Cold weather brings with it a flurry of mixed emotions. Some love the idea of bundling up under a soft blanket next to the fireplace and enjoying the frosty nip in the air. And some would rather be soaking up an eternal summer sun and celebrating the holidays in shorts and a t-shirt. Regardless of your own stance, the chilly seasons are upon us. ‘Tis the season to be jolly… and slightly inebriated.
But how to properly concoct the ideal holiday brew? Simple. Combine an everyday beverage, a little bourbon, a dash of this and that and boom, you’ll be sipping on the liquid equivalent of Harry Potter in no time.
Here’s the concept:
- Cider and Spice by R.W. Knudsen ($36 – $45)
- Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($25 – $33)
- Sugar In The Raw Turbinado Cane Sugar ($3 – $5)
- Watkins Purest Ground Cinnamon ($8 – 15)
- fresh orange slice and/or cinnamon stick to garnish
To start with the perfect spiked apple cider, one needs to find an excellent base. Cider and Spice by R.W. Knudsen offers the nostalgic warmth of a delicious and crisp apple juice with a wonderful array of spices. The whole ripe apples combined with a delectable mixture of cinnamon, cloves and allspice provide the perfect platform on which to build your next alcohol infused cider. This old-fashioned cider will have you drinking it throughout the entirety of the season and well into the New Year.
Next, the alcohol. This is where the “spiked” part of your spiked apple cider arises. Choosing the right alcohol is critical for this phase. Many recipes of this nature call for either a good bourbon or a rye whiskey. In this case, none other than a hearty Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey would do.
Buffalo Trace embodies, what the distillers would call, “the spirit of legends”. It brings the classic wake-me-up smokiness of a bourbon and harmoniously blends it with an unmistakeable vanilla flavor. The elegant liquid amber held in the gently curved bottle speaks volumes of its origins. The name Buffalo Trace is a homage to the brave American pioneers and settlers who followed the buffalo trails in the 18th century, or traces as their also known, to tackle the wild wilderness as they headed westward to explore the richness and fruitful beginnings of a new civilization. While the aroma and taste is comparatively light and subtle, it should not be mistaken for being bland. Rather it boasts a robust woodiness, savory grains and a gentle fruitiness. The smooth texture and exquisite taste makes for a delightful bourbon for any palate.
Once these two fantastic liquids have been combined, we come to the final step. From here, all you need is a teaspoon or two of Sugar in the Raw, which you can also use brown sugar instead if you prefer your drink to be sweeter, a dash of cinnamon and a fresh orange slice and/or a cinnamon stick to garnish. For this particular recipe, Watkins Purest Ground Cinnamon, awarded gold medal for highest quality, was used.
Once you have stirred in all of the ingredients, you can serve hot or cold, depending on your personal preferences.
Happy Holidays and stay hydrated!