Peppermint Chocolate Cocktail

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Earlier this year, for my husband’s birthday, I made a peppermint vodka to surprise him with a special cocktail. He loves peppermint. The peppermint vodka is from Katherine’s blog, Love in my Oven, one of my favorites.

The cocktail she presented using the peppermint vodka was a peppermint chocolate cocktail, using crème de cacao. When he tasted the cocktail, he said it tasted like Christmas, so I thought I’d share Katherine’s recipe before the holidays!

One thing she recommended was to rim the cocktail glass in crushed candy canes, which I thought was a wonderful idea! Except that I couldn’t get them to work, so I settled on pearl sugar.

Peppermint  Vodka

2 cups vodka
5 peppermint candy canes, broken in two
One drop of red food coloring, optional

In a clean jar, place the candy canes in the vodka and stir occasionally until they dissolve. Store in a dark place for up to 3 days, then use in the following cocktail, or create your own. I didn’t use the red food coloring just because I think the pink is really pretty!

Peppermint  Chocolate  Cocktail
Serves 1

4 ounces peppermint vodka
2 ounces clear crème de cacao

Combine the two ingredients and shake with a bit of crushed ice.

Strain and pour into a glass.

Rim with crushed candy canes if desired; let dry slightly before filling the glass with the cocktail. If you’re able to…

Make a small pitcher of this cocktail if you’re serving multiple purpose. The ratio of 2 to 1 is an easy one!

Holiday Toddy

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I happen to be in love with Christmas. I love the smells, sounds, the foods of Christmas… Christmas movies. I love it all.

I’m actually listening to Christmas carols as I type this post, and I was listening to Christmas carols when I whipped up this toddy. I start listening on the first cold day or, the 1st of October, whichever occurs first.

About this time of year I also have a well-stocked liquor cabinet, so I can create a holiday-inspired cocktail with pomegranate vodka, eggnog liqueur, peppermint schnapps – whatever I fancy. I am very lucky this way.

Today it’s chilly, and I was in the mood for a toddy, which, in my book, implies a hot drink. Like a hot buttered rum would be a hot toddy to me.

I had an idea inspired by a recipe I once saw, using tea as the toddy base. I happened to have chai tea bags on hand, so I used them.

I’m using a relatively new liquor that I love, Brown Sugar Bourbon, and I’m not a bourbon lover!

Holiday Toddy
Printable recipe below

8 Chai tea bags
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
7-8 ounces sweetened evaporated milk
8 ounces brown sugar bourbon, or spiced rum, like Captain Morgan
Cinnamon sticks

Place the tea bags, cardamom, and allspice in a heat-proof container; I used a 4-cup measuring cup. Add about 2 cups of boiling hot water and let the tea bags steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags.

Add more hot water until it measures 3 cups. Transfer the tea into a stove-top pot with a pour spout, and add the cardamom and allspice. Place on the stove over low heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bourbon and whisk until they’re completely combined.

Heat the toddy till it’s steaming, then serve with a cinnamon stick.

Any Christmas-type tea will work, even an orange tea. And, you could always serve the toddy with a little orange peel twirl.

This recipe makes about 6 good-sized cups. It can easily be doubled, or tripled…..

And if you’re wondering who designed these delightful festive cups, it’s Tracy Porter, who unfortunately doesn’t design dinnerware any longer.

Hot Buttered Rum

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Hot Buttered Rum

It has taken me years to figure out that hot buttered rum, what I consider the original hot toddy, at least in my life, does not exist outside of ski resorts.

I should know because if it’s winter time and we’re somewhere, anywhere cold, I ask the bartender if he makes hot buttered rum. After the quizzical reaction I know I’ll have to order something simpler.

Not that hot buttered rum is a challenging toddy to make. It isn’t. There’s even mix that can be purchased, although of course it’s most likely inferior to preparing the drink from scratch.

The drink, served hot, does indeed have rum and butter in it. But then it’s sweetened with brown sugar and spices.

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Following is the hot buttered rum base so you can make a hot toddy to warm your frosty bits, whether you’re in an alpine setting or not! Then all you need is rum.

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Hot Buttered Rum Mix

1 pound brown sugar
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground

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1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon of vanilla powder, or use vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a microwaveable bowl. Slowly and carefully melt the butter.
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Alternatively, allow the butter to first come to room temperature and add the remaining ingredients.

Mix together well, beating until any lumps disappear.
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The mix can be used immediately, or stored in the refrigerator for future use.

If you are crafty, unlike myself, you can place it in cute jars topped with cute ribbons, and give the mix away to friends along with the hot buttered rum recipe.

Here it is:

2 heaping tablespoons of the above mix
2-3 ounces dark, spicy, or clear rum
Boiling water

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Place the mix and rum in a heatproof glass or cup.

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Add the boiling water and stir well.

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Serve with a cinnamon stick if desired.

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note: This hot buttered rum might look a little muddier than if I’d used clear rum, but I really like Captain Morgan!