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November 2003
Warming Up, From the Inside Out: Winter Dessert Drinks

By Joshua Ploeg


Instead of normal dessert, try one of the cocktails that you eat with a little spoon, like the Farmer’s Son’s Cocktail, which I’ve modified a bit. Some of these drink recipes are a bit strange, but they will provide an interesting topic for dinner conversation! They are all served warm, which may be an aid in overcoming the freezing cold this winter. When choosing a wine or beer to use, you can ask the wine or beer person what goes well with pears, etc.—but don’t tell them what you’re going to do with it, otherwise you might be in for the big lecture! Go cheap!


2 Pints Brandy
1 C. Sugar Cubes (or more to taste)
1 C. Golden Raisins or Apricots
2 C. Water
Cinnamon Stick
2 T. Lemon Juice
Sherry or Madeira

1. Simmer the water with raisins for 7 minutes. Add sugar cubes, stir until dissolved, set aside.

Heat brandy with cinnamon stick and pour over sugar and raisins.

Stir and add lemon juice. Cool and store in a jar for a few days.

When ready to use, heat with a bit of sherry (to taste), and serve warm in little cups with little spoons for the raisins. (If you use apricots instead, it’s the Farmer’s Daughter’s Cocktail.)

Non-drinkers can use a nice pulp-free fruit juice instead of brandy.

Chocolate Ale Cocktail

2 Pints Ale (dark or heather ale)
4 oz. Dark Rum, warmed
Cinnamon Stick
1/2 C. Sorghum or Rice/Dark Corn Syrup
1/2 C. Dark Chocolate, semi-sweet
Coconut Oil

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler with a small amount of the beer and about a teaspoon of coconut oil.

Meanwhile, heat the beer with the cinnamon stick and sorghum until warm. (But be sure not to boil it!)

Place 2 T. or so of the chocolate into each of four large mugs. Pour one quarter of the warm ale and an ounce of warm rum into each.

Serve warm. It’s pretty wild when you get to the bottom. You may stir it before drinking if you wish, then it is a chocolatey drink indeed!

Non-drinkers can use rum flavoring and a dark ginger beer.

Hot Plum Wine

6 C. Plum Wine
6 Plums, pitted
Ground Cinnamon
Star Anise
Lemon Juice

Baste pitted plums with lemon juice and dredge through sugar mixed with cinnamon and allspice.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Heat plum wine with several pieces of star anise.

Strain into 6 heat-resistant glasses and drop one hot plum into each. Serve hot or warm.

Non-drinkers, see if you can find a light plum juice, or use a mix of pear and white grape juices.

Ginger-Spiced Wine

1 Bottle Red Wine
1 C. Crystallized Ginger, chopped
1 C. Brandy
1/2 C. Sorghum or Rice/Corn syrup (or more to taste)

Heat wine, ginger and sorghum in saucepan.

Cool and store overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, add brandy and heat until warmed. Add more sorghum to taste.

You may strain the ginger out or serve the cocktails with spoons like Boerenjongens. Cloves may be added when you first heat it. You may water it down if it’s too strong. You may also add more ginger that hasn’t been candied if you like—peel it first.

Non-drinkers can try grape and currant juice mixed together.

Holiday White Wine and Pear Purée

4 Pears sprinkled with lemon juice—peeled, cored and chopped
1 Bottle White Wine
Sugar to taste
4 Cloves

Purée wine, pears and sugar until smooth.

Heat with cloves until warmed through or hot.

Serve warm or hot in mugs or heat resistant glasses.

Non-drinkers, use mix of cider and white grape juice.

Glögg (Scandinavian Mulled Wine)
By Ewa Setterwall

This recipe is per one bottle of wine. If you’re making more, adjust the recipe accordingly.

1 Bottle Red Wine
1 C. Vodka
20 Cloves
5 Sticks Cinnamon
1 t. Cardamom Pods, ground
1 Piece Fresh Ginger
1 Strip Orange Peel
1.5–2 C. Sugar (to taste)

Break cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and place together with all spices in a jar. Add vodka and let stand at least overnight to allow the vodka to absorb the spices.

2. Strain the vodka into a pan, removing the spices. Combine and carefully heat the vodka, wine and sugar.

Serve in small glass punch cups, with almonds and raisins at the bottom. (If you can’t buy peeled whole almonds, buy whole almonds without shells and blanch them in boiling water for one minute; chill in cold water for a minute and then pop them easily out of their skins.)



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