Just because it’s damp and biting cold outside and one would rather just hug a cup of hot anything sitting on the couch, there really is no need to withdraw to the living room. For it’s time for winter cocktails! We asked the experienced bartender of Boutique Bar, Ferenc Haraszti, what he recommends for winter.
Without doubt there are drinks whose preparation at home is a no-go, what’s more, there are outright dangerous recipes (you’ll see below), but you should not be afraid to give a shot at the most of them.
Of course, you might want to keep a couple of things in mind, like adding alcohol to hot drinks as a final step as alcohol, evaporating at 70 °C, will vanish long before the water starts boiling, or that you shouldn’t panic if you don’t know the quantities right as you can still flavor the drink later with homemade sugar syrup, for example. What is inevitable, though, is a measuring cup marked at every 10 mls and a hot-resistant glass for serving.Ginger Grog
This cocktail gets its intensive flavor by the dark rum and the good ginger ale keeps its sweet hotness after warming, too, which is balanced by the lime. As a bonus it helps you to avoid illnesses.
Ingredients:40 ml Jamaican dark rum (Myers, Appleton)
20 ml lime (the juice of half a lime)
8 mint leaves
80 ml ginger ale
According to Ferenc the mixture of ginger ale, lime and mint leaves is best steamed with a coffee maker but you can do it with a cooker on slow fire at home, as well. You don’t want it to bubble like lava, it’s okay if it steams in a strong way. Pour the rum as the finishing touch and warm the new mixture to mingle the flavors.Boutique Winter Cup
There’a a very colorful and exciting part of mulled wines that comes right after you close the door behind yourself leaving the tablet red wines spiced up with tea bags on the other side. We were told that the 2011 Haraszty Irsai Olivér is a great success, so this is what we recommend for the basis of the following recipe, since it’s a dry but still fruity white wine. Cranberries give the color, and the smell of spices and citrus mix as the alcohol-filled steam of gin leaves the glass.
40 ml cranberry juice
20 ml gin
100 ml dry but fruity white wine
20 ml sugar syrup (2 bulging teaspoon of powdered sugar)
¼ skin of orange
¼ skin of lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
grated nutmeg on top
1 star anise for serving
It’s a false belief that boiling the mixture and thus evaporating the water will make the mulled wine stronger. Those who want to keep the alcohol in should put a cover on the pot and heat it slowly without boiling. Those really careful should mix the gin together with the other ingredients as a last step. You should be careful with the star anise because if it soaks in the drink for too long, it could easily diminish the other flavors, so put it in the glass only a couple of minutes before serving.Elder Blazer
This cocktail came into being as an fusion of two others, when a guest wanted something warm but fruity to drink. Blue Blazer derives from the 1800s, it’s associated with Jerry Thomas, who was the first to put the basics of cocktail-making on paper. Until that time this knowledge had been passed on but orally. This blazing cocktail can be made of basically any spirit poured on fruits. The other cocktail, Left Bank, leaves its trace in the gin, the sauvignon blanc and the elderberry syrup. Even its scent will arouse in you the velvety warmness of alcohol content, and the grapes and elderberry syrup give a fresh interpretation to the traditional Chrismas flavors.
Ingredients: 40 ml gin
15 ml sauvignon blanc
15 ml elderberry syrup
4 grapes cut in half
20 ml apple juice
The peculiarity of Blazers is that they are not heated during preparation but the alcohol itself is set on fire. It’s not advisable to try at home as the spattering, blazing drops could potentially cause serious damage.
Yet, in order to satisfy your theoretical curiosity, here’s the recipe:
Put the grapes already cut in half in one of the hot-resistant glasses, pour the gin and the wine on them, and light them carefully. Pour the blazing, hotter and hotter alcohol into the other glass but leave the grapes where they are. When the mixture is hot enough, add the elderberry syrup and the apple juice and warm them together.