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Spirits of the Season

dweber posted this December 11th, 2012

For knitters, picklers, jam makers, wood workers and other crafty types the holidays are no biggie.  People who make cool stuff year ’round and without the threat of a looming gift exchange, we tip our hats to you.  For the rest of us, let’s fly our DIY flags high!  And may we all sip a few festive drinks while we wrap, bake, and merry make.

Boston Bog (as featured on our awesome Toad Traveler canteen)
1/2 measure cranberry juice
1/2 measure apricot liqueur
1/2 measure ginger syrup
1/2 measure fresh lemon juice
orange peel garnish
Instructions:  Add rum, apricot liqueur, ginger syrup, lemon juice, cranberry juice and ice to the canteen and shake well.  Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with the orange peel.

Homemade Irish Cream
1 cup half and half
4 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 cup Irish Whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
2 Tablespoons Chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix ’til smooth.  Store in fridge in a pretty bottle for as long as it lasts.  Mix with coffee for an assault of unapologetic deliciousness.

Jamie Oliver’s Mulled Wine Recipe
2 clementines
peel of 1 lemon
peel of 1 lime
1 cup caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole vanilla pod, halved
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
Jamie’s Instructions:  This is dead easy to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favorite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavors have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.

Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavor base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

Hot Apple Pie
2 oz Tuaca
hot apple cider
whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish
Instructions:  Pour the Tuaca and hot apple cider in an Irish coffee glass, top with whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Eggnog Food, Network-style
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*
Instructions, courtesy of the Food Network:
-In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
-Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
-Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.
* Raw Egg Warning – Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.

Have a killer holiday drink recipe?  Please share!


One Response to “Spirits of the Season”


    by Elizabeth Brito | December 13, 2012 at 9:25 am