Cold Winter Drinks

And cold it was today: 15 degrees when I got up this morning (and the sun was shining) (so you can figure out how late I slept in). It never got much warmer and had dropped to 12 before the sun went down. The wind really picked up this afternoon, with a wind chill of minus 11. We're supposed to hit 6 overnight, but I bet it gets colder.

The first drink I made this weekend was yet another, but luckily the last, sangria. This called for a 'light red wine', cognac, dried cherries, figs, and optional club soda (I didn't option it). I had a small chunk of lemon I tossed in too.

So what's a light red wine? Luckily this was a one bottle sangria, unlike some of this calendar's recipes, so I looked for something cheap. At the grocery I saw a Beringer "white Merlot" for $6; I figured that would work. And what's a white Merlot? Sort of like a pink Zin or a white Zin. Pretty sweet for me, though my sister loves these soda pop wines.

Figs always are useful to have around for baking or cooking, so I bought a package. The dried cherries, which I love and can eat right out of the bag, cost twice as much as cherry-flavored Craisins, so the Craisins won. It's the usual stir up and let sit for 2 hours recipe. Serve over ice. (I heard a quasi sangria recipe on the radio today that called for pears, prunes, and sage: I think I'll past on that one. What a combination!)

This sangria isn't bad. I don't think I could taste much of the figs, though I did get an erstaz cherry or two. The wine wasn't overwhelmingly sweet, probably toned down by the lemon chunk and the cognac. And the sangria packs a nice little punch.

The second cocktail was a coffee-hot chocolate combination. I had some Ghirardelli sweet cocoa, so I mixed it with milk in a pan. The coffee came from my local Kwikee Mart. You pour some dark creme de cacao (good thing the recipe called for dark, only about the second time all year, since I'm out of white) and some peppermint schnapps in your mug, add roughly equal parts hot chocolate and coffee (a little more of the latter), stir, top with hipped cream.

A nice hot chocolate mint cocktail. If Starbucks served these, maybe they'd be doing better.