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Getting into the Christmas spirits

Six places in Phnom Penh serving up traditional festive season beverages

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Mulled Wine
Mulled wine – which is cooked up with spices like cinnamon and cloves and oranges and lemons – is the perfect drink for a wintry European Christmas when a warming, spicy draught is exactly what you want. It’s not quite the same here in Cambodia for obvious reasons. However, if you’re desperate to get your mulled wine fix, Gasolina are doing up a batch to serve with their Christmas lunch buffet on December 25. It includes turkey, pork, baked potatoes and more for only $12.50 ($6 for children).
Gasolina, #56 and 57, Street 57. Tel: 012 557 0383.

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A favourite Christmas drink for North Americans, eggnog is sweet and creamy with – depending on who’s making it – a mule of an alcoholic kick. While its origins are unclear, it was brought to the US in the 18th century, where it became popular first incorporating rum and then later whiskey. Friends the Restaurant are serving a version of the drink this holiday season for $5 a glass that includes both dark rum and whiskey (along with egg, ice cream, nutmeg and sugar syrup) to get you feeling really festive.  
Friends the Restaurant, #125 Street 13. Tel: 012 802 072.

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Brandy Alexander
While a TexMex restaurant may not seem like the place to spend Christmas dinner, Alley Cat is offering a couple of holiday cheers. It will be serving Brandy Alexander ($2.50) this week – a mix of brandy, creme de cacao and milk, and Christmas day itself will feature eggnog along with a three-course turkey dinner ($19.50). While it doesn’t plan to offer it separately, the management is considering offering the eggnog in the days leading up to Christmas.
Alley Cat Cafe, down the alley south of Streets 19 and 178. Tel: 012 306 845.

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Port wine is considered a very traditional Christmas drink in the UK, but it actually comes from Portugal – the steep hillsides in the rolling valleys of the Douro River to be exact. The name comes from Oporto, which is located at the mouth of the river. In Phnom Penh, you can get port from Red Apron for between $28 to $68 a bottle or $6 to $8 for a glass. Quinta do Noval’s Black Port – which contains intense grape flavours of juicy red fruits and sweet spice – pairs well with dark chocolate Christmas treats.
Red Apron, #15 Street 240. Tel: 023 990 951.

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Sparkling wine
Like karaoke, getting into Christmas carolling can sometimes take a little liquid courage. This year at The Willow Boutique Hotel’s “bubbles and carols” evening, it shouldn’t require more than a couple of glasses of sparkling wine before you’re bellowing out boozy renditions of Deck The Halls or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The bubbles are only $3.50, and Amanda Bloom and Phillipe Javel will be leading the Christmas songs from 6:30pm until about 8:30pm on December 23.
The Willow Boutique Hotel, #1 Street 21. Tel: 023 996 256.

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Christmas coffee
For those who get too into the festive spirit on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning can be a groggy affair. Fortunately, Brown Coffee has you covered with a selection of caffeinated holiday beverages to get you in the mood for present unwrapping, caroling and so forth. The sweet peppermint mocha frappe and strawberry peppermint frappe provide a frosty dose of energy, while the mocha peppermint provides some more traditional warmth. There’s also non-caffeinated peppermint hot chocolate. All are $3.95 tall, $4.25 large.
Brown, various locations.



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