While eggnog and hot chocolate are winter favorites here in the US, the cold weather drinks in the Baltics tend to be more tea-like. Today on 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas I bring you two drinks to warm you up after all that time spent out in the snow! Straight from the famous Latvian ‘dzeltenā pavārgrāmata,’ the yellow cookbook Pēc acumēra un garšas, kamēr gatavs (the 1992 edition was a fundraiser for the Latvian girl and boy scouts of Chicago) are these two recipes!
Ziemas vakara padzēriens (A drink for a winter’s night)
Serves 6-8, recipe by Māra Skulte
2 ½ cups boiling water
5 bags of tea
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup sugar
2 cups cranberry juice
1 ½ cups cold water
½ cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let stand for 10 minutes, then remove tea bags.
Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients.
Note: The recipe might help warm up your guests if you’ve added port!
Holden’s test kitchen would like to note that they used green tea for this recipe, and that overall it was on the sweet side. This is a good one for the kids after coming in from sledding – without the port of course. If you are looking for a treat for the adults (after coming in from sledding?), by all means, add the port – or try this recipe….
Zviedru Ziemassvētku dzēriens (a Swedish Christmas drink)
Serves 12-14, recipe by Aina Pūliņa
1 2/3 cups cognac
1 750 mL bottle Bordeaux wine
1 750 mL bottle port wine
18 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar
1 cup yellow raisins
1 cup blanched almonds
Combine all ingredients in a large pot, and heat until steaming. Burn off the excess alcohol. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring all the time; do not let the mixture boil.
Serve with a few raisins and almonds in each mug.
Note: Quality ingredients are essential for this recipe. The drink can be prepared beforehand and stored in the refrigerator, reheating before serving, although it is best served fresh!
Yes, I know, a Swedish recipe for a Baltic Christmas… As it’s my great-aunt’s recipe and is published in a Latvian cookbook, we’ll just call it European! Stay warm, have a lovely weekend, and I hope you’ll join us tomorrow for another craft to do with the kids!