherry, it’s about as festive as it gets! Now I’m providing this recipe from memory so it may need some tweakin’, but it’s definitely close to what I’ve grown up with: mix up a frozen can of limeade with water as directed in a pitcher, adding one can of rum and half a can of bourbon “to taste”. Squirt in a little bit of green food coloring and either stick it in the freezer or leave it out in the Maine woods for a couple hours. What you get is a slushy green delight that matches that mistletoe in the living room…just make sure you don’t get caught comparing the two when Aunt Edna notices someone needs a smooch!
Merry Christmas from Fill the Steins!!!  
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