NORTHWOODS COOKS: Festive holiday beverages

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Winter and Christmas Wassail hot cocktail
Wassail is traditionally served at Christmas to carolers and featured in the traditional English song "Here We Come A Wassailing."
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Whether coming inside from an afternoon of skiing, ice skating or sledding or sitting around the wood stove in the evening, hot beverages take the chill out. This selection is from

Christmas Wassail

1/2 gallon apple cider

46-oz. can pineapple juice

46 oz. cranberry juice cocktail


1 orange, thinly sliced

5 cinnamon sticks

1 Tbsp. whole allspice berries

1 Tbsp. whole cloves

Pour apple cider, pineapple juice and cranberry juice into a stockpot. Place orange slices, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves in a muslin pouch or directly into the apple cider mixture. Bring apple cider mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove orange slices and spices before serving.

Hot Holiday Spiced Tea

6 cups water

1 tsp. whole cloves


1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick

6 black tea bags

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pour water into a pot. Add cloves and the cinnamon stick. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tea bags to water and set aside to steep until the tea is to your preferred strength, at least 5 minutes. Remove and discard cloves, the cinnamon stick, and tea bags.

Stir orange juice, sugar, pineapple juice and lemon juice together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir the juice mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour juice mixture into the spiced tea and serve hot.


Viennese Coffee

1 cup hot brewed coffee

3 Tbsp. whole milk

1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

1-1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. orange extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Stir coffee, milk, cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, orange extract, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together in a large mug until smooth.

Microwave Hot Chocolate

3 cups milk

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, grated

1 Tbsp. white sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 egg

Put milk into a microwave-safe container and cook on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Mix in chocolate, sugar and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk an egg until smooth, then mix it into the chocolate mixture. Return to the microwave and cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until foamy (be careful not to let it boil.) Whisk until smooth and pour into 3 mugs. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.

Hot Buttered Rum for One

1 tsp. butter

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground allspice

1 dash vanilla extract

2 ounces rum

1 cup boiling water

Place butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla extract in the bottom of an Irish coffee glass. Pour in rum and hot water and stir.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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