We all love the lights, and the gifts under the tree are a major plus. But it's the Christmas flavors we're most looking forward to each year when the holidays roll around. From the refreshing peppermint in candy canes to Grandma's signature gingerbread, the best Christmas flavors hold all the nostalgia and wonder of winters gone by.
Tart Cranberry Makes the Season Bright
Pass the cranberry sauce and all the other perfectly tart dishes made with the seasonal fruit. You could serve up your classic Christmas cranberries as a traditional sauce for your holiday dinner, but you might also create these cran-tastic treats.
- Cranberry turkey pinwheels pair perfectly with a cup of warm apple cider.
- Make a cranberry mule and other irresistible cranberry cocktails.
- Create cranberry mocktails everyone can enjoy.
- Serve cranberry brie on your holiday charcuterie or cheese board.
- Whip up a crowd-pleasing white chocolate and cranberry tart.
Cranberry pairs well with other holiday flavors like orange, white chocolate, pistachios, and apples.
Peppermint Is a Classic Christmas Flavor
We hang candy canes on our trees at Christmas, but the peppermint flavor is best used in beloved holiday treats. Most people have strong feelings about peppermint — you either love it or hate it. But if you're a fan of the refreshing herb, add it to your favorite Christmas dishes.
Eggnog Spices Up Your Holiday
The flavors of eggnog are no longer restrained to your little Christmas cups. Eggnog has become a whole holiday flavor on its own. You can enjoy this Christmas flavor in the traditional way, but it's also a popular flavor for Christmas desserts. You might enjoy eggnog cupcakes, cookies, macarons, layer cakes, and cheesecake.
Roasted Chestnuts Are Traditional
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" isn't just an odd holiday song lyric. Chestnuts are a traditional Christmas treat in many regions, and they can add depth and nutty goodness to some of your favorite holiday dishes.
Citrus Is a Refreshing Gift at Christmas
Many citrus fruits reach their peak season in the winter, and those bright flavors are a breath of fresh air among heavier holiday flavors. With all the citrus flavors available, we've made pairing them for your holiday dishes easy.
- Grapefruit: pairs with vanilla, thyme, mint, and ginger.
- Lemon: pairs with basil, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and other citrus fruits.
- Lime: Pairs with lemon, blackberry, and cherry.
- Orange: Pairs with cherry, chocolate, cranberry, fig, and vanilla.
White Chocolate Is a Winter Treat
We love any sort of chocolate during the holidays, but white chocolate tends to stand out during Christmas. It pairs so well with other Christmas flavors, like peppermint and cranberry, that it's stepped in front of the traditional milk chocolate to steal the yuletide spotlight.
- Coat Christmas crispy rice treats in white chocolate.
- Make a white chocolate holiday martini.
- Whip up a batch of white chocolate hot cocoa for your next Christmas movie night.
- Give white chocolate candy gifts to your loved ones.
- Swap traditional fudge for a white chocolate variation.
- Add white chocolate to gingerbread or ginger cookies.
Looking for a sweet Christmas caffeine fix? Ask your barista to swap the chocolate in your peppermint mocha for white chocolate, instead.
Rum Counts as a Christmas Flavor
Rum ball, anyone? We think rum deserves a spot on this list of Christmas flavors. It makes eggnog taste even better, and it can jazz up quite a few Christmas desserts, as well. Mix a Christmas drink with rum or make warm buttered rum for your cozy holiday evenings. You can even soak your favorite Christmas cake with a bit of rum for a boozy and festive flavor.
Ginger Isn't Just for Bread
Ginger is a warm and slightly spiced flavor we see during the holidays, but it's also a popular fall flavor. We get to enjoy all sorts of ginger goodies throughout the end of the year, and we are definitely not mad about it. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the inviting flavor of ginger for Christmas.
Pumpkin Has a Place at Christmas
Many of us love pumpkin spice lattes in the fall and save extra room for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but the flavor doesn't lose its appeal as Christmas closes in. Pumpkin shares the spotlight with other holiday flavors. and you might enjoy pairing the orange delight with the flavors that elevate it the most.
- Browned butter
- Cayenne pepper
- White chocolate
Clove Is a Holiday Must
Clove may not stand out as a Christmas flavor on its own, but it plays a part in many of the other flavor profiles we enjoy during the holidays. You might find it paired with similar spices like cinnamon or allspice. It also enhances herbs like basil and flavors like vanilla. The spice even pairs well with red wine.
Clove is also used to spice meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and crab.
Cinnamon Warms for Winter
Cinnamon warms our tummies and our souls during Christmas. It's found in countless holiday baked goods and brightens many of our coffee orders this time of year. It's delicious infused into teas or cocktails and gives our Christmas cookies that holiday flavor we wait for all year long.
Cinnamon can make just about anything better, especially during the holidays. But nothing quite beats the smell (and taste) of freshly baked cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
Let Christmas Cheer Flavor Your Holiday
From the warm spices to the sweet treats of the season, Christmas is full of all the best flavors. You wait all year to taste these goodies, so you should enjoy them to the fullest. Don't forget to add a little Christmas cheer to your plate!