The winter chill in Southern California has subsided for a bit, but cooler temperatures and rain are forecast for this weekend. I often look to the internet to find new cocktail recipes made with the spirits that suit the season. Here are the recipes I discovered and am adding to my cocktails repertoire.
While suffering with a miserable cold in December, I searched for Hot Toddy recipes hoping that this hot drink might provide some relief. This recipe posted on Liquor.com by top bartender and mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout features a video on how to make it. I liked the lemon twist with cloves as it gave the drink some cheerful color.
- Boiling water
- 4 to 6 Cloves
- 1 Lemon twist
- 2 tsp Demerara sugar or brown sugar
- .25 oz Lemon juice
- 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
- Glass: Mug
Fill a mug with boiling water and let stand for a minute or two to warm. Meanwhile, stick the cloves into the lemon twist and set aside. Empty the mug and fill about halfway with fresh boiling water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the prepared lemon twist and stir. Add the lemon juice and whiskey, and stir again.
Over Thanksgiving, I was looking for a drink that included whiskey. As I happened to have some apple cider on hand, this Irish cider recipe fit the bill, especially since Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of the key ingredients! It was created by Bill Ward at the Dream Downtown hotel’s Marble Lane bar and restaurant in New York City. The recipe was posted over two years ago in this NY Daily News article on Irish whiskey cocktails for St. Patrick’s Day by Gina Pace; it looks like Marble Lane has since closed.
Created by Bill Ward at Dream Downtown’s Marble Lane
- 1½ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
- ¾ oz. Blackwell’s Rum
- ½ oz. apple cider
- ½ oz. lemon juice
- ½ oz. agave syrup
- Ground cinnamon
Combine the cider, lemon juice and agave and simmer until it’s reduced by about one-quarter to one-third. Let cool. Put all ingredients into an iced cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass and top with ground cinnamon.
Shortly before New Year’s Eve, I read Spencer Spellman‘s post on 7 Easy Champagne Cocktail Recipes. Spencer is frequently posting drool-worthy cocktail photos, and this Blackberry Fizz recipe intrigued me since it included one of my new favorite spirits, gin!
Instead of champagne, I made our fizz’s with Cava and served them on New Year’s Eve while we were enjoying a quiet evening at home with the dogs. I really enjoyed the mix of the gin and cava, and with the blackberry and lime mixed in, I think this would be a perfect celebratory drink for the warmer months as well.
Spencer Spellman’s Blackberry Fizz
This may just be my favorite champagne cocktail on the list. Alright, so perhaps that’s because it’s one that I came up with. But it’s really so delicious, refreshing, and fruity. Additionally, it’d make a great summer champagne cocktail for making in batches. Because everyone likes champagne, right? You’ll want to first muddle the blackberries in a cocktail shaker good enough to break up the berries and release the juice. Next you’ll add the rest of the ingredients (except for the champagne) with ice to the shaker and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with champagne.
- 2 oz. gin
- .75 oz. agave
- .75. oz. lime juice
- Several blackberries, muddled
Candy Cane-Kahlua Hot Chocolate
Believe it or not, winters in Los Angeles can be chilly. When the temperature dips into the 40s and we turn on the heat, it is a perfect time to make hot chocolate. I wanted to make something a bit more involved than regular hot chocolate, and since we had not had any Kahlua in a while, I searched for hot chocolate and Kahlua recipes and found this by Natalie Migliarini on Delish.com.
I love the addition of the candy cane – perfect for all the candy canes that you receive for Christmas and never end up eating. I served the hot chocolate in my Christmas markets mugs from the Christmas market in Budapest and the Schloss Schönbrunn Christmas market in Vienna. It pairs perfectly with my home made sugar cookies for a decadent dessert.
Candy Cane-Kahlua Hot Chocolate
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1 candy cane
- 3 tbsp. sipping chocolate
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 oz. Kahlua
- whipped cream
- candy canes
- In a saucepan over low heat, warm whole milk and heavy cream.
- Add 1 candy cane and stir until melted.
- Stir in sipping chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat, stir in Kahlua, and pour into glass.
- Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes.
Do you have a favorite winter cocktail? Share the recipe or a link in the comments below.