December is the month of the year when everything tastes better! The feast of thanksgiving has whetted our appetites and now our taste buds are ready for a month of revelry and celebration!

Holiday parties abound and we all want a little something different! Holiday liqueurs and cordials really come to the forefront. Form crème liquor to ancient recipes to classic mixology we can enjoy a plethora of flavors and experiences!

CordialsCrème liquors like Baileys sell more in the next month than virtually the rest of the year combined! Baileys is the original crème. Introduced in the early Seventies, it took the world by storm as people were entranced by its decadent lushness of texture and unique chocolate, cream flavors. Baileys uses real heavy Irish crème and also the finest Irish whiskeys to create its one of a kind experiences. Baileys and coffee is still one of the best ways to celebrate a crisp weekend morning in the wintertime! I love a little Bailey’s on the rocks after dinner to settle the stomach and also to satisfy the sweet tooth thereby keeping me away from the other desserts! New this year is the Baileys Chocolate Cherry. Two great flavors that are perfect together!

Another new favorite is RumChata. Rumchata burst on the scene in 2009 and the public went crazy! Developed in Pewaukee Wisconsin it uses real Caribbean rum and homegrown Wisconsin dairy crème! Based on the classic Hispanic drink Horchata, RumChata is like a cinnamon roll in a bottle! You can make some excellent coctails like the French Cream a combination of Cognac and RumChata. But again feel free to enjoy in your coffee or hot chocolate, or just straight up! Don’t forget to try it in your French toast the next morning for a really special treat!

IF crème cocktails are not your thing, don’t worry, as there are plenty of liqueurs that have amazing flavors to tempt you. Chambord from France is always a favorite. You feel like royalty as you drink the black framboise (raspberry) elixir. Some say Chambord was developed for King Louis XIV. It is a combination of Fresh Blackberries and Raspberries, French eau di vie, a touch of Madagascar vanilla and a few other secret herbs. I like Chambord in hot chocolate or mix it in a great martini with premium vodka for a strong finish to the night!

On the nuttier side is Frangelico. In a bottle shaped like a Franciscan monk (the sash is included) it is sweet hazelnut liqueur. Developed in the mountains of Canale Italy, it is a classic digestif that has medicinal purposes, but is more important for my mental health! It is a classic that I love in a martini or in my hot chocolate. It is slightly sweet, but has enough astringency to satisfy your thirst and give you a unique flavor profile! For a special treat mix Chambord and Frangelico together in a rocks glass and drizzle with crème for a great taste of nuts and berries!

On the irreverent side try the Naughty Cow! A relatively new drink on the scene, it is truly chocolate milk for adults! Not as creamy as a Baileys, but more chocolatey. It is a great package with a dizzy looking cow on the front that will elicit great conversation around the table or party! Sip it straight or any way you like! It’s okay to be Naughty once in a while!

If you are into the classics there are many venerable brands that have satisfied for centuries. Drambuie is a scotch lovers dream. Scotch, Honey, Heather and secret ingredients make it a bracing winter drink. Try it in the Classic Rusty nail. Drambuie and Scotch in a short glass over ice with a lemon twist!

Benedictine and its close sibling B&B are two classic French liqueurs. Developed hundreds of years ago by monks as both a digestif and a guilty pleasure, they are unique and best sipped after dinner around the fireplace!

If you want to work a little bit and have some festive color in your night, the classic Grasshopper is still popular! White Crème de Cacao, Green Crème de Menthe, a little Ice Cream and a blender of ice and you have a frothy green cocktail that is an unbelievable mint chocolate delight that will remind you of the 1950 and 1060’s when this great drink had its heyday! The classics can still hold up!!

However you enjoy this festive time of year, do it with friends and family and always with moderation! Cheers!