Alright, I admit that I didn’t get around to last week’s cocktail!! We’ve had a busy couple of weeks here and I knew y’all would forgive me this one time! We’ve had a lot of family in town for Bur’s Baptism! It was a great weekend filled with a lot of fun and tradition…two of my favorite things! So to make up for last week, I’m going to give y’all two cocktails this week.
The weather here has turned a little chilly and these are two of my favorite fall drinks. I spend a lot of time outside, so I need a drink that is going to warm me up, but is also tasty. That’s where these bad boys come in. The first one is a drink that I make as soon as the weather gets below 60 degrees.
It’s a holiday time favorite for my family and has had a few revisions made over the years. The second one is a drink that I enjoy tailgating and hanging out by bonfires. They are both perfect drinks that will take you through fall and into winter with no problems!
I call this first one a Hot Chocolate Toddy. Even though the only similar ingredient that this drink shares with a true Toddy is the Bourbon, I like the way Hot Chocolate Toddy sounds! This is another one of those great drinks that you can customize in so many ways to make it your own and to cater to your audience. It’s great at a party or tailgating, because, like a few of our past drinks, you can set up the mix-ins in a bar and everyone can put in what they like. You can also have out different varieties of hot chocolate for those with a more discerning pallet…. Serve these in your favorite mugs and you’ll stay warm all through the fall!
Hot Chocolate Toddy – Makes 1 drink
Hot Chocolate (everyone likes their own, use yours)
2 shots quality Bourbon (again, everyone likes their own, use yours)
Cinnamon stick or Peppermint candy stick to stir and add flavor
Optional mix-ins (if you have a favorite hot chocolate mixer, add it to the list!)
Peppermint candies (they melt in and are a delicious addition!)
Chili Powder (yes, some people like this kick!)
– Make hot chocolate in the way you prefer. If you like a creamier drink with milk, make it that way. If you are a healthier person, and hate things that taste good, make it with water.
– Add Bourbon.
– Stir with your preferred stir stick.
– Add mix-ins.
Alright, our next drink, that will get me caught up and back on track, is another traditional cold weather drink that will also make your house or tailgating scene smell AMAZING!! It’s mulled wine and once you get past the idea of warm wine, you’ll enjoy this cocktail for years to come!
This drink is actually very old, first being recorded by the Romans in the second century. It must be good to have lasted this long! Most countries have their own variations, using whatever their local, winter time fare is and you can replace the wine with more apple cider if you want a non-alcoholic variation. Kids are always wanting to be a part of the party and this is a great drink for them. Serve them out of kid friendly cups, and you will have happy guests of all ages! I would suggest cutting down on some of the mulling spices for your kid version, because they may not have developed tastes yet and you don’t want to discourage them from trying new things in the future!
Mulled Wine Makes 8 servings
4 cups apple cider
1 bottle (yes, you can use the big bottle!) red wine (add more apple cider instead of wine, here for a kid friendly version)
¼ cup of honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 juiced orange (you can use store bought if you like, it would be a little less than a cup. If you’re feeling domestic, you can zest the orange peel and add it to the mix, but you don’t have to. If you’re making a kid friendly version, you can probably skip the zest)
4 whole cloves (1 or 2 for kiddos)
3 star anise (you can find these in the spice isle. Use one for a kid version or omit them completely)
Orange slices for garnish
(I’ll give you a hint here….. you can buy mulling spices at certain stores and orchards and it will help with your prep time, if you choose!)
– Add everything but the orange slices for garnish to a large saucepan.
– Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes.
– Serve in fun mugs and garnish with an orange peel!
Hopefully I will be back on track for next week, but if not, you can bet you’ll get a double header the week after!