NDTVBusinessHindiMoviesCricketHealthFoodTechAutoAppsPrimeArtWeddingsGood Times

3 Holiday Cocktails To Warm Your Body And Soul

   |  Updated: January 02, 2016 14:47 IST

Google Plus Reddit
3 Holiday Cocktails To Warm Your Body And Soul

Warm winter cocktails can make your holiday celebrations festive. Credit: Copyright 2015 Elisabeth Luard

Our ancestors knew a thing or two about how to enjoy the festive season without paying the penalty for overindulgence.



It's no accident that many of the traditional recipes for festive refreshment include cream and eggs. And that's why three of my favorite midwinter warmers -- English, Scottish and Spanish cocktails -- double up as hangover cures. It's two for the price of one!




Lamb's Wool Wassail



Wassail is an elision of the Saxons' merry toast, was haile, or "your health," hence "hale and hearty." It's wise, according to the old wives' tale, to serve it from an apple wood bowl to discourage witches from joining the party. This has something to do with an ancient tradition of going out into the orchard at midnight on Christmas Eve and banging drums or firing guns to scare away evil beasties that might stop the apple trees from fruiting. Sounds reasonable. And anyway, apple trees are host to mistletoe, and everyone knows where a kiss under the mistletoe can lead.



Prep time: 10 minutes



Cook time: 20 minutes



Total time: 30 minutes



Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings.



Ingredients



1 cinnamon stick



Small piece of ginger



6 cloves



2 pints mild ale or hard cider



4 to 6 small, hard apples, pricked with a fork



1/4 pint thick cream



2 egg yolks



4 tablespoons sugar



Grated nutmeg



Directions



1. Set the cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small cloth that can be tied closed.



2. Put the ale or cider in a pan with the spices and warm very gently.



3. Meanwhile, roast the apples until soft on a baking tray in an oven heated to 400 degrees F (200 C or Gas6). Alternately, you can turn them on a roasting fork in front of a fire until the skin is nicely toasted and the flesh is soft. Keep them warm till you're ready to serve.



4. Beat the cream with the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and well blended.



5. Increase the heat under the ale or cider pan and remove just before it comes to a boil. Take out the spice-bag and whisk in the cream and egg.



6. Transfer to a warm bowl (apple wood or otherwise) and float the apples on the surface.



7. Finish with a dusting of nutmeg.



Note: If you need to reheat, don't let it boil or the egg will curdle. If so, blame the witches, scoop out the apple flesh, whiz everything together and pretend it was your intention all along.



Athol Brose



This is the traditional Scottish welcome to a first-footer at Hogmanay, or New Year's Eve. A first-footer is the first visitor to step over your threshold after the stroke of midnight. Fair exchange is a lump of coal for the fire, and you hope that your first-footer is dark-haired and friendly rather than a blond-haired, blue-eyed Viking up for a bit of pillaging. Christmas north o' the border -- the line drawn between Scotland and England, which roughly follows Hadrian's Wall -- is an altogether quieter affair than it is south of the border. Whisky never has an "e" when it's Scotch. Now you know it all.



Prep time: 5 minutes



Cook time: 15 minutes



Total time: 20 minutes



Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings



Ingredients



1 bottle Scotch whisky



12 ounces runny honey



12 ounces thick cream



1 heaped tablespoon porridge oats



Directions



1. Mix the whisky with the honey and cream.



2. Stir the oats into a pint of cold water in a pan, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.



3. Whisk the whisky mixture into the oats and serve hot.



Note: Garnish ideas include a little nutmeg sprinkled on top or any extra swirl of cream.




Ponche



Ponche is a traditional, brandy-based eggnog for which similar recipes are found throughout Europe. The Spanish version is thickened with ground almonds, a traditional Christmas ingredient. Serve it warm on a cold night with something sweet and crisp for dipping.



Prep time: 10 minutes



Cook time: 20 minutes



Total time: 30 minutes



Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings



Ingredients



1 pint thick cream



4 ounces ground almonds



2 ounces sugar



4 egg yolks



1/4 pint brandy



Directions



1. Combine the cream, ground almonds and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat the mixture till just below boiling.



2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks until light and fluffy, then beat in the brandy.



3. Pour the hot cream in a thin stream into the yolk mixure, whisking steadily.



4. Serve immediately, or bottle it up, cork securely and store in the fridge -- you'll need to shake it up before you pour.

© Thomson Reuters 2015



For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Related Recipes

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement