Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas Eve Toast.....

The Christmas Eve Toast........

I have gotten several comments and e-mails inquiring about our Christmas Eve toast so I thought I would answer them here.
In our family, Christmas was always celebrated on the Eve, and we always had a special toast during our celebration. Before my beloved paternal grandmother died in 1959, the traditional drink for the toast was always Mogan David wine. Why that particular drink was chosen, I have no idea, but that's what we had every year for as long as I can remember. My brother, sister, and I were always allowed to have a sip of wine and partisipate in the toast.
After my grandmother died my mother switched the traditional drink to a signature drink of her own. Leave it to my mother to serve a signature drink years before signature drinks were ever heard of. She put glasses in our freezer to get them really cold and frosty. Then she dipped the rim of the glass in a very light coating of powdered sugar. To that she added several maraschino cherries, cherry juice, ice, gin, and squirt. These drinks always looked very pretty on a serving tray at Christmas time.
When I married my hubby I wanted to switch back to the Mogan David wine of my childhood but no one seemed to like it so I decided to switch to champagne. Through the years we have tried many different brands of champagne, but again, they never really appealed to anyone. Then we started using what my brother refers to as 'poor man's champagne.' Pictured below is a champagne that we have used in the past, but since my brothers introduction of this wine, our family now agrees that our favorite champagne is Korbel's. It isn't that expensive and it really is quite good. Just ask the President of the United States :>) Did you know that Korbel champagne was served at the last five Presidential Inaugurations? Apparently Korbel champagne is made very similar to the way the fine French wines are made.
I use champagne flutes because the flutes are supposed to capture the bubbles in the champagne which enhances the flavor.
I started using sugar years ago because it is supposed to sweeten the wine. I use one sugar cube and one maraschino cherry per glass. I like how pretty everything looks when the candlelight bounces off of it.
According to the Internet, there are other reasons why sugar is added to champagne. Some people believe the sugar is supposed to add sweetness to ones life. I also read where some people add sugar to the champagne because of an old Italian wives tale where you are "never supposed to let the devil know your happy." The sugar apparently is a way of sharing happy wishes and not letting the devil know your doing it? I do remember them using a sugar cube in the movie 'Moonstruck' but I have no idea why.
I used cherries in my champagne cocktail because that's what my mother used in her Christmas Eve drink but you can use just about any type of fruit you want, from strawberries, to lemons, cranberries, or even blueberries. Some people add a drop of Angostura bitters to the sugar cube before placing it into the flute. I haven't tried that before but it does sound interesting. I also read where some people stain the sugar cubes a different color with fruit juice or food coloring dye.

What ever you decide to use for your Christmas Eve toast, whether it be non-alcoholic, alcoholic, added fruit, or sugar, I hope your toast is as special in your family as it is in ours.
My toast to all of you is that your Christmas and New Year is over flowing with love, hope, joy and peace ♥
Thank you so much for visiting here. Thank you for all of the lovely comments and e-mails you send and leave on my blog.
Many, many heartfelt blessing to you and your family this beautiful Advent season and New year.
With warmest regards, Carol


SmilingSally said...

Family traditions are special, Carol. Thanks for sharing yours.

sunshine said...

I loved this post Carol!
We celebrate on Christmas Eve too.
It was fun hearing about your quest to find the perfect drink!


Sue said...

We always have a Champagne toast on Christmas Eve and open one gift each. We save the rest for Christmas morning.

Rose said...

Nice tradition. When my girls were still living at home I continued one my parents had done. Open one gift on Christmas Eve. Now because I live alone, and they have families of their own, I may just have to have Maggie open her gift on Christmas eve! I like the semi-sweet wines and champagnes, but haven't had any in a long time. Maybe I should get a bottle and just have a toast by myself. Maggie can have water... :-)

Eileen said...

And those cherries are my favorite! I am officially changing from strawberries to cherries!
We use Korbel all the time, I really like it a lot.

We used to go to my husband's grandparents on New Year's Day, and his grandfather would always pour out flutes filled with champagne, and he'd serve it on a big, beautiful tray, and he had a bowl of sugar cubes and everyone would take a cube and pop it in their flute, he said it was a Swedish tradition so this way we were 'sweetening' our New Year!
His grandparents are long since gone, but we still carry on the tradition (only we need quite a few bottles of champagne, as we toast on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day!).
His grandfather used to make chocolate covered strawberries for us to eat with our champagne too. I just threw the strawberries into the champagne, and now it will be cherries!
Love to you,

Mary said...

I so love family traditions...they are important for our families, especially the children, to have those wonderful memories. We celebrate Christmas eve with a brunch of absolutely everything you can imagine, then for dinner, we have potatoe cheese soup and salad...very light and quick, so we can spend the rest of the evening in a calm anticipation of the celebration of our Lord's birth. We also open one gift that night. So nice to have those traditions.

God bless...Merry Christmas!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

I enjoyed reading this, Carol! :-)



Madeline's Album said...

Thanks for sharing your family tradition with us. It was a wonderful post. We celebrate on Christmas day, and we will have 18 for lunch. Then we will open gifts and enjoy each others company. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Carol, that is a wonderful tradition...I am going to try the champagne with the cherries and a little sugar! The countdown is on, and I will wait to wish you a Happy Holiday.....I suspect you will be back to share more. But in the meantime, blessings to you all! Anita

Shelley said...

What a nice family tradition!! loved hearing the history of your toast!

soggibottom said...

I love doesn't like me..but Champagne is good!
x x x

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