winter

Winter Negroni

Don't mind me. I'm just sitting here still waiting for our first real snow storm. Until then, I'm stocking up on winter cocktail recipes. I have my favorite Chartreuse Hot Chocolate and Hot Toddy recipes. Now, it's time for a classic twist.

The Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails that I don't have a lot. I'm afraid that if I order it all the time, I'll grow tired of it and it'll stop being a favorite. Recently I decided to revisit my old friend and it was just as good as the first time. But I always associate the Negroni with spring. Possibly because of its use of gin and it's bright flavor. So, I felt it was time to "winterize" my Negroni.

I love infusing spirits with baking spices. But I couldn't bring myself to infuse my gin with cinnamon and cloves. How often was I going to use this spiced infused gin? So, naturally, my brain turned to the vermouth. I could infuse sweet vermouth with baking spices, I thought. Then it dawned on me that what I really wanted was a Mulled Wine.

Winter Negroni-5.jpg

 

QUICK & EASY MULLED WINE

 

I love how simple and delicious this mulled wine is and couldn't wait to try it in my Winter Negroni. As for my choice of gin. I made sure to avoid any overly floral gins. I didn't want the floral flavors to compete with the baking spices. I've tried this recipe several times and found that a citrus forward gin like the Scottish Caorunn or a simple gin like Bar Hill works best.  

If you're familiar with the Negroni recipe you may also notice, that my recipe isn't in equal parts. That's due to the oranges I infused in my mulled wine. I found that taking the Campari down a step resulted in a more well-rounded cocktail. Whereas, keeping the Campari at one ounce made the cocktail slightly too bitter. Could I have gone back and omitted the oranges from my mulled wine? Yes. But I like my Mulled Wine a lot and I didn't want to tamper with it. 

 

Winter Negroni

WINTER NEGRONI

1 oz. Gin

1 oz. Mulled Wine

3/4 oz. Campari

In a mixing glass, combine ingredients with ice.

Stir.

Strain.

Enjoy!

 

So that's my Winter Negroni. I'm crossing my fingers for a snow day. How awesome would that Winter Negroni look tucked into a bed of snow?

The Cocktail That Can Cure the Common Cold

Ah, the common cold. According to the CDC, the average adult can expect to have 2-3 colds a year. Lasting an average of 7-10 days, it can feel like it can take forever to recover. You could wander the medicine aisle looking for a cure-all, or you can kick that cold with the help of a simple cocktail.

The Hot Toddy is as easy as it gets. Whiskey, honey, and lemon are combined with boiling water for the ultimate comfort drink.

You may have heard that the Toddy can serve as a cold remedy. There's actually some truth to this old wives’ tale. The three major elements of the Hot Toddy each have healing properties.

LEMON

Rich in Vitamin C, lemon boosts the immune system. The acid in lemon juice cuts through mucus and relieves congestion. Lemon also aides the liver in cleansing the body, helping you to kick that pesky cold.

HONEY

The anti-bacterial properties in honey are wildly known. Honey has been used to treat wounds and prevent infections. It can serve as an antibiotic, resistant to some strains of bacteria. Honey can also serve as a cough suppressant. Studies have shown that a teaspoon of honey at bedtime can reduce coughing helping to improve sleep.

WHISKEY

Whiskey is the all-star in this therapeutic cocktail. The antioxidants found in whiskey can give both you and your immune system a boost. In moderation, the antioxidants in whiskey can help do the following:

  • promote a healthy heart
  • lower blood pressure
  • lower the risk of strokes

Whiskey is also an antiseptic, reducing the possibility of infection.  And as a numbing agent, whiskey - combined with honey - can soothe that tender sore throat.

So the next time you feel a cold coming on, take a sick day, rest, and relax with a Hot Toddy (or two). You'll be back to work sooner than you think.

 

vanilla hot toddy.jpg

HOT TODDY

 

Hot Buttered Cider

Chartreuse Hot Chocolate

Rye Hot Toddy

As I write this, I am laying in bed with a cat at my feet and a rye hot toddy by my side. It would be such an image of comfort if it wasn't for the body aches, running nose, and cough. I officially have my first sickness of 2016.

It's kind of appropriate since Monday, January 10th is National Hot Toddy Day. I hate being sick but at least I can find comfort in this boozy comfort cocktail. The hot toddy is like a warm hug when you need it the most. 

Hot Toddy

WHY RYE?

I chose to make my toddy with rye whiskey. Really you can make a toddy with just about any spirit. Why did I chose rye? Rye is a spicy whiskey with delicious notes of cloves and nutmeg. Bourbon is great but sometimes you want a whiskey that's robust in flavor. In a cocktail where you're already adding sweetness, a spice-filled rye may be a better partner than a sweet bourbon. 

I've been all about the rye in the past year. In fact, rye whiskey sales are currently on the rise and gaining strength. If you've been entertaining the idea of learning more about rye whiskey or giving it a try, do it! With so many distillers turning to rye, now could not be a better time.

She's Whiskey In A Teacup

RYE INTRODUCTION

My advice for trying rye whiskey would be to go in toes first. Start off with a "low" rye whiskey. I consider a "low" rye whiskey to be one that contains 51-70% rye grain. The rest could be made up of corn, barley, wheat, or whatever (but usually it's corn). This way you'll still get that same familiar sweetness you'd find with bourbon. If you're a Manhattan drinker, switch the bourbon out for rye. Give it a shot. 

Hot Toddy with lemon and cloves
 

RYE HOT TODDY


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