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Not everyone loves eggnog, or even likes it. Yet it remains the ubiquitous winter holiday drink, and people often look askance when you decline it, much as they look at you if you confess that, honestly, you’re not all that wild about chocolate.

It’s not the same as saying you hate puppies or confess to being a serial killer, but sometimes the looks make you feel like that’s what you just said. Yes, I speak from experience.

On Christmas morning, I love coffee with chicory, alongside beignets. If my flight to New Orleans is on time, I should be sipping a bowl full and covering myself in the powdered sugar that drenches beignets at Cafe du Monde as the sun sets on the day.

If you’re home for the holidays, there are many delicious options for holiday drinks that don’t involve milk, cream and eggs. Cider, sparkling wine, pomegranate juice, pomegranate liqueur, and even that most magical potion, absinthe, are all great options, provided, of course, that you’re not driving.

If you don’t like absinthe, there are plenty of sweet, not hard, ciders. It’s a nice time to treat yourself, your family, and your friends to something a little special, which is what today’s recipes offers.

But first, here’s an important reminder: With Christmas on a Monday, you have several farmers markets available before the holiday, along with the entire weekend to plan what you’ll enjoy at the table, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three meals. You’ve got time to stop by a well-stocked liquor store, as well.

If you’re thinking about, say, French toast for breakfast, stop by the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (in the western parking lot of the Luther Burbank Center) for Costeaux’s cinnamon bread, which makes amazing French toast. You can pick up pomegranates at the market, too, as well as beautiful flowers and full bouquets for your table.

Whatever you do on the holiday, take a minute to raise a glass to a difficult year that is, thankfully, almost over.

Lamb’s Wool, named for the baked apples that take on a fluffy wool-like look when baked and passed through a potato ricer, is a traditional Twelfth Night drink in Great Britain, where a bit is poured onto apple trees to ensure a good crop in the upcoming year. It is a delicious and festive drink on Christmas, too, especially if it is chilly. If there are children who may enjoy it, make it with non-alcoholic cider, of course. Adults can always add a shot of Bourbon, Scotch, or Calvados if they wish.

Lamb’s Wool

Serves 6 to 8

8 apples

— Boiling water

2 750 ml bottles apple cider (sweet or hard)

1 cup sugar

1 3-inch piece vanilla bean

1 2-inch piece ginger, cut into thin rounds and crushed

1 2 -inch piece cinnamon

— Whole nutmeg

1/4 cup butter

— Cinnamon sticks, for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set the apples in a baking dish with a lid, add enough boiling water to come 1/4-inch up the sides of the dish, cover and bake until the apples are very tender, from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on variety. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, pour one bottle of cider into a large saucepan set over low heat, add half the sugar, the vanilla bean, the ginger, the cinnamon and several gratings of fresh nutmeg. Slowly bring to a simmer and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and set aside to steep while the apples cook.

When the apples are cool, cut them in half crosswise and pass them through a potato ricer. If you do not have a ricer, peel the apples, cut them in half, remove their seed cores and pass through a food mill fitted with its medium or large blade.

Remove the vanilla bean, the ginger and the cinnamon from the cider and discard them or save them to make another batch of Lamb’s Wool.

Stir the apple pulp into the ale, add the second bottle of cider and the butter and set over low heat.

Taste and if the mixture is not as sweet as you’d like, stir in the remaining half cup of sugar. When the mixture is heated through, remove from the heat, pour into a warmed pitcher and enjoy hot.

Add a cinnamon stick to each portion if you like.

A classic mimosa is made with orange juice but freshly squeezed tangerine juice is even better. The drink is best, I think, with dry sparkling wine but it needn’t be expensive.

A Spanish cava is always a good option. If you are serving a crowd, you can make the mimosas in a pitcher, as long as they will be enjoyed right away.

Tangerine Mimosas with Pomegranates

Makes about 8 to 10 servings

1 pint (2 cups), approximately, freshly squeezed tangerine juice

2-3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 750ml bottle sparkling wine of choice, well chilled

— Pomegranate arils

Put the tangerine juice into a small pitcher, add 2 tablespoons of the molasses, stir, and taste. If you’d like it a tad sweeter, stir in the third tablespoon of molasses.

Fill Champagne flutes about two-thirds full with sparkling wine. Stir the tangerine juice again and top off with it. Add a few pomegranate arils and enjoy right away.

Pama is a pomegranate liqueur that is delicious when you can find it. Combined with pomegranate juice, lime juice, and sparkling wine, it makes a delicious and gorgeous cocktail. Make the mimosas in a pitcher if they will be enjoyed right away.

Pomegranate Mimosas

Makes about 8 to 10 servings

1 pint (2 cups) fresh pomegranate juice

— Juice of 1 lime

4 ounces Pama (Pomegranate Liqueur), plus more to taste

1 750ml bottle dry sparkling wine of choice, well chilled

— Pomegranate arils

— Cilantro leaves, optional

Put the pomegranate juice into a small pitcher and add the lime juice. Add the Pama, stir, taste, and add another splash if you’d like.

Fill Champagne flutes about two-thirds full with sparkling wine. Stir the pomegranate juice mixture our top off each glass with it. Add a few pomegranate arils and a cilantro leaf or two, if using, and enjoy right away.

Absinthe was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite beverages ,and there are simple cocktails named in his honor that include just absinthe and sparkling wine. Here, I’ve added a couple of drops of bitters because they contribute an intriguing and delicious layer of flavor.

Ernest’s Absinthe Cocktail

Makes 1

— Crushed ice

11/2 ounces (1 shot) absinthe

— Cardamom or absinthe bitters

— Sparkling wine of choice

Fill a Champagne flute about half full with ice and add the absinthe. Add 2 to 3 drops of bitters and top off the glass with sparkling wine. Enjoy right away.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

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