When your cold beer and gin and tonic have gone out of season, here are three recipes to brighten your holidays (and January, and February, and…).
I’m a big gin and tonic guy. And only Sam Axe enjoys mojitos more than me. As the weather turns cold each year, I’m reminded that nearly all my favorite drinks are warm-weather drinks.
There are exceptions. I enjoy a good glass of port on a chilly evening, especially when reading a good novel aloud with my wife. (Yes, we do that—and I found I read Eowyn’s fierce “No living man am I!” speech a lot better with my vocal cords opened up by the port. Bet Tolkien was drinking it when he wrote that scene.)
But when my hands are itching to make something, I do seem to run out of inspiration quickly when the weather outside is frightful. I don’t pretend to be serious bartender (yet); that and cheese are two areas in which I’m determined to improve my taste. But this year, I decided to learn a couple new drinks. Then another HP contributor shared an additional one on Facebook that looked fun. End result: three tasty cold-weather drinks you should be able to make for yourself and offer guests on a crisp Saturday night.
#1: The Hot Toddy
This Scottish classic has a lot of variations. Some people use hot water, others actual tea; some use whiskey, others brandy or bourbon. But combine that alcohol with the hot drink and some lemons, honey, and cloves, and boy are you ready to thumb your nose at anything going on outside. Brigette at Free People also has a variation that involves ginger-infused cider in place of the water.
#2: Mulled Wine
Technically, I suppose this is more of a party drink. But at Humane Pursuits, we think people should let a little more party into everyday life (and indeed learn to party better!). Plus it can be ridiculously easy to make if you happen to find some pre-made mulling spices (Whole Foods often has them this time of year); I found this version just about filled my crock pot, was ready in an hour, and made 8-10 generous mugs full (just strain out the mulling spices):
5 cups apple cider
1.5 bottles cabernet
1/2 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
6-7 tbsp. mulling spices
#3: Peppermint White Russian
A little more original. Giving HP contributor Zac Crippen full credit for finding this one. Peppermint schnapps, Bailey’s, candy cane bits…merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!
Brian Brown loves building the environments, habits, and networks that make people thrive. He is the founder of Humane Pursuits, where he writes a featured column and edits the Give channel. He started his consulting company, Narrator, to help great mission-driven organizations modernize and grow. He lives with his wife Christina and son Edmund in Colorado Springs, where they mix cocktails, hunt for historic architecture, and see how many people they can squeeze into their house for happy hour.