Cozy Beverages for Cold Days
It is officially getting chillier out there.Time for warm drinks, warm soups, and warm blankets. If you haven’t already, it's time to trust your crock pot, instant pot, electric kettle, or your stove and get some cozy beverages mulling. This week, we’re bundling up and warming our cold bones with a few tasty recipes.
It is worth mentioning that these recipes are what we like to call “no recipe recipes.” You can’t really mess them up, and as long as you follow your personal tastes, it’ll be delicious. Also, with most of these, they get better the longer they’re allowed to simmer, so that’s good news too, right?
First up: Mulled Wine. This recipe specifically was borrowed from Bon Apetit, but as previously mentioned, it’s pretty foolproof. Here ya go:
20 whole cloves
2 tangerines, clementines, or small oranges
2 750-ml bottles Merlot
3 cups fresh apple cider
8 Lady apples (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks plus 8 for garnish (garnish optional)
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
2 cups tawny Port
Step 1-Press stem (pointed) end of 10 cloves into each tangerine, piercing through the skin. Place tangerines, wine, cider, Lady apples (if using), 2 cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods in a large pot. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat; cook gently for 20 minutes.
Do Ahead: Mulled wine can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm gently over medium-low heat before continuing.
Step 2-Stir in Port. Divide among glasses; garnish each with a cinnamon stick and a Lady apple, if desired.
If this is for whatever reason not for you, a quick and easy substitute would be wine (anything dark and jammy), a packet of mulling spices, some apple cider, orange slices, and some honey. Keep in mind though, that while you want the concoction to simmer, you don’t want it to boil! If it does, you’ll just be cooking out all that delicious alcohol. Who wants that? (No one, that’s the answer.)
Next up: Spiced Cider. If you happened to stop by our Anniversary Party last weekend, you got to enjoy some of this. If you missed out, fret not. Here’s the recipe. It's a lovely option to offer to a group that is non alcoholic. If ya want the next level of this already tasty beverage, all you have to do is add whiskey to taste. Wink. We adapted this recipe from one we found on the Food Network’s website. But, again, you can’t really mess this one up. Follow your taste buds and add more or less of whatever is clever. We found that the whole bev tastes better if you start out with a higher quality cider, for what it’s worth.
16 cups (1 gallon) apple cider
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons whole cloves
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Step 1-In a large pot over medium heat, add the apple cider. Stir in the brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg until the sugar is dissolved and bring to a low boil.
Step 2-Stick the pointy ends of the cloves into the orange so that just the buds of the cloves are visible. The entire orange should be covered with the cloves.
Step 3-Add the orange to the cider and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Serve in warm mugs with a cinnamon stick garnish.
That’s what we’ve got for ya this week. Maybe next week we cover the beauty and simplicity that is the toddy? Maybe you’re already putting irish cream in your coffee? Maybe you favor a hot buttered rum? Now that it’s delightfully rainy and cold, tell us what you’re sippin’ in the comments. ‘Til next week, friends and kindred spirits. Pun intended.