I know the holiday season is traditionally the time to gorge on wine and eggnog in order to tolerate your family. However, there ARE those of us who don’t drink or actually enjoy seeing our closest kin gathered in one place (and not just for the sheer entertainment value of watching the dysfunction take over). Weird, right? Just bear with me here.
A couple years back, someone in my family started the tradition of making fun non-alcoholic drinks so there would be options for everyone. Now that I’m pregnant and not drinking, I truly enjoy the gesture. This almond drink (which we call an “almond steamer”) has quickly become a family favorite.
Hot Vanilla Almond Drink
8 cups milk (I prefer 2%, but you can also use 1% or whole)
1/2 cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1. Cook the milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.
2. Add cinnamon sticks and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, taking care that it doesn’t boil.
3. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes.
4. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts and cook again for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat.
5. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve.
This is a great Thanksgiving or Christmas accompaniment. I sprinkle it with ground cinnamon before serving, and some relatives like to add whipped cream or marshmallows to their almond drink.