homemade apple cider
12 apples (always use a mixture of sweet apples such as red delicious, gala, or honey crisp)
or 4 cups fresh pressed apple juice
1 orange, quartered
1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks (more for garnish)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp cloves
1/2 tbsp allspice
water to just cover apples
wash and dry the apples and then scoop out the insides of the apples using a sharp knife. set aside these cups, which can be sprinkled with lemon juice and used for serving if desired.
bring the apple pulp, water, orange, sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. simmer for about 2 hours.
mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork. allow the cider to come to room temp and then strain.
if using apple juice then simply combine all ingredients plus 1 cup water, bring to a boil for 2-3 min, and then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. cool and strain as above.
you can serve the apple cider cool from the fridge or warmed in the oven/stove-top. enjoy this delicious treat in the wintertime.
5-6 bottles of medium, not-too-dry red wine
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 large fistful of fresh orange peel
1 chunk of peeled fresh ginger, half grated, half sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar (more to taste if wanted)
1 bottle of wine, reserving the others, and all other ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. lower heat instantly and simmer for 30 min. strain liquid, return to pot. tie all solid ingredients in a cheesecloth and return to the pot also.
add the rest of the wine, and let steep for several hours or overnight. when reheating the mixture never let it come to a boil.
5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup whipping cream for topping (optional)
1/2 cup whiskey or bourbon
1/2 cup spiced rum
a quick note about the rum: at the lcbo carly picked up some kraken rum. i was really happy when she did and not just cause it has possibly the coolest bottle i have ever seen, although this did make me very happy.
i was introduced to kraken rum a few months ago by a friend of a friend visiting from the states. he was excited because he could get the rum here; it has only recently been stocked by the lcbo. you can read about the rum here, which is on sale til the end of the year also and a great deal, especially since it is very strong at 94 proof (47% abv). don’t miss out on trying this awesome rum for your eggnog, or any other rum drinks for that matter.
ok, back to the eggnog. start by whisking egg yolks with sugar until creamy and the sugar has dissolved. add cream, milk, bourbon, and rum and stir to combine. stir in nutmeg and vanilla and chill well.
if you want to cook the eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella then combine half of the cream and milk with the egg yolk mixture. heat in a glass bowl over simmering water (or a double boiler) for 5-6 min, making sure the water doesn’t boil and the bowl is not sitting in the water. be sure to stir constantly. after five minutes add the rum, bourbon, vanilla, and nutmeg and chill.
while eggnog is chilling you can do the additional step of adding an egg white whipped cream topping to your eggnog. this is the traditional way of serving eggnog, but very much optional.
beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then beat in sugar until stiff peaks form. in a separate bowl beat a 1/2 cup heavy cream. gently fold whites into the cream and serve on top of egg nog with a sprinkle of egg nog.
for a virgin eggnog omit the alcohol and add an extra 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of cream, and 1-2 tbsp of rum extract to the mix. chill and serve.
this eggnog recipe is a guaranteed hit, and also guaranteed to bring people together for a night of fun. we at shrp knvs are pretty sure you won’t just make one batch.
enjoy this tasty treat. its the holidays so why not spoil yourself.
rosemary-infused warm apple cider
ingredients (for 2 drinks):
2 cups apple cider
2 shots of bourbon whiskey (optional)
2 sprigs of rosemary, plus 2 more for garnish
2 cinnamon sticks
heat apple cider over medium heat with rosemary and cinnamon sticks until bubble just begin to form around the edges of the pot. remove from heat and add the bourbon. pour into glasses and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
this drink is guaranteed to keep you warm on those cold winter evenings.
1 bottle of wine - traditionally a light, fruity, inexpensive red is used but sangria is also great with white wine
1 1/2 cups of orange juice
2 ounces of triple sec (optional)
chopped fruit - we used limes, lemons, oranges and raspberries but you pretty much can’t go wrong with any fresh fruits you have lying around.
for me sangria screams summer. the fresh fruit, the ice cubes, the carefree way you can put it together. it is perfect for any backyard bbq…or a friday after noon in november because its sunny out.
like most drink recipes this one is super straight forward and really lenient. the basic components of a sangria are wine, a sweetener and fruit. the combinations are plentiful so feel to experiment with whatever is at hand.
for our sangria we used a bottle of beaujolais, a french wine that is very light, fruity and summery. it costs about 12 dollars and works perfectly in sangria. you don’t need anything fancy because most of the complexity of the wine will be lost to the fruit and sweetener anyway.
we decided to use orange juice as a sweetener but other common ones used are simple syrup or ginger ale. citrus fruit work really well in sangria and since we had a bunch the weren’t going to last through the weekend they seemed like the natural choice to add to our sangria.
before trying to juice any citrus fruits first roll the fruit against the counter with the palm of your hand with a fair amount of force. the idea here is to break the inside of the lime or lemon or orange so that when you cut it open it will be easy enough to juice by hand. squeeze the juice into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and then add the fruit rinds too for extra flavour and aesthetic purposes.
let the mixture chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
homemade mint-infused lemonade
what you need:
2 cups fresh lemon juice (8-12 lemons, depending on their juiciness)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
large handful of mint leaves
start by making your mint-infused simple syrup. this is the same recipe as ourwhiskey sour from a few days ago, but add some mint. to recap simply bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the chopped up mint. once boiling dissolve the sugar in and allow to cool in the freezer. simple syrup can easily be stored.
to make your lemonade juice your lemons and then mix one part lemon juice with one part simple syrup and three parts cold water (less if you are adding ice cubes. its always better to add a little less water and taste test and add more if needed. play around with what works for you.
garnish with a slice of lemon and some fresh mint and serve on the rocks.
note: this recipe can easily be made adult by adding some vodka or other liquor. you may want to cut back on the amount of water being added and substitute for sparkling water and up the sugar and lemon proportions to cut the booze flavour also.
the juice of 1-2 fresh limes (realime juice from those bottles also works)
so as you can see the recipe is not very complex, but tastes so much better than any whiskey sour you can get at the bar (and is a hell of a lot stronger too). to start you have to make the simple syrup. to make this mix equal parts sugar and water and heat. stir constantly. i usually make extra and save it in the fridge for another date. generally a cup of water and a cup or sugar works well.
once the sugar is completely dissolved set it aside to cool. this syrup, called simple syrup, is also the starting point for many, many other drinks so having extra is not a bad thing.
in a shaker mix ice, 1 part whiskey, 1 part lime juice and 1 part of the cooled simple syrup. shake and strain into a glass filled with ice and garnished with a wedge of lime.