There are certain flavors that come out only during the holiday season – peppermint, eggnog, cloves. They seem out of place in July. We enjoy them not only for their flavor, but for the memories associated with them.

For years, my mom made this Holiday Punch. It is non-alcoholic and has always reminded me of holidays at her house. All the women would have a cup (do men ever drink punch?) and we would sit around the table drinking and eating our desserts. It is served hot like coffee or tea, but this year, I think I will make it like iced tea so I can enjoy it for a few days.

Holiday Punch
1 can frozen concentrate apple juice
1 can frozen concentrate cranberry juice
1 1/2 quarts of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 small orange, peeled and studded with cloves
My mom heated it in a party sized coffee pot, but you can warm it on the stove, too.

If you prefer a more spirited beverage, this is similar to the one above. I think I cut it out from Cooking Light Magazine, but with the alcohol, I don’t think it is “light”. I have never actually tried it, but it will be on my list this year:

Spiked Spiced Tea
6 cups of water
2 large-sized tea bags
2 cups fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons honey
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 strips lemon rinds
3/4 cup bourbon

My friend, Nancy, loves martinis. She even had a martini tasting party one year. I think of her whenever I find a new martini recipe, and today is no exception. I was going through my recipe book and came across this one that I cut out of a magazine years ago.

Candy Cane Martini
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 tsp peppermint schnapps
1 oz. club soda
1 mini candy cane for garnish

Happy Holidays!

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