Seasonal spirits put twist on holiday flavors
Baby, it's cold outside, but you don't have to settle for hot chocolate to survive the chilly temperatures.
Whether you're tying to endure an unfortunate family function or want to spice up a night at home or out on the town, check out these holiday-themed cocktails the Central Florida Future has compiled for you. All recipes are by Chris Muscardin, a bartender at Wolfies Pizzamia.
This is a rather simple drink that I roll out whenever the weather starts to drop, and always with great success. A minty variation on the White Russian, made popular by the movie The Big Lebowski, it's served in an old-fashioned or rocks glass, can be made either traditionally (stirred twice) or shaken vigorously for a frothy treat.
2 ounces of vodka
1 ounce of Kahlua or another coffee liqueur
Cream or milk
Two mint leaves
Nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
Bruise the mint leaves at the bottom of the glass. Make sure not to tear the leaves.
Fill the glass with ice and build the vodka and Kahlua on top.
Top the drink with cream and stir twice so the two layers barely start to blend. Alternatively, you may also shake the drink and pour back into the glass, but you have to shake very hard to blend the two layers to blend completely.
CARAMEL CIDER MARTINI
A whiskey-based martini, this is a little more involved and requires a bit of timing and layering to trick the senses into believing that you are actually using cider in the drink.
When done correctly, however, it is delicious. The idea is that as you get lower and lower into the drink, the cinnamon flavor becomes more pronounced.
1 ounce of bourbon
1/2 ounce of apple schnapps
2 ounces of apple juice
1/8 of a cinnamon stick
Ice a martini glass.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, build the bourbon, apple schnapps and juice.
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon in liberally.
Shake well so that the cinnamon particles are introduced to every part of the drink.
Empty the cocktail glass of ice and drizzle the caramel in a swirl around the inside of the glass.
Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick.
Stir a little to pull up the caramel.
This is a drink I picked up from another bartender a while back when we were comparing notes on sangria.
Glühwein is essentially German-mulled sangria, perfect for cold evenings.
This is something that can only really be prepared in large quantities, and should usually be made several hours in advance so the flavors have enough time to marry.
It's a great party punch.
This is my personal method, since I don't believe in store-bought sangria, but that is always a cheaper alternative. It will usually make 10 to 12 glasses, depending on how much you drink.
2 bottles of red wine
1/2 cup of brandy
4 cups of apple juice
2 cups of pulp-free orange juice
2 limes, sliced into rings
2 lemons, sliced into rings
2 oranges, sliced into rings
1 cup of blackberries
1/4 cup of vanilla extract
Cinnamon, for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir slowly for 15 minutes or so.
Cover and let it sit for several hours so that the flavors of the fruits, wine and brandy can marry.
When ready to serve, use a ladle to spoon out a portion, without any fruit.
Heat in a microwave or on the stove for about a minute.
Garnish with fruits from within the bowl and cinnamon and enjoy.
Like the whiskey martini, this drink is more about fooling the tongue into perceiving flavors that aren't directly put in.
Traditionally served over ice in a copper or tin mug, the Moscow Mule is one of my signature cocktails.
2 ounces of vodka
2 ounces of ginger beer
1/2 ounce of cranberry juice
Splash pomegranate juice
1 lime wedge
1 basil leaf, torn
1 sprig of mint
Muddle basil at the bottom of the mug.
Fill with ice and build the liquids.
Squeeze the lime and drop into the drink.
Stir and garnish with the mint sprig.