Christmas is the best day of the year. What can be better than presents, family and good food?
Here is a great plan for your day. From morning to night, hopefully this will make your Christmas season great. Try one or try them all — you will enjoy.
Start your Christmas morning with French toast. I love using Flaherty’s Tom & Jerry batter in my French toast. There is usually a little batter left over from the Christmas Eve celebrations. The Tom & Jerry is a great drink and an upper Midwest tradition. Usually the Tom & Jerry uses brandy and rum to make a great winter warmer cocktail, but the spices and rich flavor make French toast awesome. After you open Santa’s gifts Christmas morning, the Flaherty’s French toast is a great finisher.
After breakfast is the time to enjoy your gifts. Whether a good book, a new video game or new clothes, bloody Marys will hit the spot about 11 a.m. or noon. Try a mild mix like Clamato or Remedy Bloody Mary Mix. Remedy is a small family-owned operation that is the perfect blend of spicy and smooth. You can add a little heat with Tabasco, but the Remedy Bloody Marys will help your day go perfect. The extra Vitamin C is always good.
About this time, maybe you want to watch a little basketball or football. The NBA has taken over Christmas day. This year, we can watch the rematch of the Warriors and Cavaliers. The duel between Stephen Curry and LeBron James will be classic. Enjoy a good old-fashioned all-American beer with the true all-American game. Sam Adams has a great winter beer that will relax you as you watch the game. The Sammy Winter has spices of orange peel, ginger and cinnamon. Not too hoppy, but it is a great bracing winter beer.
After the game, it is time for the main event: Christmas dinner. Whether you go for the traditional Christmas ham, delicious prime rib or my personal favorite, roast leg of lamb, the perfect wine will make the food taste even better! If ham is your thing, go for a lively fruity white wine. If you like a sweeter wine, Gewürztraminer or German riesling will mesh perfectly with the saltiness of the ham. Drier whites to try are viognier and sauvignon blanc.
For a red wine, beaujolais or a lighter pinot noir will liven your taste buds. As much as you may like a rich cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux, don’t use it with your ham. The heavy tannins and dry flavors will overwhelm your palate and dry out the ham in your mouth.
Now, if you are indulging in a delicious beef roast, prime rib or lamb, the rich bold flavors of your favorite red wines will thrill you! The rich flavors of beef and lamb scream out for the tannins present in your favorite rich red wines. For a great medium price cabernet sauvignon try Greystone Cabernet. It’s about $12, has great flavors and is the featured brand at the Culinary Institute of America. All of Greystone wines are made to complement food and are the perfect price point.
For a sweeter red that will please even the non-red drinkers, try Donnasaune. A unique wine from Hungary, it is a best seller because it is a touch sweet, without being cloying. People will be amazed at the unique characteristics of this underrated import.
If you have been a good boy and want to treat yourself, try my favorite cabernet. Keenan Cabernet, from Napa Valley, is the wine that hits my taste buds perfectly. Its grapes come from the famous Spring Mountain District, use sustainable agricultural practices, and are all hand-made masterpieces. It isn’t cheap — but Christmas only rolls around once a year. Give yourself a gift for a change!
After indulging in a delicious traditional dinner, the finale comes along. Dessert! Christmas cookies, cakes and pies are always a highlight. Of course, Baileys Irish Cream is a must with your after-dinner coffee. The original and still the best coffee creamer! If you want to take a walk on the wild side, try the smash hit of this holiday season, Brown Jug Sprits’ Bourbon Cream. Similar to Bailey’s, but with bourbon and the unique added touch of maple syrup.
Other favorite sippers that will also help you digest all the delicious foods are the French favorite Chambord (Black Framboise), Italian stalwart Frangelico (hazelnut) and of course I have to mention my favorite Greek liqueur Ouzo (anise). All these liqueurs were made as digestifs to help us recover from a big day of indulgence and celebration.
This is a time of year to celebrate the birth of greatness. We should all celebrate and enjoy our families and ourselves. Enjoy all your holiday libations in moderation. Cheers and Merry Christmas!