Tag: holiday drinks

Which Sparkling Wines Are Worth Your Holiday Jingle?

by in Healthy Holidays, December 19, 2016

If you think bubbly means big bucks, think again. When adding some sparkle to the holidays, it’s not necessary to spend all your Christmas cash. Sparkling wines can be found in a range of prices, with many festive varieties priced at $20 or less. How they are priced has a lot to do with how they are made. And that leads us to ask: How do they get those bubbles into a bottle?

The short answer: secondary fermentation. Sparkling wines begin much in the same way as white wines, but at the point at which white wine is bottled and sold, sparkling wine undergoes secondary fermentation with the addition of yeast and sugar. For higher-priced sparklers such as Champagne and cava, the subsequent secondary fermentation and aging occur in wine bottles in accordance with the méthode Champenoise. Instead of using bottles, vintners of prosecco and other more value-priced wines use stainless steel tanks to contain the buildup of carbon dioxide during secondary fermentation.

The cool thing is you can actually taste and see the difference in the final bottle of bubbly. Bottle-aged sparklers generally taste more nutty and yeasty and have tinier bubbles. Tank-aged wines are usually fruitier and can have large, bursting bubbles (although careful crafting in tanks can also produce tiny bubbles). All bubbles are a result of the carbon dioxide produced during secondary fermentation.

Value-priced sparklers can be found around the globe. Quality quaffs are available from cold climates like Germany, Austria and New York state, as well as from warm locales such as Australia and New Mexico. Three of our current favorites are: Read more

Low-Fat Eggnog, 4 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, December 19, 2015

I vote we skip the store-bought cartons this holiday season and enjoy eggnog the old-fashioned way: with real eggs, milk and freshly ground spices. The perfect blend of sweet and spicy silkiness, this eggnog contains just six ingredients (seven if you’re adding booze). Comparatively, most commercial brands contain a long list of additives designed to thicken the eggnog and extend its shelf life, which are unnecessary when producing a homemade version.

Not only does this lighter eggnog contain half the calorie count of its traditional counterpart, but it can be livened up — think pumpkin, chai and gingerbread varieties. Containing less cholesterol and saturated fat, this eggnog is made with honey and a single egg. Enjoy a thick, silky texture, all while keeping fat levels down.

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The Veggie Table: Festive Holiday Beverage Comparison

by in Healthy Holidays, December 21, 2012

hot cocoa
‘Tis the season for festive holiday drinks like eggnog and hot cocoa. But if you’re avoiding dairy, whether for dietary, ethical, or food allergy reasons, you don’t need to feel left out this holiday season. Each year a new crop of festive holiday “milk” beverages pops up on grocery store shelves with sweet selections like nog, chocolate mint and pumpkin spice. Keep in mind that while festive beverages are delicious, they’re not necessarily nutritious. All three beverages contain added sugar, making them refreshing to sip on for an occasional dessert, or a flavorful ingredient to use in baked goods. I rounded up three different drinks to try this holiday season:

Rice Dream Rice Nog: While typical eggnog has a rich, thick consistency, this Rice Nog was quite thin. Rice milk has the watery consistency of skim milk, so if you’re looking for a creamy nog substitute, this isn’t it. The flavor is sweet and slightly spiced, so I enjoyed it most to sweeten my morning mug of pumpkin spice tea in place of my usual almond milk. Half a cup delivers 80 calories, 1g of fat and 11g of sugar which is a drastic reduction compared to traditional nog’s 180 calories, 9g of fat and 21g of sugar.

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Homemade vs. Store-Bought: Eggnog

by in Healthy Holidays, December 19, 2011


Are you planning to celebrate with this creamy classic this holiday season? Do you buy it in the carton or make your own? Which is the better way to go for this holiday treat?

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