A sip of homemade eggnog, a shake of sleigh bells and even the soggiest Seattle day transforms into a winter wonderland. The essential word of course is homemade, as no amount of good bourbon can rescue the syrupy milk you buy in a carton at the store! I’ve whipped up homemade eggnog using Martha Stewart’s recipe for as long as I can remember, made with raw eggs and a boozy dose of cognac, bourbon and rum, then topped with a dusting of freshly-grated nutmeg. The nutmeg is essential, the rum is not. It tastes just fine beside a roaring fire.
No fireplace at home? Here are some cozy places for holiday merrymaking this winter:
Holiday Tea at the Sorento Hotel (900 Madison Street on Seattle’s First Hill). For many Seattleites, tea at the Sorento is a seasonal tradition. Snuggle onto a red damask sofa in the hotel’s gorgeous Fireside Room. Sip tea (or their famous Haute Toddy) and munch on watercress sandwiches with ham and mustard amid the twinkle of Christmas lights and holiday music on the piano, from the Nutcracker to Vince Guaraldi. $38 per person or $16 for kids under 12 includes tea, sweets, pastries, sandwiches and canapés, seatings are daily at 10am, noon and 2pm. Reservations are required, call 206-343-6156.
Champagne at The Heathman (1001 SW Broadway in Portland). Settle in on a cozy couch beside the marble fireplace in the Heathman Hotel’s Tea Court Lounge. Admire the Eucalyptus-paneled walls and Austrian hand-cut chandelier as you sip champagne, nosh on a chocolate yule log and tap your toes to live jazz. Or, book your table for holiday tea at The Heathman, $32 per person.
Festive Cocktails at The Hotel Georgia (801 West Georgia Street in Vancouver BC). The cocktail list at the Hotel Georgia’s swanky and festive Hawksworth Cocktail Bar is full of seasonal hand-crafted beverages that use only the finest, freshest ingredients. This holiday season try the Dalhousie #2 (pictured) – Lot 40 Rye, ginger of the indies, averna amero and whiskey barrel bitters.
Holiday Stout at Garrick’s Head Pub (69 Bastion Square, Victoria BC). My family loves Christmastime in Victoria, from the colorful lights at Butchart Gardens to horse-drawn caroling rides downtown. And after an afternoon of holiday caroling, a drink beside the fire at Garrick’s Head Pub in Bastion Square makes a perfect end to the day.