It’s Cold Outside – Warm Up Your Cocktails
by Mike Lerchenfeldt
Very little in life cannot be improved with a warm drink, so why not warm up your cocktail? Customers often enjoy warmth in their cocktails for several reasons – comfort, aesthetic appeal, flavor enhancement, cold weather relief, and tradition.
“Whiskey reacts differently, providing unique flavors and aromas, when married with warm ingredients,” said Rich Lockwood, Motor City Gas owner and distiller. “Even the feel of a warm glass provides a sensory experience that will affect the way you taste your drink.”
Every year, winter brings Michigan the same familiar concoctions, from mulled wine to warm cocktails.
These cocktails can be appreciated by a wide range of people – fans of seasonal drinks, those seeking relaxation, and adventurous drinkers. But making warm cocktails can sometimes be challenging, although it is worth the effort to incorporate warmth into cocktails for chilly weather, relaxing evenings, after-dinner drinks, and special events.
Following an easy recipe and just following your heart and trying is the best strategy for any mixologist want-to-be. “When Michigan’s winter chill comes in, nothing helps warm your heart and lift your spirits like a hot cider cocktail,” said Heather DeLiso, Valentine Distilling Company venue manager.
1. HOT CINNAMON APPLE WHISKEY BY HEATHER DELISO, VALENTINE DISTILLERY
- 2 oz. infused whiskey
- 2 oz. fresh cider
- Combine ingredients in a mug and heat to 160 degrees
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve immediately
To make the Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Infusion (infused whiskey) for the Hot Cinnamon Apple Whiskey:
- Combine a bottle of Mayor Pingree Red Label bourbon with four apples cut and cored and three sticks of cinnamon
- Let soak at room temperature for 3-5 days
- Remove apples and cinnamon and return infused whiskey to the original bottle
2. BUZZED UP BY RICH LOCKWOOD, MOTOR CITY GAS DISTILLERY
- .75 oz. Barely Legal (Irish-style whiskey)
- .75 oz. Stink Eye rye whiskey
- .75 oz. ginger simple syrup
- 3 oz. hot dark roast coffee
- Slowly pour .75 oz. heavy cream (over the back of a spoon) so it floats on top of the coffee