It is a holiday celebration or a gathering after a day of skiing, there is nothing quite as lovely as sitting by a fire and sipping something delicious.
By Lucy Herrman
If the restaurants and cantinas are all closed or you’re snowed in or too tired to leave the casa, here’s an opportunity to be your own bartender. And while the usual suspects, like spiked eggnog and mulled wine, are always nice, it’s fun to serve up a tasty new treat.
You don’t have to be a mixologist to combine some seasonal flavors. Cocktails practically call out for your personal tweaks. But if you want a couple of creative shortcuts, try one of these inspired libations. Whether you are interested in something hot or something cold, we’ve got you covered.
How about some adults-only New Mexico Hot Chocolate. Tequila, cinnamon and a pinch of red chile give it a satisfying kick and extra heat. Caramel Daiquiri, anyone? Through the magic of caramel vodka, this summer classic is reborn as a winter wonderland. Coffee aficionado? Coffee Coffee elevates a simple cup of joe to a snazzy double shot of creamy hot java. Entertaining with a holiday happy hour? Offer up a Maple Jack, a cocktail that is the the essence of candied apples. Or mix up a batch of velvety Candy Canes featuring refreshing Crème de Menthe — definitely not for kids.
Serve your beverages with a platter of hors d’oeuvres or a plate of warm cookies. And don’t forget the roaring fire.
Winter cocktails can elevate even an ordinary evening to a festive celebration. Cheers!
New Mexico Hot Chocolate
1-1/2 ounces golden tequila
1/2 ounce agave syrup
1/4 ounce almond liqueur
Pinch red chile
6 ounces hot chocolate
Chocolate swizzle stick
Combine the tequila, agave, almond liqueur, cinnamon and chile in a mug. Add the hot chocolate and stir. Garnish with a chocolate swizzle stick poked through the marshmallow.
1-1/2 ounces dark rum
1/2 ounce caramel vodka
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 dash vanilla
Blend with ice and serve frozen. Or simply serve over ice and stir.
2 ounces coffee flavored liqueur
4 ounces hot black coffee or espresso
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces cream
Combine coffee liqueur, black coffee, simple syrup and cream in a coffee mug. Garnish with whipped cream.
2 ounces apple brandy
1/4 ounce maple syrup
1 dash bitters
Mix together and serve neat or over ice. Garnish with apple slices.
1-1/2 ounces Crème de Menthe
1/2 ounce vodka
2 ounces cream
Pour cream over ice in a glass. Add the Crème de Menthe and vodka. Garnish with a candy cane.