Stirring up winter drinks

FAVORITE DRINKS WITH A NEW FLAVOR…If you’ve checked a calendar recently, you know that winter is just around the corner. With that comes holiday and party season. Menus for events like these are always changing up. And while it’s fun to rethink food, there is value to soiree success in giving certain steadfast drinks an overhaul too. So get to stirring up winter drinks. It’s perfect timing since in recent years, the art of mixology is having its moment. There is no walking into a bar without being presented with the Mixologist Special Menu. Now there are scores of books filled with these stylized drink recipes. Here, a few recipes to elevate your drink game when stirring up winter drinks, whether made for serving at home or pre-mixed (the non-alcoholic part) to take and share at a party. Either way, they can be served in individual glasses or a festive punch bowl.

Sparkling White Christmas

This variation on the popular drink is made with sparkling wine and may have a sugar rim (see inset) for a festive presentation

1 ounce half and half
1 ounce (or so) sparkling white wine
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
1 ounce white crème de cacao
1 cup ice cubes

FOR GLASS RIMS
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of water, until smooth
White sprinkles or colored sanding sugar

1. Place the sugar/water mixture in a shallow dish or bowl.  Pour the sprinkles in another shallow bowl.

2. Dip rim of Champagne or martini glass in sugar/water mixture then twist in sprinkles.

3. While rims set, pour half and half, sparkling wine, schnapps, crème de cacao and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly and strain into a Champagne or martini glass.

Golden Eggnog

Since this drink is inspired by a golden milk latte, perhaps you can rationalize having an extra glass by saying it’s good for your body.

2 to 3 cups eggnog
1 ounce maple liqueur (can substitutewith frangelico or amaretto)
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground black pepper
Pinch ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup ice cubes

FOR GLASS RIMS
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon  water, until smooth
Cinnamon, sugar or other confection

1. Place the sugar/water mixture in a shallow dish or bowl.
2. In another shallow bowl pour the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
3. Dip rim of cocktail glass in sugar/water mixture then twist in cinnamon sugar.

MIX DRINKS
While rims set, pour eggnog, maple liqueur, all spices and vanilla extract with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into rimmed cocktail glass.

Note: You can buy a store made golden milk spice mix if you don’t want to make your own

Hot Chocolate Covered Cherries

Well, it wouldn’t be winter without hot cocoa.Serve this version with grenadine for the kidsor Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur for adults. Don’t forget the whipped cream.

2 to 3 cups eggnog
1 ounce maple liqueur (can substitutecwith frangelico or amaretto)
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground black pepper
Pinch ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup ice cubes

Stir all liquid ingredients together and top withwhipped cream and cherries.

Judi Leib creates recipes for her website, diaryofalostchef.com and @diaryofalostchef on Instagram, and is currently at work on herf irst cookbook.

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