Warm It Up With Holiday Libation Recipes

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There is nothing like cooler weather and the holiday season to make you dream of curling up in a cozy blanket with the comforts of a cup of flavorful liquid to warm your insides.

Cyd Cassone, bulk buyer at Brazos Natural Foods, shares her creative spin on holiday libations that incorporate natural herbs and spices full of healthful antioxidants that will cheer friends and family into a festive spirit. She encourages people to experiment and to make mugs of flavor unique to their taste. Brazos Natural Foods sells their spices in jars or by basic self-serve bulk, which is helpful for trying out just a pinch of that new spice. Here are some of Cassone’s recipe ideas to get started.

Pumpkin Goodness with a Hint of Curry

Use pumpkin puree to make this very festive and tasty fall treat. Mix one tablespoon of pumpkin purée with 1⁄2 cup of milk and blend in spices you enjoy. The twist on this one is instead of only adding the traditional drink spices of clove* and cinnamon**, try adding garam masala, a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines.

“This spice contains pepper and coriander which adds savory flavor to the drink but still has sweet essence to it,” says Cassone. Other ingredients also contained in garam masala curry are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cumin. Cassone uses coconut milk for lactose intolerant loved ones. This can also be helpful for gluten-free eaters for whom the protein in milk can be difficult to digest.

 

 

There is nothing like cooler weather and the holiday season to make you dream of curling up in a cozy blanket with the comforts of a cup of flavorful liquid to warm your insides.

Cyd Cassone, bulk buyer at Brazos Natural Foods, shares her creative spin on holiday libations that incorporate natural herbs and spices full of healthful antioxidants that will cheer friends and family into a festive spirit. She encourages people to experiment and to make mugs of flavor unique to their taste. Brazos Natural Foods sells their spices in jars or by basic self-serve bulk, which is helpful for trying out just a pinch of that new spice. Here are some of Cassone’s recipe ideas to get started.

Pumpkin Goodness with a Hint of Curry

Use pumpkin puree to make this very festive and tasty fall treat. Mix one tablespoon of pumpkin purée with 1⁄2 cup of milk and blend in spices you enjoy. The twist on this one is instead of only adding the traditional drink spices of clove* and cinnamon**, try adding garam masala, a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines.

“This spice contains pepper and coriander which adds savory flavor to the drink but still has sweet essence to it,” says Cassone. Other ingredients also contained in garam masala curry are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cumin. Cassone uses coconut milk for lactose intolerant loved ones. This can also be helpful for gluten-free eaters for whom the protein in milk can be difficult to digest.

Ingredients:

1 can of pumpkin puree

1 can of water

1 cup of coconut milk

1 tsp of garam masala

1-2 tsp of honey for added sweetness (optional)

Other ideas to mix it up:

Add coffee to the mixture for a wonderful, seasonal latte. For an adult beverage, add a shot of rum to each mug with a bit of whip cream on top.

Directions:

1. Whisk ingredients together in a boiling pot (excluding honey or rum)

2. Heat over stove for a few minutes or until hot

3. Allow mixture to cool. Dip into mugs and serve with a squirt of whip cream.

“All-Naturale” Hot Cocoa Creation

Instead of using an instant cocoa mix this year, try making your hot chocolate with organic cocoa powder. This will give you a more authentic chocolate taste and leaves out all the additives and sugars that go along with over-the- counter packages. Cassone recommends adding cinnamon and clove to your organic cocoa for a more full flavor. Want to spice it up? Try adding chili powder to your hot cocoa mix. The zesty chocolate beverage will be unique and fun for entertaining guests or putting a twist on family tradition.

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk or coconut milk

1-2 tsp of organic pure cocoa (depending on preferred chocolate taste)

1 tsp of chili powder (for spicy flavor)

Directions:

1. Mix cocoa powder with just enough water to make a paste-like substance in a small container.

2. Pour into pot with milk and heat on stove until desired temperature while stirring.

3. Add in chili powder to mix while heating over stove.

4. Allow to cool then serve in mugs with a bit of whip cream and sprinkle a tiny bit of cocoa or chili powder or cinnamon on top. 

Clever Ciders

There are many variations of cider to try out as a great fall or winter beverage. Clove, cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg or other spices can be added to your favorite apple cider recipe for that extra zing. Cassone says to look for the spice-cider mix during the holidays at Brazos Natural Foods.

*When cooking with cloves, do not forget to drain them out before serving. It is dangerous to swallow them whole.

“Many people don’t realize that there are so many kinds of cinnamon,” says Cassone. All of the kinds are good. Try a few and find some new favorite blends.

Warm With Spirits

Hosting a dinner party for adults or prefer a nice wine drink to a hot chocolate? Kelsey Tinker of Messina Hof Winery & Resort shares recipes for Tawney Port Latte and Fireside Mulled Wine. Both are from the book, Meals & Memories from Messina Hof.

Fireside Mulled Wine

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 bottle Messina Hof Shiraz

1 1⁄2 cups water or brewed green tea

1⁄2 cup raw or brown sugar 8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick 1⁄4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch allspice

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan; warm over low heat (do not boil). Steep for 30 minutes. Strain and discard cloves and cinnamon; serve in mugs.

For Papa Paulo Port Mulled Wine:

Substitute port for the Shiraz, reduce water to 3⁄4 cup and reduce the sugar to 1⁄4 cup (port is already sweet). Add 1⁄2 teaspoon orange zest if desired. This makes a bolder mulled wine for those really cold nights. 

Tawny Port Latte

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Messina Hof Tawny Port 

1 shot brewed espresso 3⁄4 cup steamed milk 3⁄4 cup half-and-half cream

Directions:

Pour wine into a cappuccino mug; add espresso (stirring is not necessary, as mixture will blend when poured). Blend milk and cream; add to wine and espresso mixture according to cappuccino maker instructions.

For Tawny Port Cappuccino:

Froth blended milk and cream according to cappuccino maker instructions and add to wine and espresso mixture. Spoon extra froth over beverage for presentation.