This post comes to us courtesy of writer and mixologist Warren Bobrow.
The holidays always bring out the best in our kitchen and bar driven prowess. Family gathers together; friends pop over for a conversation and a drink. It’s the time for parties and gatherings of all types. The aroma of a warming drink beckons us to the family room or kitchen, where friendships are deepened by sharing flavors that speak of the holidays!
Hot toddies and punches are perfectly geared to entertaining. First of all, the hot ones smell great simmering on the stove, filling the air with the scents of the season. Secondly, the cool ones taste like winter should taste: bracing, rich and seasonal. Lastly, the flavor combinations can make memories guests will keep in their hearts and minds all season long.
Run Through the Apple Orchard Punch
2 (750 mL) bottles sparkling apple cider
1 quart apple juice (preferable unfiltered and non-pasteurized)
1 (750 mL) bottle ginger ale
1/2 bottle ginger syrup* (see note below)
1/2 Tbs. each freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon
Combine first three ingredients and chill with ice. Adjust sweetness with ginger syrup, and sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on top. Stir. Serves 10 to 15 (3 to 4 ounce pours).
Call in the New Year Punch
This punch uses winter stone fruits and citrus fruits that are roasted in the oven and sprinkled with dark brown sugar. The fruits are pureed in a food processor, strained through a sieve and combined with Prosecco. A bit of fresh lime juice is added at the finish.
6 plums, pitted
6 peaches, pitted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 to 4 (750 mL) bottles dry Prosecco
1/2 bottle of seltzer water
Juice of 6 limes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the stone fruits, apples and citrus into chunks, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 250 for an hour or so until uniformly browned. Let cool, then puree in the food processor. Next, strain through a medium sieve to remove skin and pith. Combine juices with Prosecco and seltzer water. Add juice of six limes and serve to your appreciative guests. Serves 15 to 20 (3 to 4 ounce pours).
Gracious Host Toddy
1 (750 mL) bottle dark spiced rum
1 (375 mL) bottle walnut liquor
1 (375 mL) bottle peppermint schnapps
1/2 gallon hot chocolate
Combine all ingredients and keep warm on stove. Makes the house smell fantastic! Serves 15 to 20 (3 to 4 ounce pours).
About the author: Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey. Warren was an Iron Mixology Judge at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival 2012. He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011. Warren has published over three hundred articles in fewer than three years since his reinvention from executive assistant in private banking to author. Warren writes with a unique free-form style. He is a writer/mixologist on everything from cocktail flavoring and Biodynamic/organic wines to restaurant reviews. He writes for Edible Jersey, Voda Magazine, Foodista, Tasting Panel, Beverage News and Total Food Service Magazine. Warren is the “On Whiskey” columnist for OKRA Magazine in New Orleans part of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ on a Biodynamic farm.