Christmas is just around the corner, and that means families and friends getting together to celebrate with gifts, great food, and spirited libations. Here are four recipes for hot adult beverages that will be sure to keep your guests cozy and warm.
Crock-Pot Mulled Wine
Nothing could be more convenient that using your slow cooker to keep this heartwarming beverage ready to drink. To the Crock-Pot, add two bottles of red wine, such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or a Pinot Noir. Slowly pour in 1 quart of apple cider and 1 cup of brandy. Add one-half cup quality honey, 10 whole cloves, four cinnamon sticks, eight cardamom pods, and two whole star anise. Use a zester to grate one orange, and then cut open, juice, and add both to the pot. Stir thoroughly, cover, and heat on low until it comes to temp, about three hours, and then turn to the warm setting. Garnish the mug with cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Serves 12.
Hot Buttered Rum
This is another one that is perfect for the Crock-Pot, especially when you are having a lot of guests. Add 3 cups of dark rum and 9 cups of hot water to the slow cooker. Stir in 2 cups of brown sugar, one stick of salted butter, three cinnamon sticks, and six whole cloves. Cover and heat on low for three hours, and then turn to the warm setting. Stir before serving in glass mugs, and garnish with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serves 12.
What could be better on Christmas morning than a piping hot, sweet coffee cocktail? Brew a strong pot of quality coffee. Fill each mug two-thirds full, and then add ½ shot each of Kahlua, butterscotch schnapps, crème de cacao, and amaretto. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa before serving.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
Skip the boring packaged hot chocolate mix and whip up the real thing instead. In a large saucepan, add 3 cups of milk, ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup water, and 1 cup cream. Simmer, but do not allow to come to a boil, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 teaspoon real vanilla. Pour one shot of Kahlua into four mugs, and then fill an inch from the top with the hot chocolate mixture. Top with miniature marshmallows and drizzle with both dark chocolate and caramel syrup. Serves 4. Be sure to visit your local liquor store to stock up on ingredients!