It’s no secret that I love to throw a party, and a reason for celebrating is definitely not necessary. So when my copy of Winter Cocktails arrived in the mail, my excitement level was through the roof! It’s a gorgeous book full of party-friendly recipes from the ladies over at new-to-me blog Cookin’ and Shootin’.
The book focuses on – you guessed it – seasonally appropriate cocktails, but it doesn’t stop there. It opens with a guide to pantry, fridge and liquor cabinet staples, as well as step-by-step instructions for a variety of bar techniques. They also packed in recipes for infused liquors, simple syrups and the like, plus some drool-worthy recipes for things to snack on while getting your drink on!
There is a loooong list of recipes I can’t wait to try, but right now you’re looking at the first one that jumped right off the page, grabbed me and said, “MAKE ME NOW!!”
So I did!
Liquid Gold – the name itself demands attention, and it had mine from the start. I saw that the drink involved rum, brandy, mulled pineapple juice AND a sweet/spicy pineapple garnish… I was sold. As a fan of mulled wine and cider, I was surprised to find that we could be mulling other things. Why haven’t we been mulling other things?!
Well, pineapple is a great place to start. Its tart sweetness pairs nicely with the mulling spices, and if I knew anything about real winter weather, I would guess that the warmth and aroma of this cocktail might make you forget all about the snow outside.
This recipe, like most in Winter Cocktails, is pretty simple. Toast the spices, add the liquid ingredients, and gently simmer for a bit while the flavors come together.
While the mixture simmers, it might be a good time to get your fireplace going, if you have one. This drink is definitely meant to be enjoyed in the most comforting setting that the world will allow. Other comfort options include pulling up a space heater, putting on a giant sweater, lighting some candles or wrangling up a pug to warm your lap.
I get the feeling that this cocktail is the start of a long and fruitful (pun intended) relationship with Winter Cocktails. Maybe I’ll try the Earl Grey-Lavender Hot Chocolate next? Kumquat-Thyme Infused Gin? Or perhaps the Red Red Red – prosecco poured over a spiced beet granita?
I guess I need to get to work!
Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of Winter Cocktails from Quirk, but as always, all opinions are my own.
From Winter Cocktails
Aleppo pepper can be found easily online, but if you're like me and don't plan ahead, you can use a mixture of paprika & a teensy pinch of cayenne pepper instead.
- 12 or more (3/4-inch) cubes fresh pineapple
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Mulled Pineapple Juice
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cups pineapple juice
- 6 ounces dark rum
- 2 ounces brandy
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
- For the Pineapple Garnish: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange pineapple cubes in a single layer. Combine sugar, Aleppo pepper, ground cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle pineapple cubes with sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly. Rearrange pineapple in a single layer and broil until caramelized, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer tray to cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, skewer at least 3 pineapple cubes onto each of 4 short skewers or sturdy toothpicks.
- For the Mulled Pineapple Juice: Place allspice, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple juice, rum, brandy, and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. To serve, place one pineapple skewer in each of 4 heat-proof cups. Ladle juice into cups.