3 Slow-Cooker Christmas Drinks for Festive Entertaining

These warm and wonderful beverages will make your home smell like Christmas all day (and night) long.
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For many a busy home cook, the slow cooker is the work horse of the kitchen, toiling away on the countertop unsupervised, and turning soups and stews into deeply flavorful, wonderfully satisfying dinners perfect for the end of a long day.

Now is the time to put this versatile gadget to work by filling your house with the fragrance of Christmas. The gentle, even heat from a slow cooker makes it a fitting gadget for mulling wine with spices, melting chocolate for the most luscious hot cocoa and brewing homemade eggnog.

So if you’re entertaining this Christmas, try your hand at one of these simple recipes that will not only perfume your house with the scents of the Yuletide season, but provide lots of fun for your guests to help themselves to delicious beverages.

Creamy Hot Chocolate

Serves 10 to 15

Ingredients


6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup brown sugar
200 grams semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for serving
Marshmallows, for serving
Cinnamon powder or cinnamon sticks, for serving
Candy canes, for serving
Irish Whiskey, for serving

Method

1. In a large slow cooker, mix all of the ingredients for the hot chocolate together with a whisk until well combined.

2. Cook on high for about 3 hours, whisking every 45 minutes to make sure the chocolate on the bottom doesn’t burn.

3. For serving, switch the slow cooker to low and remember to whisk the mixture every hour. Put out your toppings and have your guests help themselves with a ladle.

Hot Mulled Wine

Serves 10 to 15

Ingredients


2 bottles of red wine (1.5 liters)
100 milliliters Cointreau
½ cup pure maple syrup
Peel of 1 orange (white pith removed)
2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving
3 star anise pods, plus more for serving
4 whole cloves, plus more for serving
Orange slices, for serving

Method

Combine the red wine, Cointreau, maple syrup, orange peel, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise pods and 4 whole cloves in a slow cooker and stir. Heat on low for about an hour until the mulled wine gets hot; switch to the ‘keep warm’ setting. Don’t cook on high or leave the mulled wine to boil as the alcohol will be evaporated. Allow guests to ladle into mugs; garnish as necessary.

Spiced Eggnog

Serves 10 to 15

Ingredients


12 egg yolks
2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup rum (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
2 nutmeg seeds
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg, for garnish
Candy cane, for garnish
Cookies, for dipping

Method

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. In another bowl or jug, stir the vanilla extract, milk and cream together.

2. Pour the milk mixture slowly into the egg mixture, stirring gently. Add in the rum, if using, and mix well.

3. Pour the liquid, as well as the cinnamon stick and nutmeg seeds, into a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, whisking the mixture occasionally to ensure the eggnog doesn’t curdle or boil. When the eggnog is hot and thick enough to coat a spoon, it’s done.

4. Serve warm in mugs and garnish as desired.

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