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Cheers! Toast the Season With Warm Drinks!

12/14/2018 11:29AM

Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together for a few friends or an open house for a crowd, mix up a few of these delicious beverages for your guests. Their warmth will knock the chill off even the most frigid winter weather. Here’s to you!


Spiced Cabernet

Cinnamon, clove, and orange spice up this full-bodied red wine for the holidays.

Makes 12 to 15 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 bottles (750-ml) cabernet sauvignon
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus more to taste
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 navel orange 

In a large saucepan, combine cabernet, 1 cup sugar, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Cut the orange in half and juice both halves into the pan. Add the orange halves to the pan. Heat over medium-low until steaming but not boiling. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Season with more sugar to taste, if desired. Ladle into mugs.

 

Vermont Mulled Cider

Even the children can enjoy this flavorful drink. Just add a touch of rum or bourbon for the grown-ups.

Makes 4 drinks

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 12 cloves, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • Zest of 1 orange, plus wedges for garnish
  • 2 oz Grade A maple syrup
  • Optional: whole cloves

Heat the cider to almost boiling. Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and orange zest. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup. Stir. Strain the cider into mugs. Garnish with orange wedges, studded with whole cloves if desired.

 

Swedish Mulled Wine (Glogg)

This spicy punch is served as a holiday drink in Scandinavian countries.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • One bottle (750-ml) red wine (shiraz, cabernet, or burgundy)
  • 1 cup blackberry wine
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Peel of 2 oranges

Combine 1/2 cup of the amaretto, the brown sugar, cloves, peppercorns, and cardamom in a medium saucepan and heat to a slow boil while stirring. Reduce heat to low and add the rest of the amaretto, the red wine, blackberry wine, cinnamon sticks, and the peel of one of the oranges. Warm on very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, ladle into glasses or mugs, and garnish with orange peel.

  

Orange-Brandy Hot Chocolate

Two favorite holiday flavors combine to make this tasty hot chocolate. 

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 8 oz hot chocolate
  • 2 oz orange brandy, such as Grand Marnier
  • Dash orange bitters, optional
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Zest of one orange 

Stir orange brandy and bitters, if using, into a cup of hot chocolate. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with orange zest.

 

Choco-Mint Cocktail

Sit by the fire with this chocolate liqueur-spiked coffee. It makes a delicious dessert.

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 4–6 oz hot coffee
  • 2 oz chocolate liqueur
  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 2 Tbsp whipped cream
  • 1/2 tsp crushed candy cane, optional
  • 1 fresh mint leaf, optional 

Pour coffee into a mug. Add the chocolate liqueur and schnapps, and stir. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed candy cane. Place a fresh mint leaf on the whipped cream, if desired.


Recipes adapted from allrecipes.com.

 

Find delicious dessert ideas to go with warm drinks at www.bestofcentralvt.com.