Christmas drinks


Nothing conjures up the Christmas spirit more than our local celebration drinks. Once the sorrel laden tray trucks begin to present themselves’ we are reminded that its Christmas time once again. Sorrel is a delightful drink, and even more so if it is prepared from scratch. There are two types of sorrel available, the red and black, choose either, I prefer the red, maybe because I find the red a bit more sour than the black, which I enjoy. When buying sorrel look for full, firm and crisp petals, (the red fleshy part that envelopes the green seed), it’s a sure sign that the sorrel has just been picked.

Enjoy, and remember to drink responsibly.

Ponche de creme

Ponche de creme. Photo courtesy Dixie's Homemade Delight -

6 eggs

5 8 oz packages of evaporated milk (preferably non-combined, or non-filled)

14 ozs condensed milk

2 cups dark rum

½ tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp minced lime zest

1 tsp Angostura aromatic bitters

1 tbs Angostura Cocoa Bitters

In a blender process eggs with lime zest until light coloured.

Add evaporated milk and condensed milk, process to blend well. Strain.

Add bitters, nutmeg and rum, mix well, taste and adjust flavourings to suit.

Serve over crushed ice, and garnish with lime slices.

Christmas eggnog

6 eggs separated

8 ozs granulated sugar

1¼ cups milk

½ cup Cognac

½ cup dark rum

1 tbs Angostura cocoa bitters

1 tsp vanilla essence

1¼ cups heavy cream, lightly whipped

zest of 1 orange, finely minced

zest of 1 lime, finely minced

¼ tsp nutmeg

With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in the milk, brandy, vanilla, rum and bitters.

Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and fold into egg mixture. Chill for about 4 hours.

Mix heavy cream with orange and lime zest.

Fold cream mixture into egg mixture, pour into stemmed glasses or cups and top with grated nutmeg.

Serves 4-6

Ginger beer

Ginger beer. Photo courtesy Dixie's Homemade Delight -

1 pound green ginger

10 cups cold water

1 lime

2 sticks of clove

Wash, peel and grate ginger.

Peel and juice lime, keep the peel.

Mix ginger, water, cloves, lime juice and the lime skin.

Pour this mixture into clean bottles and leave to ferment for about one day, preferably in the sun.

Strain the ginger beer and sweeten to taste with basic sugar syrup.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Holiday punch

This is an especially good non-alcoholic punch – the sort that both kids and adults enjoy. The orange ice ring looks festive and gives the punch a zesty flavour!

2 cans (28 ozs each) fruit cocktail in syrup

2½ cups ginger ale

1 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice

4 cups orange juice (approximate)

1 ring mould

30 maraschino cherries

Pour orange juice into the ring mould; add the maraschino cherries and freeze.

In a blender puree fruit salad with syrup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl combine ginger ale, pureed fruit salad, and lemon or lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice if needed.

Place the orange ice ring in a large punch bowl and pour the punch over the ice ring.

Note: If you do not have a ring mould you can freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray, add a cherry to each cube and freeze.

Serves 25-30 4 ounce servings


To make sorrel drink just clean the sorrel, by removing the seeds, put the sepals into a large non-reactive pot, add some cloves and cinnamon bark. It does not matter the quantities, do this to your taste preference. Add enough boiling water to barely cover the sorrel, cover tightly and steep overnight. Sweeten to taste with sugar syrup. Chill and serve over crushed ice or with club soda for a refreshing sorrel cooler.

Remember to always store sorrel in glass bottles, plastic can promote spoilage.

Basic sugar syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1 lb sugar

Combine water with sugar in a small saucepan.

Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes.

Cool, bottle and refrigerate until ready for use.

Sorrel spritzer

3 ozs sorrel, sweetened

3 ozs very cold Prosecco

1 lime wedge

Place sorrel into fluted glass, pour on Prosecco and garnish with lime wedge.

Serve immediately.

Makes 1


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