By Mimi Tarrant
Christmas Drinks: The Who, What, Where and Why
From eggnog to mulled wine sangria, the Indy offers both traditional and alternative drink recommendations
By MIMI TARRANT
It may have only been Thanksgiving a week ago, but in true American style, Christmas is choosing not to hang around. Christmas-themed drinks may have been out in the coffee stores for a month now, but we all know that the post-Thanksgiving period is really when things start to get serious on the drinks front. Whether it’s sugar, caffeine, or alcohol that’s driving you to the end of this semester, take your pick from our top six festive drinks that the Indy may or may not have taken great pleasure in trying and tasting, all in the name of journalism.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
The classic peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect way to follow the seasonal trends that continue to be both a marketer’s dream and a commercialization sensation. Showing you’re willing to mix it up for the festive season, ditch your daily caffeine rush for this sugar high instead. With the drink coming in at a mere 61 grams of sugar (three times the daily recommended amount, are you feeling guilty yet?), it’s sure to taste worthy of whatever seasonally-overpriced amount you spend on it. Stand alongside Bux lovers and Benedict’s locals all craving over this seasonal favorite, whilst being rest assured that nothing can go too wrong with a simply flavored hot chocolate.
Coffee in a Starbucks Christmas Cup
We know that some Indy readers may not be the most adventurous of types, so if you’re one of the sophomore newly-declared Economics concentrators (maybe with an unlikely secondary in CS) we have just the drink for you! Luckily, Starbucks have released their new line of Christmas-themed cups, so no matter what your drink of choice, you can fool your fellow classmates in your dying sections and lectures that you have embraced the Christmas cheer by drinking loud for all to hear (isn’t that what Buddy the Elf once said?). Either way, keep it simple and play it safe with your regular order hidden behind ‘Merry Coffee’ (Indy argues that Starbucks could have done better with that one), whilst being confident that once again, you’ve succeeded in simply getting through another semester at Harvard.
The safest of our 21+ beverages falls with cider, a hardy choice that never fails to keep both parents and children happy at those painful Christmas family gatherings. Who would have known that a small bit of heat would turn this summer drink into something that can be enjoyed at Christmas time? Such is the versatility of cider, which makes it the festive drink for the type of person who likes to look like their playing the part, but who really would much rather just be at home with any kind of non-alcoholic drink. Yes, cider may act as a buffer for unwanted seasonal social interactions, but at least understand that no matter what the occasion, cider will be there with you through thick and thin.
Perhaps the most controversial, but most festive, on the list this year is the class Christmas eggnog. Now, the Indy must admit to never having actually tried eggnog, as quite honestly any kind of liquid-based substance with the word ‘egg’ in it does not deserve to have money spent on it. That being said, the eggnog believers out there are truly passionate about this drink, and the idea of eggnog simply becoming ‘spiked custard’ when your alcohol of choice is added does give eggnog more of an appeal. Maybe Christmas is the time to cast your differences aside, look at the bigger picture and finally try eggnog with your family for the first time, but don’t come running back to the Indy if you welcome in the New Year with a bout of Salmonella – you have been warned!
Whilst Bailey’s may not be seen as a traditional Christmas drink, the Indy decided that it should be included in this elite line-up based simply on how great it is. You may call us biased, but there is something about sipping Bailey’s in front of a fire at Christmas time that just can’t be beaten. For the American traditionalists out there, Bailey’s is also conveniently perfect to add to your coffee, meaning it’s the ideal way to start off the morning rally during the festive reading period season. Whilst the drink may be on the more expensive front, the Indy is excited to report that Bailey’s comes in multiple different flavors, from Red Velvet to Strawberries & Cream. If that’s not an incentive to try the Irish Liqueur this festive period, then maybe just stick to the dining hall’s hot chocolate, as that’s all that’s worthy of your poor taste.
Mulled Wine Sangria
If you’re looking to push the boat out this festive season, embrace that quirky European side of you with this alternative twist on the classic mulled wine. Who needs to be boring and traditional, when you can show everyone from home that you are both privileged and entitled (and yes, you did study abroad last semester) when you whip out the mulled wine sangria for all to enjoy? Another normally cold drink turned hot, sangria is sure to get the festivities going with its red wine and brandy mix, a match made in heaven if you ask the Indy.
Mimi Tarrant ‘21 (email@example.com) would like to preemptively thank the Indy for the upcoming reimbursement of all expenses made in the writing of this article.