Hot cider cock­tail can warm you on cold days

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter a snowy walk or long day on the slopes, there’s noth­ing like curl­ing up un­der a warm blan­ket. Maybe you have a fire go­ing and the dog asleep at your feet, with a good book just within reach.

But be­fore you can re­lax, you need to warm up those cold hands and chilled bones. Be­fore you set­tle in for your long win­ter’s nap, stir up this hot cider cock­tail, fea­tured at The Tav­ern at American Bounty at our cam­pus in Hyde Park, New York.

Hot cock­tails are in­spired by the clas­sic hot toddy, a cu­ra­tive mix­ture dat­ing back cen­turies that in­cludes whiskey, rum, or brandy with hot water, a sweet­ener, and some­times some spic­ing.

How­ever you like your hot toddy, it should be sooth­ing and com­fort­ing on a cold day. In fact, hot tod­dies made with spir­its, honey, and lemon juice are of­ten used to ease the symp­toms from our sea­sonal colds and coughs.

Our cider cock­tail recipe be­gins with al­mond-fla­vored amaretto and hot apple cider. Bit­ters are added to help bal­ance the sweet­ness from the cider (and the caramel sauce and whipped cream we’ll add later). Bit­ters are a blend of nat­u­rally sour or bit­ter botan­i­cal fla­vors — like orange peel or herbs. In cock­tails, they add a con­cen­trated dose of bit­ter­ness with­out di­lut­ing the pri­mary fla­vors in the drink.

There are no rules when it comes to a hot cock­tail, and this recipe can be re­for­mu­lated to suit your mood or the con­tents of your liquor cab­i­net. In place of amaretto, you can use any of your fa­vorite spir­its, like whiskey or apple brandy. If you like in­fused spir­its or syrups (a great make-ath­ome hol­i­day gift), a hot cock­tail is the per­fect way to show them off. Cin­na­mon-in­fused bourbon or car­damom-in­fused sim­ple syrup are great starts to mak­ing this recipe your own.

Hot cock­tails are the per­fect treat for a lit­tle bit of quiet time, but they are also an ex­cel­lent make-ahead recipe when you are host­ing win­ter par­ties. They can be mixed and kept warm in a crock pot or on the stove­top over a very low flame. Be sure to put some of the hot apple cider aside be­fore adding the amaretto, for chil­dren and guests who choose not to par­take. Gar­nish your party drinks with freshly made whipped cream, our caramel sauce, and a cin­na­mon stick for a par­tic­u­larly In­sta­gram­wor­thy pre­sen­ta­tion.

Hot cider cock­tail

Start to fin­ish: 20 min­utes Makes one drink 2 ounces amaretto 6 ounces warm apple cider 1 dash bit­ters Whipped Cream, as needed (recipe fol­lows) Caramel Sauce, as needed (recipe fol­lows) Com­bine amaretto, warm cider, and bit­ters in an Ir­ish cof­fee mug or reg­u­lar cof­fee mug. Top with fresh whipped cream and caramel sauce. Caramel Sauce Makes about 2 cups 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream 3⁄4 cup sugar 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup 2 ta­ble­spoons un­salted but­ter

Pre­pare an ice bath. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Re­move from the heat.

Com­bine the sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over low heat and stir un­til the sugar dis­solves. Slowly cook to a golden brown with­out stir­ring, 8 to 9 min­utes. Re­move from the heat and put the saucepan in the ice bath for 20 sec­onds to stop the cook­ing. Re­move from the ice bath and stir in the but­ter.

Care­fully stir in the hot cream, mix­ing un­til fully blended. To store the caramel sauce, trans­fer it to a clean bowl or jar, cover tightly, and re­frig­er­ate for up to 2 weeks. Re­heat the sauce over low heat or in the mi­crowave be­fore serv­ing.

Whipped Cream

Makes about 2 cups 1 cup heavy cream, chilled 1⁄4 cup con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar 1⁄2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract

Chill a stain­less-steel bowl and the beat­ers of a hand­held mixer, the whisk at­tach­ment of a stand mixer, or a bal­loon whisk.

Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and whip on medium speed un­til thick­ened, about 3 min­utes. In­crease the speed to high and grad­u­ally add the con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar while whip­ping. Add the vanilla ex­tract and con­tinue to whip un­til the cream has the de­sired peak ac­cord­ing to its in­tended use. Soft peaks are good for dol­lop­ing cream, while firmer peaks are bet­ter if the cream is to be piped, used for top­ping, or folded into an­other mix­ture.

Note: If your cream starts to turn slightly yel­low while you are whip­ping, it is close to be­ing over­whipped and turn­ing into but­ter. Fold in a small amount of un­whipped cream, if you have it, to res­cue the tex­ture.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing of the cock­tail with­out cream or caramel sauce: 310 calo­ries; 0 calo­ries from fat; 0 g fat (0 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg choles­terol; 19 mg sodium; 56 g car­bo­hy­drate; 0 g fiber; 19 g sugar; 0 g pro­tein.

This ar­ti­cle was pro­vided to The As­so­ci­ated Press by The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica in Hyde Park, New York. This recipe also can be found in The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica’s cook­book, “Bak­ing at Home.”

PHIL MANS­FIELD—THE CULI­NARY IN­STI­TUTE OF AMER­ICA VIA AP

This Nov. 18 photo pro­vided by The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica shows a hot cider cock­tail in Hyde Park. This drink is from a recipe by the CIA.

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