Whilst I'm thinking about drinks I still haven't got round to trying (Constantia) there is also buttered rum. I love the idea of this but my experience with a run tea and cinnamon cocktail (disappointing) has put me off a bit. Ruth Ball has a recipe for buttered rum in the excellent Rebellious Spirits but mentions that it can get a bit oily as it cools which doesn't sound so tempting.
however, there is a recipe for Hot Buttered Rum in the Waitrose Christmas drinks list that sound like it might be worth trying. It adds some whipped cream which would cover any floating butter, and just generally makes it look extra appealing.
It seems all you need to do is heat a teaspoon of unsalted butter, a teaspoon of maple syrup, 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground allspice and an optional 3 cloves, in a pan until smooth and combined. Then turn off the heat and stir in 50ml of golden rum, and poor into a mug or heatproof glass. Top up with warm apple juice and whipped cream, finish with a grate of nutmeg. Increase quantities as desired.
I think a drink like this demand Dickens in full on festive force. 'A Christmas Carol' certainly seems appropriate, as do all those collections of Christmas stories. It's only recently I've come round to Dickens (I'm more of a Wilkie Collins fan) after reading 'Great Expectations' a couple of years ago (more of a purl - a hot mix of beer and gin - kind of book) but in these busy days before Christmas snatched moments between writing cards, hunting for presents, baking, and generally organising, only really leave time for short books, or better yet, short stories. It shouldn't be all work and stress over the next few weeks, and this is a combination which sounds appealingly cosy and festive.