One of my brothers-in-law is a big Hot Toddy fan. When we all used to live in the same city, Christmas morning was spent watching the kids open presents with a warm cup of booze in our hands. He was the first person to make a Hot Toddy for me, and it is not possible for me to make one for myself without thinking of him. But that is not the only cocktail appropriate for cooler weather.
Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers and Cocktail Party Snacks by María Del Sacasa arrives in time to provide a cup of warm cheer to get you and your friends through the cold, grey winter.
The book begins with information about ingredients, tools, and glassware. There are then six pages, with photos, giving step by step instructions for muddling, flavoring rims, opening champagne, making caramel, citrus garnishes, ice molds, and more.
Then we have 100 pages of drink recipes, classics and soon to be new favorites.
A traditional toddy.
Rosy Cheek, a white chocolate base with ground macadamia nuts and pink peppercorns.
Sweet Surrender, a champagne punch sure to impress.
There are recipes for Infused Liquors, homemade Sweet and Sour Mix, and the tastiest Tomato Juice for Bloody Marys.
The cherry on top of this book packed with good things to drink, are good things to eat while drinking.
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches are definitely main an appearance at my next party.
I have been given permission to share a recipe with you, Liquid Gold, the perfect way to make use of the beautiful pineapples that are piled high in the market throughout the winter months.
Though it calls to mind a tropical setting, the pineapple is in fact a winter fruit, it is also the iconic symbol of hospitality. Warm your home and your friends with this mulled pineapple drink that showcases both it's sweet and tart flavors.
12 or more cubes of fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper*
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Mulled Pineapple Juice
I tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 Cinamon sticks
4 cups pineapple juice
6 ounces dark rum
2 ounces brandy
1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise, seeds scrapped out
For the Pineapple Garnish: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange pineapple cubes in a single layer. Combine sugar, Aleppo pepper, ground cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle pineapple cubes with sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly. Rearrange pineapple in a single layer and broil until caramelized, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer tray to cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, skewer at least 3 pineapple cubes onto each of 4 short skewers or sturdy toothpicks.
For the Mulled Pineapple Juice: Place allspice, peppercorns, cloves, and cinamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple juice, rum, brandy, and vanilla bean and seeds, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. To serve, place one pineapple skewer in each of 4 heat-proof cups. Ladle juice into cups.
*Piquant and vibrant, Aleppo is a type of crushed red pepper native to Syria. It is available at specialty markets.