Chasin’ the chill

February 7, 2013

This cast of characters banishes winter in a hurry.

This cast of characters banishes winter in a hurry.

I may have mentioned in the past that I hate cold weather worse than God hates sin.

For these purposes, we will accept the definition of “cold weather” as anything below 40 degrees. Or below 45 if it’s wet, drizzly, raining, or the wind is blowing.

I don’t mind (so very much) being cold, as long as it isn’t prolonged. Or the wind is blowing. Or, God forbid, I’m both cold and wet at the same time. All those combinations being among the reasons I don’t like duck hunting. Or winter.

However, there being a certain amount of winter through which one must go, one must seek what solace one can find from the frigid winds and icy drops which course down the back of one’s neck. (Did that sound suitable for Downton Abbey, or what?). Warming drinks are always a Good Thing when the mercury is falling, the wind is whistling, and cold stuff is falling from the heavens.

For ages, my warm-drink-of-choice has been a combo of coffee, Bailey’s, and Jameson’s Irish. Fine stuff. If I want to get decadent and have some good semi-sweet chocolate on hand, I’ll stir some of that in. Or I may swing the other direction and add a dash of Amaretto. Either way, a couple of mugs of it are guaranteed to chase the chills.

However, I have found a worthy competitor for this when it comes to chill-chasing.

As an aside and an introduction, I have this friend who brews beer. And distills spirits. And is a connoisseur of things with alcohol content. So when she posted to Facebook a recipe for mulled cider that she swears by, well, I had to go there.

It’s way simple. For each serving, heat in a saucepan:

  • 1 12-oz bottle hard cider, one of the crisp apple kinds. (I use Hornsby’s Crisp Apple)
  • 1 shot bourbon
  • 1/2 shot Triple Sec

Heat until just about to boil. Remove from heat, add a dash or two of bitters, to taste, and a cinnamon stick. Or, if you are a Philistine like me and have run out of cinnamon sticks and not bought more, a bit of powdered cinnamon.

One of these will warm you nicely. Two will make you positively cozy. I think three would probably put you to sleep, not to mention they’re about 250 calories apiece. Still and all, they’re a nice, nice way to chase the chill.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n’ ’em try this next time the temps dip down below freezing. You’ll thank me.

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