Winters are upon us, and though ’tis the time to sit cozy with a steaming cup of hot cocoa or coffee, the ever-greedy palate does yearn for more. This is also the time for parties and celebrations, which usually translates to high spirits — both literally and figuratively. So, when you’re sitting planning out your party menu, pay special heed to the kind of cocktails you’ll serve. Not everything is suited for all seasons. For instance, vodkas and gins are usually avoided during winters since they lend themselves to more cooler drinks, says Lalit Sharma, Manager, Food and Beverage, Mosaic Hotels, Noida.
During winters, most cocktails are centred around alcohols such as wine, brandy and rum, and liqueurs such as kahlua, Baileys and coffee-based ones, says Sharma, adding that mulled wine is one of the most popular winter cocktails, globally. So, as you tuck your fingers into a warm pair of gloves, here are five winter special cocktails you can make to keep the holiday spirits high.
1 wine-glass brandy (2 ounces Cognac)
15ml Grand Marnier liqueur
1 dash sugar syrup
1 dash (1/4 teaspoon) lemon juice
2-3 drops of Angostura bitter
* Wet the rim of a small wineglass with a lemon wedge and coat the outer rim with superfine sugar.
* Line the glass with the thin-pared peel of half a lemon, peeled in a single, wide strip.
* Stir ingredients with ice until well chilled, then strain into the lemon-lined serving glass.
CHRISTMAS RUM PUNCH
90ml orange juice
30ml lemon juice
15ml triple sec liqueur
60ml white rum
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, sliced
Soda to top up
* In a punch bowl, combine sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add cherries, triple sec, light rum, orange slices, lemon slices and pineapple chunks.
* Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow flavours to blend.
* Pour in carbonated water.
* Add ice just before serving and serve in a Brandy Balloon glass.
IRISH HOT CHOCOLATE
30ml Baileys Irish Cream
250ml Hot Chocolate
30ml Whipped cream
* Start by pouring the Baileys into your favourite mug.
* Follow the instructions on the packet to make up a serving of hot chocolate drink.
* Pour the hot chocolate into the mug with the Baileys and float the whipped cream on top.
* Put all three ingredients in the shaker and shake well.
* Pour in a large glass filled with ice cubes.
1 ounce Cognac
1 ounce Amaretto
Shaved almonds for garnish
* Pour the Cognac and amaretto into an Irish coffee glass. Fill with hot coffee.
* Top with whipped cream. Garnish with shaved almonds.