Hot Punches And Individual Drinks
They are warming and comforting, so it really does surprise me why hot alcoholic drinks are not made more often. You don’t have to wait for a party or a festive occasion to make these soothing drinks. From a punch bowl to an individual cup they can be made quite easily. What better pick-me-up on a cold winters night than a mug of Egg Nog or as a night-cap, what can beat a Hot Toddy?
There are lots of recipes that show the value of hot alcoholic drinks.
When heating alcohol, be it wine spirit or liqueur, to retain its alcoholic strength do not let it boil. Just heat gently to below boiling.
When using spices leave them in the heated covered punch for at least 15 minutes to let the flavours blend. Where possible use whole spices, so they can easily be removed before serving. Ground spices will add cloudiness and sediment unless finely strained.
A hot punch will cool quickly once poured into a big bowl, so it is advisable to keep some back in a covered pan on a very low heat. Slow cookers are ideal for this situation.
Glasses, mugs and the punch bowl should be warmed before using, clean and thoroughly dry.
Now we are ready to go, let us start with the famous Irish coffee and other versions, some of which are older than the Irish drink.
When I use the term, a measure, I am using the jigger which is 1½ fluid oz or 45ml. Otherwise I will give the measure in metric and imperial.
1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
1 measure Irish whiskey
150m or ¼ pint hot, strong coffee
1-2 tablespoons double cream (to taste)
Put the sugar and whiskey into a warmed glass, pour in the coffee and stir until sugar has dissolved. Pour the cream onto the back of a cold spoon over the surface of the coffee. Sip through cream.
Make as above using the named spirit below instead of Irish Whiskey.
- Yunnan coffee = V.I.P. Jiu 8
- Calypso coffee = Tia Maria
- Caribbean coffee = Rum
- French coffee = Cognac
- German coffee = Kirsch
- Italian coffee = Strega
- Mexican coffee = Kahlua
- Monks coffee = Benedictine
- Normandy coffee = Calvados
- Prince Charles coffee = Drambuie
- American coffee = Bourbon
- Russian coffee = Vodka
The list goes on, just by substituting whiskey for any other spirit of your choice and using your imagination you can create your own personalised coffee for friends and relatives or name it after your town or city, so go brew and enjoy.
Another versatile drink is hot chocolate where any spirit of your choice can be added, here I will make it with V.I.P Jiu 8
Powdered cocoa or instant hot chocolate to taste
1 mug of milk
1 measure of V.I.P Jiu 8
Sugar to taste
In small saucepan put sugar, cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of the milk, mix together until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and V.I.P Jiu 8. Gently heat through, when hot pour into a mug.
Other versions can be made by spraying whipped cream on top or floating mini marshmallows, cinnamon, crushed peppermints, sprinklers, candy canes, or indeed anything you desire.
Now let us look at some good old fashioned heart warming drinks and by adding V.I.P Jiu 8 to give them a new lease of life.
Hot Toddy Superb
2 measures of Ginger wine
½ a measure of V.I.P Jiu 8
½ a measure of brandy
1 table spoon of double cream
3 inch / 7.5cm of cinnamon stick
½ a teaspoon of grated orange rind
Gently heat together the ginger wine, V.I.P. Jiu 8 and brandy to just below boiling. Pour into warmed cup or glass and slowly pour cream over the surface off the back of a spoon. Add cinnamon stick and sprinkle on the orange rind.
Scrumptious Egg Nog
300ml / ½ a pint of milk
1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
25ml / 1fluid oz of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml / 1 fluid oz of Cognac
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Heat the milk in small saucepan to just below boiling. Whisk the egg and sugar together in a small bowl then whisk in the V.I.P Jiu 8 and brandy. Whisk this into the hot milk then pour into a warmed mug, sprinkle with ground nutmeg.
25ml/1 fluid oz of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml/1 fluid oz of dark rum
1½ teaspoons of soft brown sugar
200ml/1/3 pint of boiling water
15 g/½ oz of unsalted butter
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Put the V.I.P Jiu 8, rum, sugar and 50ml / 2fluid oz of the water into a mug. Add butter and stir until melted. Add the rest of the water and sprinkle nutmeg over the top.