The frightful weather of winter in the Pioneer Valley is upon us. Grab your wool socks, Snuggies and flannel and brace yourself for the next few months of spending nights in curled up with your roommates watching Disney movies from the 1990s. For these delightful nights ahead, here are some cocktail recipes guaranteed to warm you up.
Don Draper’s Irish Coffee
Inspired by Don Draper of “Mad Men,” this warm beverage promises a classy way to entertain after-dinner guests, settle a business deal between associates or to enhance the contents of an average travel mug of coffee.
Pour 2 ounces of Irish whiskey (John Jameson or Bushmill’s Irish whiskey will suffice) into a mug. Proceed to fill the glass three-quarters of the way to full with hot, black coffee. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar, depending on how strong your sweet tooth is. Stir the contents of the mug and then add a dollop of whipped cream on top. Though Draper is known to begin imbibing before heading to work in the morning, this drink can be made with decaf coffee and served at any time of the day or night.
Hot Obama’s Warm Apple Cider
Originally created by owner of JoeDoe’s bar in New York City to celebrate President Barack Obama’s presidential victory and the beginning of winter, this warm apple cider drink should please Republicans and Democrats alike.
Heat up a half a mug worth of apple cider, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and then pour into a mug containing 1.5 ounces of spiced rum. To the mug, add a splash of hot water and a dash of lemon juice. Sprinkle a bit of the ground cinnamon on top and serve. When serving this cocktail to Republicans, changing the name might be advisable. Some alternative titles are: Mitt Romney’s Five Million Dollar Estate in Massachusetts or Spicy Hot Sarah Palin.
Anti-Flu Hot Toddy
Hot Toddies were originally created in England as a medicinal means for curing the common cold or flu. With an upswing of the flu virus in Massachusetts this winter and collegiate environments being a hot bed for the spreading of diseases, we college students need a remedy that doesn’t involve us shelling out $25 for a flu shot.
Brew a cup of black tea, add a spoonful of honey and then add 1.5 teaspoons of Irish whiskey, bourbon or rum, whichever libation fits your fancy. Drink said concoction while cuddled underneath your bed sheets. The liquor will lubricate your vocal cords and the steam will open your nasal passages alleviating you briefly from the symptoms of the cold or the feared flu.
Swedish Mulled Wine
What better place to look to for how to survive a freezing winter climate than the Nordic country of Sweden? Recently famous in the United States for their musical icons Icona Pop and Robyn, the Swedes have more to offer us than the fiercest of lady musicians.
A staple in the winter months in this northern landscape is mulled wine, which is a delicious concoction made from a bottle of red wine, nutritious fruit and some spices. In a large pot on the stove, pour a bottle of red wine (preferably a cabernet sauvignon for its inherent sweetness), add 3 ounces of brandy and an orange, peeled and sliced into wedges. To the pot, add a couple of dashes of cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Keep the mix on a low heat on the stovetop until the mixture is heated through and then serve in mugs. This red wine cocktail is guaranteed to make you hate the winter season a little less.
In a pot on the stove on low, combine apple juice and rum. Once this is heated, pour a half a mugs worth into a coffee mug. Then add half a bottle of a room temperature IPA beer to the concoction. While this may sound dangerous and daring, you’ll have to admit that it also sounds quite delicious. Sip on this while snowed in and watching a Law and Order SVU marathon. Benson and Stabler would certainly approve.
These warm winter cocktails containing dark liquors, sweet season flavors and spices and served in the ever comforting coffee mug are certain to make you feel toasty in lieu of the dorms having warm fire places to cuddle around.
Allie Connell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.