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10 Great Holiday Drink Ideas

10 Great Holiday Drink Ideas

The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without some luscious libations to share with friends and family, so here’s a list of festive drinks that are sure to please everyone on your list.

1. Candy Cane Martini

Candy Cane Martini

    Sweet and minty, the Candy Cane Cocktail/Martini blends strawberry or pomegranate vodka with cranberry juice and crème de menthe for a cool, refreshing winter pick-me-up. If you’d like to get all fancy-pants with it, consider crushing some candy canes and tossing the resulting dust with red sugar crystals (normally used for decorating cookies) to rim your cocktail glasses with before pouring. For a “virgin” version, just blend cranberry and strawberry juice with a few drops of mint extract.

    2. Cranberry Mimosa

    Also known as Poinsettia Mimosas, this cheerful little cocktail is a festive alternative to the classic breakfast mimosa recipe. You can make these with the traditional champagne and Triple Sec, or create a non-alcoholic version with carbonated apple juice and orange or cherry syrup. Note: the alcohol-free version is a great treat to make kids feel special on Christmas morning—serve it up in plastic champagne flutes (like the kind that come with picnic sets), toss in some maraschino cherries, and watch smiles light up around the table.

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    3. Glögg

    Glogg

      Glögg (say it aloud a couple of times just for fun) is a hot spiced wine that’s a traditional yuletide drink in Scandinavian countries. Wine and brandy are mixed together and warmed in a pot on the stove. To that, you add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, orange peel, apple slices, whole cloves, and sugar, and let it simmer for 40 min or so to let all the spicy flavours develop. Depending on how much brandy you add to it, this drink can pack quite a kick. If you’d prefer a non-inebriating version, use apple cider instead of wine, and skip the brandy.

      4. Pomegranate Punch

      Pomegranate Punch

        Limeade and Prosecco team up to create this sparkling, beautiful punch. Pomegranates are stunning indulgences during the holiday season, and their tart juice pairs wonderfully with sweet bubbles. Just empty a bottle of Prosecco (or another sweet sparkling wine) into a glass punch bowl, and add in the limeade, pomegranate juice, and either orange or cranberry juice. Float some lime slices and whole pomegranate seeds on top, and dip in! For a kid-friendly version, swap out the Prosecco in favour of carbonated white grape juice.

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        5. Hot Buttered Rum

        Hot Buttered Rum

          Memories of rural England come to mind with every sip of this drink. Butter (or Earth Balance for a vegan version) is blended with brown sugar or maple syrup, and a pinch each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This mixture is refrigerated until set, and then a couple of tablespoons are ladled into each mug. 2-3 oz of dark rum is then added (or more…I’d say fill the mug halfway), and then boiling water is poured in to melt the buttery mixture and heat up the lot. This is a ridiculously strong, calorie-laden drink that’s sure to knock out even the most obstinate uncle.

          6. Irish Coffee

          Irish Coffee

            The perfect way to start a holiday morning: a good, strong cup of coffee with a shot of Irish whiskey, some brown sugar, and lightly whipped cream. If there’s a long day full of dealing with relatives ahead, you might as well fortify yourself nice and early.

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            7. The Reindeer Caesar

            The Reindeer Caesar

              For those of you who like more savoury drinks, there’s always the Reindeer Caesar: it starts off like a regular Caesar—with Clamato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and a dash of hot sauce (try Sriracha!)—and then you just add extra celery, maybe a lettuce leaf, and some nutmeg to make it more “festive”.  Hey, after you’ve knocked a few back, you’ll find a way to re-name just about anything to make it Christmassy.

              8. Angel Kisses

              Angel Kisses

                The holidays are usually rife with angels of all shapes and sizes, so raise a toast to these celestial spectres with an Angel Kiss Cocktail. Made with crème de cacao and heavy cream, this isn’t a drink for dieters: it’s creamy and sweet, and downright sinful. Note that despite the word “crème” in the title, crème de cacao is actually vegan (there’s no dairy in it: the creaminess is in reference to the texture, not the ingredients), and you can easily substitute coconut cream for the dairy. Top the lot with your favourite whipped topping and a cherry, and slurp away.

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                9. Super-Festive Hot Chocolate

                Hot chocolate

                  Is there anything more warming to the soul than a mug of hot cocoa? Wrapping your hands around a steaming cup of sweet chocolate-y goodness after being out in the cold is absolutely glorious, and there aren’t many people who don’t love this wintertime indulgence. By making your own, you can adjust the sugar content to suit your own tastes, and you can dress it up as you like by adding whipped toppings, chocolate shavings, or peppermint schnapps.

                  10. Hammered “Tool Man” Taylor

                  I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t have a favourite holiday movie, be it A Christmas Story, Gremlins, How the Grinch stole Christmas, or the Santa Clause. If your favourite is the last one on that list, you’re in luck: there’s a special drink waiting just for you. Absinthe and orange bitters meet simple syrup and either crushed ice or water for a libation that’s sure to leave you seeing elves.

                   

                  Happy Holidays!

                  Featured photo credit:  Classical martini in chilled glass via Shutterstock

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                  Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                  Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                  Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                  Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                  Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                  The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                  There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                  How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                  According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                  Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                  Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                  The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                  Listen carefully:

                  We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                  The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                  Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                  8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                  There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                  Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                  1. Pray Daily

                  You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                  When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                  Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                  Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                  2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                  A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                  By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                  Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                  If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                  This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                  How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                  3. Smile Often

                  Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                  Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                  Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                  The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                  4. Organize Your Working Desk

                  A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                  When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                  Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                  Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                  5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                  I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                  Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                  What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                  6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                  God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                  I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                  I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                  7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                  You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                  How do you do that? This is my formula:

                  First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                  If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                  If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                  If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                  Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                  8. Go Exercise

                  Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                  The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                  You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                  12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                  The Bottom Line

                  It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                  It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                  Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                  More Resources About Mindfulness

                  Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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