1. Juice Squeeze for kids (we're a non-soda house, but this is mostly fruit juice and ok by me for a holiday indulgence).
2. Kir royal makings: Framboise (I want a more crimson color than the usual cassis) and a nice organic French sparkling wine, recommended by the experts at Monterey Liquors.
3. San Pellegrino. Because all conscientious hosts provide a nonalcoholic option, even if guests never drink it.
4. Rum for hot buttered rum.
I hate rum but was happy to offer Big S. his first hot buttered rum of the season. Here's what I do:
HOT BUTTERED RUMAnd speaking of orange peel, this evening I also made this:
In my KitchenAid counter top mixer, I combine1 cup unsalted butter, room temperatureA jar of this lives in my fridge this time of year. Refrigerated, it should last forever. But I'm not sure of this because it never does. When someone calls for a drink I do this:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 Tbl. cinnamon
1 Tbl. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp. ground gingerPlop a few tablespoons of the mixture into a mug.
Fill the mug half way with boiling water. Stir until mixture dissolves.
Fill the mug the rest of the way with rum.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange peel.
I always make this infused wine this time of year, when I can buy good organic oranges at a reasonable price.
Here's the recipe. I multiply by eight.dried orange peels of 6 small or 4 large naval orangesHeat the oven to 300 degrees.
1 fifth dry red wine (e.g., zinfandel)
3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup vodka
Spread orange peels on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven, turning from time to time until the inner white part of the peel is golden and the outer part is a dark orange--about 45 minutes.
I'll probably bottle mine in a few months. I usually serve this as a dessert wine, like port. It is sweet but not overly so, and the orange is more a scent than a taste. It's truly delicious and a wonderful reminder of seasons past.So I'm feeling pretty ready for the holidays. Bring 'em on!!