Soothe yourself with a Warm Drink
The weather is cooling off as we reach the end of October. Yesterday I woke to find snow capping the beautiful Sangre De Cristo mountains that Santa Fe lies beneath. And as Autumn moves in to full swing, I begin to think of drinks to warm the chilly (chile??) nights of the high desert.
Last year I did a post on Hot Buttered Rums, which still stays my favorite cool weather drink. This time I want to focus on a couple more fantastic little concoctions that will keep your spirits alive on blustery nights.
First up :The Hot Toddy. The Toddy is versatile drink and is basically a generic term for any spirited drink served warm ( Mulled, wine, Hot Buttered Rum, and that “cold remedy” grandma used to give you are all toddies). Bartenders are pretty creative when it comes to toddies, and advertise them on their menus with all sorts of spirits, spices, teas, and ciders. Personally I think that when it comes to toddies, the simpler the better. And that is where we bring in the Whiskey Skin:
- 1 1/2 oz whiskey (I’ll leave that one up to you)
- 1/2 oz Tribunado Sugar
- 4 oz Hot Water
- Lemon Peel
Combine whiskey, sugar, and water in a warmed coffee glass nad twist the lemon peel over and drop it in. Most folks behind the bar use honey (grandma again) instead of the sugar, and that’s fine too. Whatever you do, don’t use white sugar. It just doesn’t hold up.
Next up The Irish Coffee. Most people report that the Irish Coffee was invented in San Francisco around 1952, and I will give that weight in that this drink became popular in the U.S. then. But to assume that someone in Ireland had not put irish whiskey coffee and a little sugar in a mug before 1952 is flat-out preposterous. Another piece of history notes that a chef in Ireland around 1940 created this drink to keep disembarking passengers at an airport warm. But again I seriously doubt this was the first instance of Irish whiskey and coffee meeting. I will again give weight to the popularization at Shannon International Airport for bringing it to the masses.
There are many interpretations for the Irish Coffee , and most times I dodge ordering them in bars because they are just don;t do the drink justice. A few examples? Sure! Many bartenders don;t use sugar which is a bad thing. There should be a little sweet in the drink. Green Creme De Menthe dashed on top looks fun, but please don’t do it to mine. Ffinally, pre-made, overly sweetened whipped cream from a can or nitro canister is not good either though convenient. Again, following the KISS Rule (Keep it Simple Sweetheart).
The Irish Coffee
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
- Fresh whipped cream
- Hot black coffee
In a warmed coffee mug, dissolve the sugar in the coffee, and add the whiskey. Layer fresh whipped cream on top and serve. Drink the coffee through the cream with stirring it in. The cream layer should only be about 1/2 inch thick.
Making fresh whipped cream ( makes enough for about 3 drinks)
Method 1-In a small chilled mixing bowl, pour about 2 ounces of heavy whipping cream and whisk for a minute of so. gently layer onto the top of your Irish Coffee.
Method 2 (my fav!)- using a milk frother (available at a kitchen store near you), froth 2 ounces of heavy whipping cream in the bottom of a chilled mixing glass. I like this method for a couple of reasons: First Mixing bowls are bulky behind the bar and take up a lot of room, especially when you use them cold. Chilled mixing glasses are readily available are a multi tasking piece of equipment used also for serving beer and mixing other cocktails. Second the milk frother can also be used to spin out other drinks requiring emulsification like The Ramos Gin Fizz, or Pisco Sour.
Whether sitting by the fire or outside on the deck in the brisk evening air, pour yourself on of these great drinks to keep you body warm and your soul satisfied. Don;t forget to invite a friend too!