Gimme a little hot stuff, baby!
Just like Donna Summer, we're looking for the hot stuff...hot cocktails, that is! We've been loving hot cocktails this winter (such as this, this, this, this, this, and this!), but warm drinks can be tricky if you're using hot water as the primary ingredient for imparting warmth. You can have a terrific cocktail that is drowned out and diluted by the very thing that's making it hot. Well, we just learned a terrific solution to keeping your hot cocktails both toasty and flavorful: mulled water!
Yup, just like the ancient practice of adding spice and heat to wine to zhush it up, adding spice and heat to your water will enhance and fortify the flavor of your hot cocktails. And, if you're making drinks for a crowd, making a large batch of mulled water ahead of time to complete your cocktails will keep your guests warm and happy throughout your event. The other thing we love about this technique is that it's so customizable: swap out the spices and aromatics of your water to complement the other flavors in the base cocktail. Voilà! Endless flavor possibilities!
We whipped up a new cocktail to test this method, and we are so happy with how it came out. We wanted a cozy after-dinner drink to take the place of coffee. This is a nutty, spicy, chocolatey cocktail that will warm you up on a cold night.
(makes 1 cocktail)
1 oz. Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
2 dashes Angostura Cocoa Bitters
3 oz. hot mulled water *
Garnish: orange peel
In a mug or Irish coffee glass, add amaro, Frangelico, and bitters, and stir to combine. Slowly add the mulled water. Express an orange peel over the cocktail and then drop it in the glass. Sip & enjoy!
* Mulled water:
4 oz. water
1 star anise pod
1 tsp. whole allspice berries
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
Heat water and spices in a saucepan until just under boiling. Strain out spices using a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth.