Christmas is the king of Western holidays. Not only does Christmas get all the attention, and mark the culmination of another year, but it also has the widest variety of specialty cocktails. Today, I’m going to investigate another Christmas champagne cocktail, the Mistletoe. The slightly reddish hue automatically makes you think, “Ah, this drink fits in with the red and green of Christmas”. But our Mistletoe recipe also has a flavor palate that fits in with the holiday season.
- 1 oz white or silver tequila
- ½ oz triple sec
- 1 oz pomegranate juice
- 3 oz champagne
Add white tequila, triple sec, and pomegranate juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute or wine glass. Top with champagne and serve.
The Mistletoe is a traditional holiday champagne cocktail. Made with pomegranate juice, triple sec, and white tequila, the Mistletoe has a slight resemblance to a cranberry orange muffin. Be careful not to use a tequila with too much oak flavor, as it will overpower the other flavors. The champagne adds some elegance to this drink. The Mistletoe works equally well as a New Year’s Eve cocktail.
The History of Mistletoe and Christmas
Mistletoe first became associated with the holiday season by the Druids around 100 AD or so. The Druids believed that mistletoe was a cure-all from everything from infertility to tummyaches. In late Decemeber, the Druid priests would gather the mistletoe, hanging it inside of homes to ward off evil spirits. So that’s how mistletoe first became associated with the winter season. It is important to note that this Northern European species of mistletoe was actually a bush, not the parasitic mistletoe that grows in oak trees everywhere else.
Around 800 AD, the Norse began telling a mistletoe story of their own. Frigga was the goddess of love, and also the mother of Balder, who was god of the summer sun. One day, Balder had a dream that he died, and became worried, because his death would mean the end of life on Earth. Frigga went to the four elements, and obtained a promise no harm would come to her son. Although she made sure that no plant from earth or under the earth could harm Balder, she overlooked the tree-growing Mistletoe. Loki the trickster fashioned a poison arrow from the mistletoe and gave the arrow to the blind winter god, Hoder, who fired the arrow straight into Balder’s chest. Balder died for three days until Frigga could reverse the effects of the poison. Overjoyed that her son was alive once more, Frigga kissed everyone who passed under the oak tree where the mistletoe grew. Later, in Scandinavia around 1820, the tradition morphed into boys kissing girls under the mistletoe. The boys would kiss the girl of their choice, and grab one of the white berries until they were all gone, at which point the kissing privileges also ceased.