Last night we hosted a holiday party with a large group of friends. We started off at our place and walked over to the Christkindlmarket, the German Christmas market (http://www.christkindlmarket.com/), just 5 blocks away in Daley Plaza, downtown Chicago. We got the traditional hot spiced wine in a little boot mug and walked around to all of the little vendor booths and shops looking at all of the merchandise. It was chilly out, but the wine warmed us right up! After people watching, listening to the German language all around us, and taking in the holiday cheer, we wandered back to our place for some festive holiday drinks.
We had hot spiced apple cider with rum, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps or Bailey's and a variety of other drinks brought by our friends including wine and limoncello! In addition to the drinks, we had some nibblies that included chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas and pretzels for dipping. A meat and cheese plate and a cookie plate were also out. Here are the recipes for the drinks and fondue!
Hot Spiced Cider:
I looked around at a variety of recipes and made my own up based on what I liked.
For one gallon of apple cider: In a large pot, heat the cider. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, and one teaspoon of the following: ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Serve in a mug with a cinnamon stick and add dark rum to your taste.
Holiday Hot Chocolate:
We had a teapot full of simmering water, hot chocolate mix, peppermint Schnapps and Bailey's on the side for people to mix their own drinks up.
In a pot, heat 1 cup whipping cream until simmering, stirring constantly. Turn heat off and add 16oz bittersweet chocolate - I used chocolate bars broken into pieces. Add 3 tablespoons of Amaretto. Once chocolate melts, whisk together. Pour mixture into prepared fondue pot with heat source on. Enjoy with dipping sides!
Thanks to everyone who came, brought goodies along, and made our party a success! It was such a great time and we loved having everyone over!