Tis the time of the year when our minds turn to traditions of the season and last minute shopping, the snatch or the carols whispering on the wind, bright festive lights everywhere we look.
So I have a few things to share that might make that a bit warmer and bring a smile to your face.
4 quarts dry red wine (zinfandel, merlot, burgundy, etc.)
1 pint brandy
1 cup sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves, whole
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp mace
2 oranges, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
- Pour the wine into a large pot and begin heating over low heat.
- As it begins to warm, add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add the brandy.
- Heat thoroughly, but do not allow boiling!
- Add the lemon and orange.
- Steep for about 1 hour over low heat.
- You may add more sugar during this time if desired, stirring well so it dissolves.
- Serve hot and garnish with orange slices. A stick cinnamon could also be used.
Hot Buttered Rum Mix
Make some and keep in your freezer for an instant warm up on the coldest winter days, and especially for holiday guests.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1 cup unsalted butter (I do NOT use margarine), softened
1 lb. pkg. powdered sugar, sifted
1 lb. brown sugar
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (you can leave this out if you like your coffee black)
In a large bowl beat the butter and the sugars together until smooth. Add the softened ice cream and mix until creamy and well blended. Place this mixture in a freezer container with a tight fitting lid, and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To serve: Place heaping 2 tablespoons of the frozen mix in a coffee mug. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum. Add 6 ounces boiling water and stir until the mixture is melted; serve.
Russian Tea Mix
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 3 minutes,Total Time: 18 minutes
1 cup instant tea powder
2 cups orange flavored drink mix (I use Tang)
3 oz. pkg. unsweetened lemonade powder
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
In a large bowl, combine instant tea powder, orange drink mix, lemonade powder, sugar, cinnamon and cloves and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk. Store in a sealed jar in a cool place. To use, combine 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mix with 1 cup boiling or cold water. Adjust amount used to taste.
Diabetic Mix (or you’re watching your weight):
Substitute quart packets of sugar free instant lemonade and sugar free instant Tang or other orange drink and delete the sugar and add your favorite sugar substitute.
Best served in a large coffee mug or a beer mug
1 oz. Brandy
½ oz Kahlua
½ oz of dark cocoa
Fill with the remainder of cup with coffee of your choice
Top with whipped cream
Options: You can also drizzle chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, amaretto syrup over the whipped cream.