Baby, it’s cold outside…(record needle scratch). Okay, maybe we’re not ready for the holidays, but we sure are ready for a warm drink as the leaves fall and winter draws near.
Every sophisticated mixologist will tell you that certain liquors are just better at certain times of the year. Just like eating farm fresh food when produce is at its best, you want to serve liquor that fits the seasonal spirit. Is there anything better than escaping a cold night by cozying up with company and a great drink? We don’t think so either. Here are our favorites for snuggling up:
If you have not had the dilemma of wondering what you should drink when you’re fighting a cold, then you probably haven’t had a Hot Toddy. Warm and nourishing whether you’re sick or healthy, this hot cocktail is a satisfying staple. Known as a Hot Whiskey in Ireland, this drink mixes whiskey, hot water, and is sweetened naturally with your preferred brand of honey. A half-ounce of lemon juice, cinnamon stick and star anise are the final touch to round out the profile. Pro tip: heat up a warm mug before you serve it. Be sure not to serve this one in a glass- it might break!
1.5 ounce brown liquor such as brandy, whiskey or rum
1 tablespoon honey
.5 ounce lemon juice
1 cup hot water
Lemon wedge, cinnamon stick and star anise, for garnish (optional)
Combine the first four ingredients into the bottom of a warmed mug.
If desired, garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick or star anise.
Aged Rum Daiquiri
It’s a misconception that rum, a liquor that often recalls beaches and summer vacations, should be moved to the back of the liquor cabinet for winter months. During the wintry season, almost all brown liquors are servable; including the treasured aged dark rum, like Zaya’s Gran Reserva offering. An aged rum brings a full depth and sweetness of a mature lover, like Javier Bardem in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. A splash of lime makes a romance of flavors you won’t forget.
2 oz aged rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
Shake with ice. Serve in a Coupe glass.
What do you get when you combine Christmas, coconuts, and rum? An incredible Puerto Rican holiday drink. The Coquito is a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico: an eggnogy rum punch with a conflicted colonial past, much like the Gin and Tonic. The original recipe was or Spanish origin. As Spanish colonialists experimented with the local rum, the addition of a splash of coconut milk and spritz of fresh lime made it a tropical treat. Don’t be afraid of egg whites to thicken the drink for a fuller dessert feel. Last but not least, cinnamon sticks for spice make everything nice.
2.25 cups water
Thick strips of zest from 2 limes
25 cinnamon sticks
2.3 cups sugar (1 pound)
One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
16 ounces light rum
.25 cup pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the lime zest and 1 cinnamon stick and simmer over moderate heat for 15 minutes.
Strain into a large heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
Whisk in the sugar, coconut milk, evaporated milk, light rum, vanilla and egg yolks, if using; whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Refrigerate the drink until chilled, about 2 hours.
Stir well and ladle into small chilled martini or cordial glasses; garnish with the remaining cinnamon sticks.
Sprinkle with nutmeg for a little more depth.
This wintertime favorite is the bee’s knees-literally. Bee pollen is one of the hottest new garnishes on the scene. Famously healthy, the bee pollen enhances the notes of honey in this delectable drink and is said to be great for curing allergies naturally. Much like the Hot Toddy, this cocktail is the cooler version served also with honey and lemon, but instead of any old whiskey the Gold Rush calls for a fine bourbon.
.75 oz Lemon juice
.75 oz Honey syrup
2 oz Bourbon
Bee Pollen for garnish
Add lemon juice, honey and bourbon to shaker tin
Add ice and shake well
Strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a large square cube
Garnish w/ bee pollen
We love a good mule party. If you haven’t purchased a set of Moscow Mule mugs for serving their namesake cocktail, now is the time. The mugs truly are a part of the tradition of serving them, and the history of the drink itself. The Winter Mule has your mule favorites: ginger beer, a fine vodka. What makes it wintry is the addition of the winter super food: apricot. Dried or fresh, we love the tangy sweetness incorporated with a splash of apricot liqueur, garnished with dried apricots and a sprig of rosemary.
No matter the occasion, with holiday spirit or bah-humbug, enjoy the simple pleasures this year when winter comes. Cheers!
2 sprigs rosemary
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Giffards apricot liqueur
2 oz Vodka
Dried apricots for garnish
Muddle rosemary and lime juice in shaker tin
Add apricot liqueur and vodka
Add ice and shake well
Strain over ice into Moscow mule mug
Top w/ ginger beer
Garnish with rosemary, lime wedge, dried or fresh apricot
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