Hosting a Christmas Tea and Secret Santa

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Dearies, it’s almost my favorite time of year! Wreaths, holly, and lots of cheerful music! Gift wrapping, cookie baking, and of course lots of tea pairing! The holidays are upon us and Kat is ready to celebrate. This year one of the events she’s planning is a Christmas tea with a secret Santa gift swap.

Dearies, have you done secret Santa gifts before? Kat and her friends like to get together and draw names from a hat. Then you have to give a gift to the person written on the paper. The idea is that no one knows who their ‘Secret Santa’ is! It’s lots of fun. This year Kat is pairing the Secret Santa giving event with a Christmas afternoon tea for some festive merriment. For the Secret Santa her new rule this year is that part of the gift must be tea-related! It can be tea, teaware, a book about tea, anything at all! I of course am in favor of this new rule.

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For the festive tea, Kat’s going to decorate with lots of pinecones, red ribbon, and many silver and gold accents. Do you have any favorite Christmas decor to suggest?

Kat’s going to start off her tea with scones and two different finger sandwiches. She decided on ham and butter for a French twist, and turkey with a thin layer of cranberry chutney. So perfect for the holidays! She’s going to serve a rich, bold single estate Assam tea with these. For the sweets, Kat is going to serve mini caramel apple tarts, and handmade chocolates. Kat has decided on a tea that’s a little unconventional to serve for her Christmas tea. Something warming, spicy, and cheerful. Masala Chai!

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Since she’ll be busy with baking and cooking, Kat’s chosen an instant chai that’s easy to prepare and always delicious. Chai Moments Masala Chai Tea gives you all the warming flavors of the season. Simply mix it with hot water! This way Kat can focus on enjoying time with friends. I’ve had my share of authentic masala chai, and I must say Dearies that this one is quite good. It has the right blend of creamy, spicy, earthy, and sweet. This tea can be found in local Indian grocery stores and also on Amazon.

It may seem difficult to pair desserts with the complex chai flavors, but rest assured it’s quite easy! Sweet treats with fruit, chocolate, even citrus pair wonderfully with masala chai. If you’re still feeling unsure, the best thing to do is of course try it for yourself! Mix up a batch of masala chai, and sip it with your favorite desserts. I think you’ll be surprised by the delicious results! Now that’s my kind of research.

Dearies, I hope you are having fun planning for the holiday season! Are you going to have a tea gathering? Please let me know I’d just love to hear the details

Festive Holiday Tea Cocktails

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Dearies, it’s time to start decking the halls, and lighting up trees and menorahs! My favorite thing about this time of year is the parties. I love to watch Kat throw festive gatherings with lots of colorful, sparkly decorations. Everyone dresses up, and the house feels warm and inviting. My cup feels all tingly just thinking about it.

For this year’s holiday party, I’ve been collaborating with Kat on a few fun, colorful cocktails. Pomegranate juice is delicious and has that beautiful festive red holiday hue. For a twist on a sweet tea and pomegranate, Kat loves this recipe.

Continuing on the pomegranate theme, add a bit of bubbly to your festive holiday gathering. Kat and I have created the perfect champagne tea cocktail. We decided to make the drink with HEB pomegranate green tea. Kat didn’t think she could find a pomegranate tea in the grocery store but she was happily surprised when she found it sitting on the shelf. When she saw it, she knew she had to have it- she loves the flavor and color of pomegranates. This tea is delicately grassy with juicy, tart pomegranate, and hibiscus flavor. There is a touch of citrus as well. The beautiful bright color is perfect for this cocktail.

  • 8 ounces water (boiling)
  • one bag of HEB Pomegranate Green Tea
  • 8 ounces of Champagne or sparkling wine
  • fresh pomegranate seeds (about 1/4 cup)

Steep the teabag in boiling water for 5 minutes, and discard bag. You can do this in a mug to make things easy. Once the tea is completely cooled, add to a festive glass and top with champagne. We like to use old fashioned coupe glasses but any lovely glass will do. Garnish with lots of fresh pomegranate seeds. Be careful getting those seeds out! It can be a very messy task. Kat likes to cut the pomegranate in half, and then turn one end over a bowl and give it a few good whacks with a wooden spoon. The seeds come raining down into the bowl. You can easily make this cocktail non-alcoholic by adding sparkling cider instead of the Champagne. The kids will love feeling all grown up with their fancy mocktail!

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For something with a bit of holiday warmth, we love this whiskey tea hot toddy recipe. This sweet, spicy, and warm drink will melt the chill and get you ready for an evening of revelry.  Kat’s friends have been a little obsessed with hot toddies lately. They’ve been making them on the weekends before dinner, and after chilly hikes outside. Kat said she’s even seen a few pop up at her favorite restaurant bar menus.

The appearance of your drinks is almost as important as the taste (As a beautiful teacup, I should know!). Get creative with your glasses and stirrers. One of my favorite additions is to sprinkle some edible gold stars in and around your cocktails! They can be found in baking stores and many places online. Little touches such as these make everything feel more special.

So tell me dearies, are you going have a holiday gathering? What cocktails are you planning on serving? I hope you add tea to your holiday gatherings for a little extra cheer.