Pour on the holiday spirit with liquor largesse

MICHELLE LOCKE
The Associated Press
Modified: November 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012
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photo - In this image taken on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, Canton, a French ginger liqueur, served in cinnamon tea is shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
In this image taken on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, Canton, a French ginger liqueur, served in cinnamon tea is shown in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

— Square One Organic Vodka

The company has a luscious recipe for pear noel, (a play on "Pere Noel," the French Santa Claus) on its website that involves pureed pears, vodka, tawny port, sweet red vermouth, brown sugar, honey and whipped cream. Yum. You also can check the old adage that the (80) proof is in the pudding by subbing vodka for the traditional brandy when setting your Christmas pudding alight. British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson recommends warmed vodka for a purer and longer flame. (And if you're looking for a recipe, her nonconformist Christmas pudding in her book, "Feast," may just change your mind about the much-maligned seasonal staple.)

— Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur

Taking a gingerly approach to the coming festivities? This French import may help. Add to Champagne or sparkling wine for a ginger royale, or make a French ginger snap (liqueur plus citrus vodka, triple sec and fresh lemon juice). For those days when you've had all the holiday you can handle, consider adding a dash to a soothing cup of hot tea.

— Luxardo Espresso Italian Coffee Liqueur

Sometimes, you're just not in the mood for a long winter's nap. Infused with coffees from Central America and Kenya, this liqueur can be served on the rocks or with cream as an after-dinner drink. It plays well with others, featuring in cocktails like the black Russian and Irish coffee. You also can add it to tiramisu and other desserts, or simply warm and pour over ice cream.