The Best Christmas Cocktails (Recipes Inside)


This resin or gum which is abundant only on the Greek island of Chios has been used since antiquity for healing, eating and for the last 2,400 years as chewing gum and to freshen the breath. It's got a strong flavor that's reminiscent to a lot of people of pine or fir trees. This makes it perfect for holiday baking but especially for holiday drinking. This resin is very popular in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. In the US it isn't as popular but this could change. It can become a popular ingredient for Christmas drinks of all kinds. You can get it as a liqueur, a soda, powder, gum and in many other forms. For Christmas you're probably safe to use the powder for baking (crushing your own however from mastic tears will produce a stronger and better flavor) and the liqueur for drinking.

So to all who are celebrating this Christmas season go to your local liquor store and pick up a bottle of mastic. Larger chains are most likely to carry the liqueur and so are Greek and ethnic grocery stores.

You'll most likely find Skinos brand mastic liqueur, Psichis Mastiha, FOS Mastic in the Miami area and Roots Mastiha.

If you're looking for something without alcohol try ordering the soda version called Mast which is quite refreshing.

Here are a few recipes that are perfect for your next Christmas party.

Oh Christmas Tree

Ingredients:

1 oz vodka

3/4 oz mastic

Ginger ale to top off

5-10 pomegranate seeds for garnish

1 Pine or spruce tip or 3-5 inch branch for garnish

Directions:

In fill a rocks glass with ice and add the vodka, mastic and fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale. Garnish with pomegranate seeds which are used by Greeks on New Years for luck and ad a small to medium size stem from a fir or spruce tree.

For a perfect after dinner coffee or to warm up after playing in the snow try mastic with your coffee.

St. Nicholas' Brew

Ingredients:

1 cup drip coffee or French press

1/2 oz mastic liqueur

Directions:

For coffee it's simple. Just brew your favorite drip style coffee and in one cup add 1/2 to 3/4 oz mastic liqueur.

For bourbon lovers this recipe will bring on the warm feeling of Christmas. It's called The Spirits of Christmas.

The Spirits of Christmas

Ingredients:

1 oz Bourbon

1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 oz Mastic

1/2 oz spruce or Fir Tip syrup

Top off with lemon-lime soda

1 small to medium sized stem of pine or spruce for garnish

Directions:

Fill a rocks glass with ice and add the bourbon, lemon juice, mastic, and spruce or fir tree simple syrup. Stir ingredients together and add top off with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a pine or spruce tree stem.

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