December 1, 2023

Ella’s Kitchen

Enjoy the holidays with a cup of cheer. All of these can be enjoyed without alcohol. Use sparkling water, club soda, 7-Up, ginger ale or ginger beer for the champagne or vodka. Instead of rum, use a cola, Dr. Pepper or root beer.

Have a blessed December.


[Ella can be contacted at or Ella – 50+ Lifestyles, P. O. Box 2125, Davenport, IA 52809]

Hot Buttered Rum


Make batter ahead of time and keep in freezer

  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Rum
  • Cinnamon sticks for garnish


Mix all ingredients, except the rum, together in a large bowl. Blend until smooth. Store the batter in an airtight container in the freezer. To prepare each drink, put one heaping Tablespoon of frozen batter and 1 and 1/2 ounces of rum into each mug. Fill the mug with boiling water. Stir well. Garnish if desired.

Sparkling Christmas


  • 4 cups apple juice or pear nectar
  • Cheesecloth squares to make cheesecloth bag
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 whole cardamom pods, broken
  • 1 bottle champagne or 2 12-ounce bottles lemon-lime carbonated water, chilled
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced or 1 pear, cored and sliced
  • Cranberries, optional


Pour apple juice or pear nectar into a medium saucepan. Place cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and cardamom pods a double thickness cheesecloth bag. Add bag to juice. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for five or ten minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Remove spice bag. Pour into pitcher or punch bowl. If using the vanilla extract, stir in now. Add champagne or flavored, carbonated water. Add fruit slices and cranberries.

Mulled Cranberry Cider


  • 1 small orange
  • 8 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 8-inch cheesecloth square


Using a vegetable peeler remove skin from orange. Save the peelings. Squeeze juice from the orange and discard seeds and pulp. In a large saucepan combine orange juice, cranberry-raspberry juice and brown sugar. In the cheesecloth square combine orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves. Pull up corners and tie together. Place into saucepan and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. If you wish, you can add a red blend wine at this point.  Remove and discard spice bag. Serve warm in mugs. Using a crock pot to keep warm works well.

Holiday Party Punch


  • 1 quart orange juice, chilled
  • 1 quart cranberry juice, chilled
  • 2 bottles ginger ale (33.8 ounces), chilled
  • 1 bottle champagne (32 ounces), chilled – may substitute sparkling white grape juice or another chilled sparkling water
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries or sliced citrus fruits


Combine orange juice and cranberry juice in a punch bowl. Gently stir in ginger ale and champagne. Garnish with cranberries
or other fruits.

Cranberry Slush


  • 1 quart cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 small cans frozen lemonade
  • 10 ounces vodka
  • 7-Up


Mix juice, lemonade and vodka together and freeze. It will not freeze solid but will become slushy. To serve, fill a glass 1/2 full of slush and add 7-Up to fill the glass.

Filed Under: Family, Featured, Health & Wellness

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