Friday, January 22, 2016

Lights, Cameras, Christmas: Christmas Punch

One of our favorite Christmastime activities is a visit to the Botanical Gardens "Garden of Lights."  I think the first time we went was shortly after Thatkid was born.  Even as a wee thing he was in awe of all the lights.  So I was really excited to introduce the event to Thatbaby.

Thatbaby is still too little to take advantage of all the garden has to offer, but Thatkid is getting old enough to really enjoy things like sledding.  This year he went down the hill all by himself!

Given the serious look on his face, I think he was a little nervous about going down sans dad.

Thatbaby was not interested in the snow - it was cold and wet and he was not pleased when I gave him some to hold.  After sledding, Thatbaby fell asleep while The rest of us headed to listen to the carolers.

Once Thatbaby woke up we went around and looked at all the lights.  Unfortunately Thatkid is no longer at the strolling age, so I got a quick glimpse of the lights as he tore through them at top speed, while Thatboy and Thatbaby took a more leisurely pace.

One of Thatkid's favorite part of the evening is that I make a giant thermos of hot chocolate.  He especially likes it after he plays in the snow.  You can't blame him.  For the grown ups the event serves mulled wine, which is a great Christmas tradition in places where it's cold.  Warm wine mulled with spices.  But here in Southern California we don't necessarily need warm drinks for Christmas.  A cold spiced drink is just as festive.  I like to make this punch with some sort of seasonal tea, which usually has similar spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.  But the champagne is what makes this a true holiday drink.  Because nothing says "winter holiday celebration" like champagne bubbles.

Christmas Punch
1 cup rye whiskey
1 cup rum
1 cup tea
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup champagne
1 cup soda water

  1. Mix together rye, rum, tea, lemon and orange juice.
  2. Pour over ice and add champagne and soda water.


  1. You had me at whiskey. I'm going to need a couple of these!

  2. Oh what I wouldn't give for a big mug of this. It would be perfect after my cold walk home from work every day!