Getting into the Spirit(s)


Spice up your Thanksgiving and Christmas season with some extra special libations!  Mix up some Mulled Wine, Spiced Cider, Hot Toddies or Hot Buttered Rum for some seasonal warmth that will leave your toes a tinglin'.   

Now all you need is a smoking jacket, a wing-back and a guy named Jeeves to serve you. 

Mulled Wine 
Mulled Wine is Jack Frost's answer to sangria.  Wine gets a richer, warmer tone with spices, fall fruits and a bit of brown sugar. 

Ingredients (Serves 6)
1 1/2 bottle of red wine 
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or brandy 
1 orange- zested and juiced (save strips of peel for garnish)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2-3 cinnamon sticks 
1/4 tsp ground cloves 
1/3 c. dark brown sugar (many recipes use simple syrup or honey, but I like the darker flavor of brown sugar)

  1. Combine wines, orange juice and zest, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cloves into large pot. 
  2. Turn burner to low and slowly add sugar. Stir til completely dissolved. 
  3. Cover and heat over medium-low for at least an hour.  Strain and serve with a splash of Grand Marnier or  brandy, if desired. 

Spiced Cider 
Cozy and comforting, a great spiced cider is the perfect libation for curling up with a good book by a snowy window.  

Ingredients (Serves 6)
5 cups apple cider
1 orange
1/2 Tbsp Cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (It's not cheating! Why spend three times as much on spices when one does the trick?!)
1 1/2 cup light rum 
  1. Poke cloves into the skin of the orange to create a pomander.  Slice orange into wedges.  
  2. Combine Cider, orange wedges, cloves, cinnamon sticks and spice in pot.  Heat on low, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes (NOTE: Cider will separate if allowed to boil).  
  3. Remove from heat.  Add rum, and serve. 

Hot Buttered Rum 
It's hot. It's buttered. It's rum.  I mean, what's not to love?

Ingredients (Serves 6) 
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup of dark brown sugar 
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
Pinch of salt 
1 bottle spiced rum (The Captain works just fine for this)
boiling water  
1 orange, cut into slices 

  1. With a mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, spice, vanilla and salt. Place in fridge for 15 minutes to harden slightly. 
  2. Scoop 1 Tbsp butter into each of 6 glasses.
  3. Pour 2-3 oz rum over butter.  Fill the rest of the glass with hot water. 
  4. Add orange slice to the rim and serve. 

Hot Toddy 
A Hot Toddy is the winter drink equivalent to a good kick in the uprights.  It's strong, hot and might just leave you saying "Wowza!"

Ingredients (Serves 1)
1/8 c. (1 oz) Bourbon (Maker's Mark is my preference, but any whiskey or bourbon will do)
Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tea bag (consider using ginger, apple or cinnamon to up the flavor)
1 cup hot water
Splash of ginger liqueur (optional)

  1. Coat the bottom of a glass with honey.  
  2. Add whiskey or bourbon, lemon juice and tea bag.  
  3. Fill the rest of the glass with hot water and a splash of ginger liqueur.  Allow to steep for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Remove tea bag and enjoy.

No time to cook (...errrr...mix)?  Fake it 'til you make it, baby. Grab some eggnog and add some creme de menthe and bourbon.  Hey, it's ALMOST like cooking...

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  1. I'll take one of each, please! Yumm!!

  2. Each sound like the perfect cozy and delicious drink for a cold night! I have to try each and every one! : )

  3. Thank you for helping select the beverage of choice at Thanksgiving this year!


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