We Didn't Have Eggnog for Christmas, But...

...We did have Lulu 露露, an almond milk drink that is all the rage here in Beijing. (You may have seen it in this Thanksgiving video.) And unlike eggnog, it's not so heavy that it sits in your stomach all night long with the turkey, pie, and chocolate pudding you stuffed into yourself.

Of course, living in Beijing and being thousands of miles away from either of our families, we didn't have turkey, rich desserts, and all that good stuff. We decided to go out for dinner instead. Let's just say Lulu goes quite well with Din Tai Fung's soup dumplings, although beer also does.

This almond drink featuring an actress and her signature on the can has inspired a host of other imitation almond drinks, or walnut and peanut drinks, also with actresses and their signatures on the can. But only Lulu is popular enough to make it onto the drink list of what seems like every restaurant in town. Including the upscale ones.

Although Lulu tastes good cold, the best way to drink it is warmed up. Restaurants will offer to warm up the can if you order one. At home, you can use an electric tea pot and heat it up as you would water. Of course, be careful not to wander off and accidentally let the almond milk boil over, resulting in a big mess, like I did tonight. Oops.

Accidents aside, I like having Lulu right before bed. It's warm and comforting, like steamed milk or good hot chocolate, but nuttier and much easier to find here.

Happy sipping and happy holidays!