Whether you're looking to ward off a winter chill or bump up your holiday menu, this offering by María del Mar Sarcasa and Tara Striano of Cookin' and Shootin' (María does the cookin' and Tara does the shootin') is sure to please. In addition to cocktails, they provide recipes for a variety of noshing options for every occasion.
The book opens with a section on Pantry and Fridge Basics that can be used in cocktails; everything from apple cider and tonic water to dried edible flowers and bacon. It then moves on to The Well-Stocked Bar to provide information about various liquors; how they're made, what they're used for, etc. This section is followed by A Guide to Tools and Serverware, Know Your Glassware, Ice Molds, Muddling, Flavored Rims, Caramel, Opening Champagne, Citrus Garnishes, and Granita - all in anticipation of the goodies to come.
The chapters are broken out as follows:
- Hot Toddies and Mulled Drinks
- Eggnog, Hot Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea
- Punches and Pitchers
- Chilled Winter Cocktails
- Underpinnings, Infused Liquors, Simple Syrups, etc.
- Small Bites
My sister started the tradition of adding a cocktail to our holiday menu, whether it be mulled cider, something cranberry, or last year's Prosecco pear cocktail. I think I found this year's addition in Winter Cocktails ... the Nutella Melt! Doesn't that sound warm and inviting? And my nephews are nuts for Nutella (no pun intended).
Nutella Melt (As written in Winter Cocktails)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 ccup Nutella
6 ounces hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped, for garnish
Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish
Bring milk, Nutella, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until Nutella is completely dissolved. Stir in liqueur. Turn off the heat but leave the pot on the stove while you whip the cream.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream, confectioners' sugar, and espresso powder on medium speed in a large, chilled bowl until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, beat by hand using a large wire whisk.) Ladle drink into warm cups and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and coconut.
You'll have to pick up your own copy of the book to read the tips about toasting the coconut flakes and skinning the hazelnuts. ;)
The recipes are beautifully photographed, many with step-by-step instructions. Between the covers of this 160 page book, you'll find such tasty treats as:
- Burnt-Sugar Hot Buttered Rum
- Eve's Addiction
- Pumpkin-Bourbon Eggnog
- 1,001 Nights
- Bloody Good Punch
- Affogato Speciale
- Homemade Marshmallows
- Candied Bacon
- Orange, Cardamom, and Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cakes
- Cheese Crusted Olives
- Roasted Marrow Bones
OK, I could do without the Marrow Bones, but everything else is pretty droolworthy, including the Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches.
This is definitely party season, so it's time to pick up a copy and get your cocktail on! While you're at it, pick up a few as Christmas gifts too!
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As always, a big thanks for Quirk Books for the review copy. To pick up a copy for yourself - or for your favorite mixologist - check out ...