Spiced White Wine Sangria
Makes 2 quarts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 (750ml) bottle pinot grigio
- 2 tangerines, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- cinnamon sticks
- star anise
Place sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, star anise and cardamom pods into a small saucepan, stir and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. While the spice simple syrup cools, spread tangerine slices onto a baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with a small amount of brown sugar. Using a brulee torch, caramel the tops of each orange tangerine slice or place the baking sheet under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the orange slices and pomegranate seeds into a large pitcher. Pour the wine over the fruit and add extra cinnamon sticks and star anise, if desired. Strain the simple syrup into the pitcher and stir until well combined. Place the sangria in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least an hour. Pour into glasses and serve.
Hot Pumpkin Buttered Rum
Makes 6 servings
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1/3 cup pumpkin butter, such as Trader Joe’s brand
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch salt
- Dark rum
- Hot water
- Whipped cream, to garnish
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, and salt using a mixer on low setting. Add approximately 2 tablespoons of butter mixture to the bottom of a heat-proof glass or mug. Add 2 ounces of dark rum. Fill the glass with boiling water. Stir to mix. Optional: top with whipped cream. Garnish with a dusting of spice.
Makes 8 drinks
For the creme anglaise:
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 whole nutmeg, crushed with a heavy pan
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the cocktails:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 ounces brandy
- 2 ounces rum
- 2 ounces bourbon
Make the creme anglaise: Combine the half-and-half, crushed nutmeg, and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let steep 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the warm half-and-half mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the creme anglaise just begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Strain and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
Make the cocktails: Combine the sugar and grated nutmeg on a plate. Dip the rims of 8 martini glasses in water, then in the sugar mixture. Combine half each of the creme anglaise, brandy, rum and bourbon in a cocktailshaker with ice. Shake well and strain into 4 glasses. Repeat to make 4 more cocktails.
Merry Berry Christmas, Sugar!
Makes 1 serving
- 5 fresh raspberries
- 4 fresh blueberries
- 2 fresh blackberries
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light agave nectar
- 5 fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ginger ale
- Garnish: halved fresh raspberries and blackberries (optional)
Muddle 5 fresh raspberries, blueberries, 2 fresh blackberries, light agave nectar, mint leaves, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Stir in crushed ice and water. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (7 to 10 seconds). Pour mixture into a 16-oz. glass, and top with ginger ale. Garnish, if desired.