Christmas Books and Christmas Drink Pairings
By Jolene Haley
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. For me it’s not about the presents (but they are great). It’s not about the food (but the food is fantastic). It’s not about the cheesy Christmas movies (though they get me every time). No matter who you are or what you believe, I think everyone can appreciate the feeling of joy and love in December and the beauty of a winter wonderland.
Before I go all soft on you, one of my very favorite things (unsurprisingly) about December is the literature. I can’t get enough of Christmas themed reads. You know the ones. The bad guy’s heart grows ten sizes and gives back all the presents he stole. Santa sneaks down the chimney. Rudolph saves the day. And since we’re all adults here, I can also appreciate a good jolly beverage.
So I’m here to pair some of my favorite Christmas reads with drinks. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Christmas Books & Drink Pairings
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton: This is one of my favorite reading traditions. I remember when I first read it, I felt like somebody just understood me. I love the dark nature of this Christmas tale.
Pair with: A Purple Martini
3 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz blue Curacao liqueur
1/2 oz sweet and sour mix
1/2 of 7-Up
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake gently. Add more blue Curacao if the color isn’t purple enough.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore: One of my all-time favorites! I can actually recite this from memory. This is a must have for my Christmas Eve.
Pair with: Martha Stewart’s Classic Eggnog
Makes 12 servings
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark
1/4 cup dark rum, preferably Mount Gay
1/4 cup Cognac, preferably Remy Martin Grand Cru
Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
Beat yolks in a very large bowl until thick and pale. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in milk and 2 cups cream. Mix in bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover, and refrigerate for up to one day.
Just before serving, beat whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into eggnog. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form, and fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, you can fold half the whipped cream into eggnog, and top with remaining half.) Sprinkle with nutmeg.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: This is one of my all time favorites for more reason than one. It’s interesting to me that this story has made such a lasting impression because studies show that Charles wrote this because he was in need of some quick cash, not out of desire to tell a heartwarming Christmas story.
Pair with: The Blizzard Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey or rum
1/2 ounce hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s
Dollop of Grand Marnier Whipped Cream
In a glass coffee mug, stir together whiskey, hazelnut liqueur, and Irish cream; top with coffee. Garnish cocktail with whipped cream and serve immediately.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: I love the Grinch. I love Dr. Seuss. I think I just have a thing for villains.
Pair with: The Grinch Cocktail
2 ounces Midori
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: Hands down Harry Potter is my favorite book series of all time. So naturally, it had to be included. In my defense there are a few Christmas scenes in this book.
Pair with: Butterbeer (from the book!)
1 cup (8 oz) club soda or cream soda
1/2 cup (4 oz) butterscotch syrup (ice cream topping)
1/2 tablespoon butter
Measure butterscotch and butter into a 2 cup (16 oz) glass. Microwave on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely incorporated.
Stir and cool for 30 seconds, then slowly mix in club soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit.
Serve in two coffee mugs or small glasses; a perfectly warm Hogwarts treat for two!
I hope you guys enjoy my pairings. Let me know in the comments below if you tried them or if you have pairing suggestions of your own!
Huge thank you to Brenda Drake for letting me be a part of her blog today.
Happy Holidays friends!
About Jolene Haley:
Jolene loves writing strong female protagonists and has a passion for YA novels on the dark side.
In addition to her day job, she co-founded writer’s haven Pen & Muse, is a publicist for Swoon Romance, and contributes to YA Stands, an online community for young adult writers.
Her background is in English Literature and Composition, with accolades from California State University of Fullerton.
Follow her on or check out her blog.