A Bevy of Seasonal Beverages

cropped-beverage-raw-header.jpgThe house is decorated and the hors d’oeuvres are on the table, but your guests also need something to quench their thirst. Here are three festive beverage ideas to add a little sparkle to your punch glasses. Disclaimer: one is non-alcoholic, one contains alcohol, and one can be served with or without alcohol. Cheers!

Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. ~ Isaiah 55:1-2

St. Paul’s Punch (non-alcoholic)

  • 1 two liter bottle of Squirt, chilled
  • 1 two liter bottle of Ginger Ale, chilled
  • 1 46 oz. can Pineapple Juice, frozen

Remove label from Pineapple juice before putting into freezer (it keeps the label from sticking to the frozen juice) and freeze juice until solid. OR, pour juice into a mold and freeze.

Chill sodas ahead of time

If you’ve frozen the pineapple juice in its can, use can opener to cut off the top and bottom so that frozen juice can be pushed through into a punch bowl. If using a mold soak briefly in warm water and empty frozen juice mold into punch bowl.

Add one bottle of Squirt and one bottle of Ginger Ale

Mix and serve

Suggestion: have two bottle of each soda on hand to add to punch. You shouldn’t need an additional frozen pineapple juice unless you make more than two bottles of each soda.

Submitted by: Janice Mock, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, KS 

Coquito (can be made with or without rum)


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6oz can cream of coconut (Coco-Lopez)
  • 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4oz rum (I use Palo Viejo, a strong Puerto Rican rum, so add accordingly. Remember that the rum tends to settle after a day or two and becomes more potent.) *You may omit the rum all together for a milder beverage.
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of whole cloves
  • ground nutmeg and cinnamon for garnish
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the seeds from the vanilla skin. Hold the bean down on either end. With the tip of a paring knife, poke a hole in the top and slide it down the bean, splitting it in half lengthwise. Open it with the knife tip and scrape down, collecting the seeds on the blade.

Start by boiling the vanilla seeds and skin (not vanilla extract), cinnamon sticks, clove and star anise in the 1 cups of water. Reduce to 1/2 cup. When the water turns yellow and has the smell and taste of the spices, take the spices out.

Add coconut milk, cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk to spiced water and stir over medium heat for 3 minutes or until a slight boil. Remove and cool.

Once cool, mix in eggs, rum, and vanilla extract (if using extract instead of the vanilla bean).

Submitted by: Ana Arias, Project Coordinator, Office of Communication, The Episcopal Church

Sazerac Cocktail (contains alcohol)


  • 1 teaspoon (or two) Pernod, Herbsaint, or one of the absinthes now available
  • 1 cube sugar plus one teaspoon warm water, or 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1½ ounces rye (preferred) or Bourbon
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • A strip of lemon peel

Swirl absinthe around in a chilled rocks glass to coat the inside.  Set the glass aside.

Dissolve the sugar cube in the water in a mixing glass, or have the simple syrup ready in the mixing glass.

Add bitters, rye, and ice to the mixing glass and stir well.  Strain into the coated rocks glass.

Twist lemon over the glass and drop in.

Submitted by:  Brian Reid from St. George’s Episcopal Church, New Orleans. Brian has contributed recipes that have appeared in The Times-Picayune and other local publications. (With thanks to Karen Mackey, Communications Coordinator, The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana.)

For a downloadable/printable version of this recipe, visit: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/blog/advent/resources

Tomorrow: A little something sweet: Pumpkin Fudge