Recipe: Chilean Holiday Punch (Cola de Mono) — The Global Punch Bowl

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

When it comes to holiday drinking, eggnog is only the beginning. Many cultures and cuisines proudly claim a Christmas punch and this week we're bringing you The Global Punch Bowl with five festive punches, each with a story of their own.

There was still one week left for Christmas and the fridge was already full of bottles of this mysterious café con leche-like beverage with a funny name (cola de mono literally means "monkey tail") that my parents offered to any adult visitor (usually very old, very single, and very Catholic ladies) as a way of not getting the hiccups when eating the often dry and impossibly sweet, pan de pascua — an awesome but very dense Chilean fruit cake.

My dad would have devoted a whole Saturday morning to boiling milk with spices, managing to cover the entire kitchen with sugar, coffee, and pisco. I couldn't drink it, because "tiene trago, mijita" (it contains alcohol, my dear). My mom would say this to me after chugging her glass and before congratulating my dad on his innate talent for cola de mono-making.

But I would not settle for that.


A 2-Step Guide to Staying Warm and Cozy All Winter — It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas

Forget chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The best scent this time of year doesn't have a song, but it should.

If you're lucky enough to have a (working) wood-burning fireplace, you have to take advantage of it. How exactly you should do that involves two simple steps — follow them and you're sure to stay warm and cozy all season.


10 Gifts for Your Friend the Bartender — The Kitchn Holiday Gift Guide

We all have that friend — the one who basically invented a signature drink for your book group. She has special cocktail napkins with her monogram on them, and she knows which wine glasses are for red versus white. Know who we're talking about? Yeah, we thought so.

Encourage your friend the bartender to up her game even more with these great gifts for her bar.


10 Favorite Bottles of Liquor for Gifting — The Kitchn Holiday Gift Guide

Booze is always a good gift. "Nah, I have enough," said no drinker ever. Just make sure to buy her a bottle she doesn't already have. Any of these unique options should do the trick.

A note on sourcing: We sourced all of these products at large online liquor retailers, but it's very likely that they can be found for less money (and no shipping) at a liquor store near you. Also, shipping to some states may be tricky, so be sure to check!

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Bloody Marys — Mistakes to Avoid

There's nothing quite like a tangy, spicy Bloody Mary to kick you into shape at brunch, whether you're simply groggy-eyed or you sipped a few too many drinks the night before. A good one can work wonders but a bad once can be, well, just bad. Here's exactly what you need to know to achieve success the next time you find yourself shaking up a few in the late-morning hour.

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How To Make a Great Bloody Mary — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

The Bloody Mary is a ubiquitous brunch beverage, a supposed hangover cure-all and the perfect savory sip to accompany eggs and waffles alike. Made from a base of tangy tomato juice, seasoned with lemon juice and spices, and finished with a pour of vodka, Bloody Marys provide a savory respite from sweet brunch drinks and can be easily made by the glass or by the pitcher.

This version sticks to the classic expectations so it's got a rich, tomatoey base and a bit of heat and zip from hot sauce. But there's always room for improvement, right? So we're adding one unusual ingredient to this recipe to really make it what we're happy to call the best. And because a good Bloody Mary recipe is very much a template for further cocktail customization, we're including a few pointers for seasoning these Bloody Marys. Even if you're nursing a hangover, you can still make a pitcher of the easiest, tastiest brunch drink ever.

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