By Maureen Lee Lenker
It’s that time of year – when Christmas classics air on television seemingly non-stop, and you want nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a cozy, warm winter beverage. Here at Night Owl TV, we think movies and cocktails go together like holly and ivy, Christmas trees and presents, and fireplaces and stockings. If you’re hunkering down for a long winter evening, make it the perfect night with a Christmas classic and a cocktail themed to accompany it.
1. White Christmas (1954) and a White Chocolate Snowflake Martini
Nothing says I’m dreaming of white Christmas like a snowy white cocktail. One of the most famous songs in the film is “Snow,” (snow, snow, snow, snow, Snoooooow), and you’ll be able to enjoy all the delights of a wintry white landscape in the palm of your hand with this holiday twist on a Chocolate Martini. It’s the perfect way to toast the holidays and good old General Waverly (Dean Jagger).
2. Miracle on 34th St. (1947) and Bailey’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate
With its tale of a cynical single mother and her daughter taught to believe in the magic of Christmas by a man who just happens to be the real St. Nick, Miracle on 34th St. is perhaps the sweetest and warmest of all classic Christmas films. Pair it with the sweetest and warmest of holiday drinks – peppermint hot cocoa – and throw in a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream in honor of the film’s star, Irish actress Maureen O’Hara.
3. Holiday Inn (1942) and Hot Buttered Rum
Imagine yourself nestled away in a snowy New England inn, enjoying the talents of a great crooner and dancer, while you celebrate the holidays. The only thing needed to complete the picture is a warm winter cocktail, and hot buttered rum is just the ticket. Bing Crosby often drank them (and its stronger variation, a hot toddy (we can hear him now, a “toddy for the body”) onscreen. It's one of the oldest holiday cocktails around and thus, the perfect choice for the oldest film on this list, which also marked the first time Crosby ever performed “White Christmas” onscreen.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and Spiced Eggnog Cocktail
Many consider It’s a Wonderful Life the ultimate Christmas classic, and its yearly Christmas Eve broadcast makes it a time-honored tradition. What better drink pairing then another holiday classic? Eggnog. This spiced eggnog cocktail puts a little twist on things with its mix of rum, Kahlua, and bourbon. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings,” and every time you take a sip, you feel more of the magic of Christmas wash over you.
5. A Christmas Carol and English Christmas Punch
Whether you choose to watch the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, the 1970 Scrooge with Albert Finney, or a more modern take like A Muppet Christmas Carol, there’s no denying that A Christmas Carol is a quintessential holiday tale. Why, Dickens practically invented many beloved Christmas traditions with his tale of Victorian England. Dickens was a great devotee to his Christmas punch recipe, making it religiously for his guests each year. The English classic features a mix of cognac, rum, citrus fruit, and more. If this is too involved, you can always substitute with an equally as festive mulled wine.
While you’re indulging in your favorite holiday film, have a little tipple to make the evening extra full of comfort and joy.