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Warm and Toasty Cocktails
As the temperature continues to dip down, we tend to look for comfort through warm drinks that are a gift to the eyes, nose and taste buds.

But for those who are not coffee drinkers, or those who’d like an alternative to specialty coffees, what’s on the menu? Luckily, there are lots of alternatives to the more traditional Irish or Spanish Coffee to enjoy this winter season. Whether it’s after hike through the fall leaves, a full day of skiing or snowshoeing, or a full day of seasonal shopping…try one of these recipes to enjoy in front of the fire.

If you’ve got chocolate lovers looking for a toasty cocktail, think no further than spiking a simple, creamy hot chocolate with your favourite liqueur.  Just think about what tastes you like combined with chocolate and use that as your guide, then start experimenting.  Peppermint is always a good choice, and can be achieved through adding peppermint schnapps.  If you prefer a spicy cinnamon flavour, try a cinnamon liqueur such as Goldschlagger. You can also play with amaretto, raspberry schnapps, and banana liqueurs for that extra special adult-version of hot chocolate.  Try whipping amaretto or chocolate liqueur into the whipped cream for the top of the hot chocolate as well.

There are lots of recipes for hot toddy’s, but this particular one combines the tastes of gin, crème de cassis and lemon zest to create a delightful warm drink.  The botanicals of the gin play against the sweet currant of cassis and the lemon juice chills everything out.

Zesty Hot Toddy
Ingredients:
• 2 oz gin
• 1/2 oz crème de cassis
• dash of simple syrup
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• hot water

To Create:
1. In an Irish coffee glass, pour the gin, crème de cassis, syrup and lemon juice.
2. Top with hot water.
3. Stir and enjoy.

The name can be deceiving, but there are no blueberries or blueberry-flavored ingredients in a Blueberry Tea.  Instead it is simply a very good, aromatic warm drink. Often served in a brandy snifter, the fragrances of the orange, apricot and tea combine in a warm delight for the senses.

Blueberry Tea
Ingredients:
• 3/4 oz orange liqueur
• 3/4 oz amaretto
• orange pekoe tea
• orange wheel for garnish

To Create:
1. Pour the orange liqueur and amaretto into a preheated brandy snifter*.
2. Fill the snifter two-thirds of the way to the top with orange pekoe tea.
3. Garnish with an orange wheel.
4. Stir the drink.

*The safest and easiest way to preheat a brandy snifter is to rinse the snifter with very warm water before adding the ingredients.

  

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