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12 Days of Cocktails: Day 12 – El Boozy Chocolate

Feliz Navidad Hot ChocolateWe made it! Our 12th day cocktail! And this one is Y.U.M.M.Y.! It’s pretty much what you want to slowly sip while you’re all cozy at home, finishing your wrapping, watching The Grinch or It’s a Wonderful Life or The Bodyguard or Paris is Burning for the bazillionth time. Hey, every family has their traditions…

Hot chocolate on a cold, winters day/night is really the absolute best. You know what makes it even better? Some kick ass spice and BOOZE!

I’m not a huge fan of the powdered stuff. Even the expensive, gourmet hot cocoas just aren’t chocolatey enough for me. Let’s be real. Using quality chocolate is key. For this Mexican style hot chocolate with cayenne and cinnamon, I used semi-sweet chips with 40% cocoa content – super chocolatey without being overly sweet. And the addition of Kahlua adds a little sweetness, so you’re pretty much covered in the drinkable dessert department. I just made two cups of this amazingness for myself and my mom, who’s been visiting for the holidays, and we both agree: It’s PERFECT! (She’s actually proven to be a very helpful bar back, taste tester and contributor for these last couple of cocktails and blog posts. And we haven’t killed each other yet! Aww, thanks, Mom!)

Feliz Navidad Hot Chocolate – makes 4 servings
4 cups of 2% or Whole Milk
1 cup quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Salt
6 Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 cup Kahlua
2 oz Brandy

In a small saucepan heat milk, 2 cinnamon sticks, cayenne and salt on medium high heat. Without bringing to a boil, whisk in chocolate chips over heat until melted and everything is combined. Add Kahlua and brandy until warmed. Ladle into mugs and garnish with one cinnamon stick each.

 

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 11 – The Christmas Daisy

Christmas Daisy Cocktail - BBAFThe Daisy is what you call an ‘old school cocktail’. It’s been around since before even Jerry Thomas had a chance to include his version of one in the legendary The Bartender’s Guide published in 1862. “Professor” Jerry Thomas is often referred to as the “father of American mixology”. And since the resurgence of classic cocktails and interest in American drinks history has grown, his stories and the classic cocktails he featured in his seminal book have been getting more recognition in recent years. Much of this is due to the amazingly researched and meticulously documented cocktail bible, Imbibe, by drinks historian, David Wondrich. If you have any interest in cocktails and American drinks history this is required reading. Put it on your Christmas list, stat!

The formula for the Daisy, according to Jerry Thomas, was a Sour – with a base spirit of whiskey, gin, brandy, or rum, sweetened with an orange cordial, and with the addition of some fizzy water. The orange cordial element was the only thing that differentiated it from a Fizz. Grenadine replaced the orange cordial in later renditions and, according to Wondrich, this fruity, pink-ish drink called the Daisy, eventually evolved into a dudes drink! The presentation might have been one of the reasons the gents gravitated toward this tipple, however. It was often served in a crushed ice filled goblet, mug or julep cup. Manly, right?! While I’ve seen Daisies served up or in a Collins type glass, this is how I prefer it! So, if you have a julep cup or something similar, this is the way to go.

Christmas Daisy
2 oz Gin
1 oz Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Limoncello
1/4 oz Cointreau Liqueur
2 Sage Leaves
Club Soda

Muddle one of the sage leaves with the Cointreau and Limoncello at the bottom of a shaker. Pour in the lemon juice and gin, add ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is cold and frosty. Strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Add soda. Garnish with sage leaf.

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 10 – Sorel Mimosa

If you’ve been a follower of this blog (Thank you! It’s much appreciated!), you’ve probably noticed by now that I am a fan of Sorel Liqueur, a spicy hibiscus and clove liqueur hand-crafted right here in Brooklyn. It was delightful in both the summery Hibiscus Lemonade as well as in the hot cocktail I created for the Atlantic Cellars’ Hometown Holiday Spirits event: The Red Hot American Winter. And it’s pretty much a no-brainer to include in a holiday cocktail because it’s so often described as ‘Christmas in a glass’.

vogue-winter-fashion-magazine-coverThis drink raises the mimosa bar to the next level. If you can find them, use fresh blood oranges for this. And the candied ginger at the bottom of the glass is sweet treat at the end of the drink! The color will be a lovely burgundy dream. If you’re planning on doing a Christmas brunch, this is the drink to serve!

Sorel Mimosa
Candied Ginger
.5 oz Sorel Liqueur
1.5 oz Fresh Blood Orange Juice
3.5 oz Champagne, Dry Sparkling Wine or Prosecco

Build in Champagne Flute in order of ingredients list starting with the candied ginger at the bottom of the glass.

Bottoms Up!

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 9 – Baileys & Coffee

Baileys & Coffee - BBAFWe’re in the homestretch of our 12 Days of Cocktails list here at Bit By a Fox, and while the temps are reaching close to 70 degrees in New York City(!!!), I’m getting more and more in the spirit! This morning, for instance, I decided it would be particularly festive of me to put a dollop of Baileys Irish Cream in my morning coffee. Now, any other time of year, that might not seem as acceptable. But during the holidays, this type of behavior is encouraged. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

pr with baileys mugI realize this isn’t a cocktail, per se – there’s only two ingredients. But since Baileys is comprised of a cocktail of sorts – alcohol, cream, sugar, herbs and Irish whiskey, of course, I’m pretty sure this can count as our ninth day cocktail! Plus, I don’t know of any other liqueur that is quite as synonymous with Christmas as this one is. At least, for me. I mentioned how Grand Marnier was one of the first tastes of booze I had when I was a kid. Well, I’m pretty sure Baileys was the absolute first. Don’t let your kids near this! I mean, it tastes exactly like dessert! Those tiny, little bottles looked like they were supposed to go in MY stocking. And don’t tell me those winky, little cups they’ve designed specifically for the stuff doesn’t look kid-sized. Just the kind of adorable a 12-year-old girl could get into.

Make this Christmas morning before you get into your presents. It’s always fun to prolong the excitement a little bit and this is worth the (very short) wait!

Baileys & Coffee
Take a mug of hot, strong premium joe.
Drop an ounce or two (for taste) of Baileys Irish Cream
Top with whipped cream (optional)

Enjoy! Now rip into those stockings!

I sort of love this Busby Berkeley inspired Baileys commercial that ran last year. Check it out:

 

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 8 – HOT.BUTTERED.RUM.

Oh, hi! How does a steaming cup of spicy sugar butter sound to you right about now?

60s Winter couple.jpgHBR

I’ve always loved the idea of hot buttered rum but I haven’t always been crazy about the actual variations I’ve had over the years. Sugar? Butter? Spices? Rum?? Yes, to all of that! But once that combo is all heated up in beverage form, sometimes it just comes off like an overly sweet, oil slick. I’ve probably just had lousy versions that weren’t mixed properly or they weren’t entirely balanced. Most likely they were made by some drunk who had a little too much holiday cheer, themselves. But I’ve since changed my tune. I mean, I still don’t want to drink chunks of sugar butter but, when made properly, this drink CAN be amazing! I’ve also come to realize that I prefer using hot cider instead of hot water. It lends a deeper flavor, it seems like the butter assimilates better and you can use a little less sugar. Aromatic bitters and a little orange zest is also a nice addition that isn’t necessarily traditional. But the most important ingredient here is the RUM! Make sure it’s deep, dark and rich. Gosling’s Black Seal or an aged Jamaican variety like Meyers Dark or Appleton Estate Reserve are excellent choices for this Hot Buttered Delight!

Hot Buttered Rum
1 tsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Softened Salted Butter
Ground Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Ginger, Clove (pinch of each)
1 tsp Finely Grated Orange Zest
Hot Apple Cider
2 oz Dark Rum
2 dashes of Aromatic or Orange Bitters

Rinse a mug with boiling water to heat. Muddle the butter, sugar, spices, pinch of salt and orange zest at the bottom of the cup. Pour a bit of the very hot apple cider and stir to combine all the ingredients, melting the butter. Add the rum. Pour the rest of the hot apple cider until well combined. Add the bitters and stir. Garnish with Cinnamon Stick.

If you are making this for a group, you can make a batter out of the first four ingredients and multiplying the recipe by 8 (for instance). Mix well in a blender, stand mixer or by hand, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to a month. When making the individual drink, just add 2 tbsp of batter to each mug and then follow the directions from there.

 

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 7 – Cranberry Sparkler

Look! The Bit By a Fox crew was turned into a dizzying GIF!

mopub party - bbaf staff

Don’t look at that too long. Your head might explode. I mean, will it ever stop?? If a comet crashed into the earth and all forms of life ceased living, would this thing still keep going?! Don’t hate me for being a GIF!

We obviously had a great time at the MoPub holiday party last week. And this was AFTER we shook up over 300 cocktails!

We served the Holiday Highball featured at the Hometown Holiday Spirits event last month, the Whiskey & Spice & Everything Nice and the Cranberry Sparkler!

Cranberry Sparkler - Bit By a Fox
This sparkling wine based cocktail is also a great one to ring in the new year with. It’s fun, festive and tastes like the season. Grand Marnier always makes me think of Christmas. It was actually one of the first tastes of booze I ever had as a kid because it was always around during that time…and I just couldn’t help sneaking some sweet, orange-y booze-candy for myself! Merry Christmas to me! Hiccup.

Cranberry Sparkler
1.5 oz Gin
1 oz Grand Marnier
.5 oz Bit By a Fox Cranberry Citrus Syrup
.5 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Prosecco

Shake all ingredients except Prosecco over ice. Add 2 oz Prosecco to a rocks filled wine glass and strain mixture over it. Add straw.

Find the recipe for the cranberry syrup here.

12 Days of Cocktails: Day 6 – Mulled Wine

Oh heeeey! You must be freezing! Wanna warm up those mittens with a nice glass of…ICE COLD BUD??

Budweiser AdUm, what?! Who comes in after a day of skiing and frolicking in the snow and wants a frosty mug of Budweiser? Nice one, 1950s ad execs. I’m not buying it! A Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee, Hot Buttered Rum…YES! Now, these are aprés-ski beverages. We all know that’s why people ski. Really, who needs to leave the lodge at all when there’s warm, booze around? Mulled Wine just might be my favorite warm libation. Not only is it the perfect winter defrost-er, it makes your home smell divine. Mulling spices are the best! I’ve often given pouches of these as gifts with directions to infuse maple syrup, make a spiced syrup for cocktails, spice up some cider or steep in wine. It’s a great, inexpensive gift that is so easy to put together. All you need is some cheese cloth or muslin and some twine to wrap up the spices. And here is a recipe for Mulled Wine that you can include!

Mulled Wine Recipe - Bit By a Fox
Now you’re ready for round two on the slopes!

Snow Bunny

12 Days of Cocktails: Day Five – Hair of the Fox!

Are we having fun yet?!

beverly_hills_90210 x-mas
Is it all too much already? Are we hitting a holiday booze wall yet? Poor baby. Do we need a detox day? Fine. I feel you. I may be there, myself. Let’s take the day off and rehydrate so we can get back on the holiday horse. Hit a Bikram Yoga class, sweat out that egg nog, pop a few of these, and get on the coconut water bandwagon. I know there’s a lot of hate for the packaged stuff, and with good reason. None of the brands on the market compare to a freshly opened, young coconut in a sunny locale. Hell, nothing tastes as good as when you’re on vacation. However, I still find it my rehydrating beverage of choice when I’m looking for a ‘Hair of the Fox’ fix.

Aaaand, I’m here to inform all of you coconut water haters that there is one brand out there that doesn’t taste like a sweaty sock! Taste Nirvana!

Taste Nirvana Coconut Water
Seriously, it’s called Taste Nirvana. By the way, this blog post is not at all sponsored by Taste Nirvana. I WISH! Maybe they’d send me a case or two of the stuff! That shiz is not cheap! But, believe me, you’ll pay $3 a can for this stuff when you find yourself maxed out on holiday cheer.

So, fret not, coconut water gaggers, there is something out there that will replenish your electrolytes and does not taste like dirty dish water! You’re welcome.

Come back here tomorrow to get back to the hard stuff. Until then, Namaste, motherfoxes.

12 Days of Cocktails: Day Four

I am excited to announce that Bit By a Fox and Quinciple – the weekly, curated food subscription service that I wrote about and created Thanksgiving cocktails for last month – will be joining forces for some upcoming events in the next few months at a variety of locations around Brooklyn.

Quinciple

I will be creating seasonal cocktails out of some of the finely curated items featured in Quinciple’s weekly box of goodies. How fun is that?! And our first event is this Thursday! We’ll be at Bed-Vyne Wine, a boutique wine shop in the heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

For this Thursday’s cocktail, I was tasked to create a wine-based tipple using some lovely clementines, also known as “Christmas Oranges”, that will be included in this next week’s Quinciple box. I thought I’d share this recipe with all of you for the Fourth Day of Cocktails and whet your appetites for this Thursday! Because you’re all coming!!!

Oh My Darling

After a week of holiday partying, this light, bubbly, glass of sunshine is a pretty refreshing respite. Come out to Bed-Vyne Wine this Thursday, 12/19 anytime from 7-9pm to try this seasonal cocktail in person, hang out with ME and learn more about Quinciple’s brilliant food delivery service!

12 Days of Cocktails: Day Three – The NOG Edition

Holiday Booze BunnyI know, I know, People have feelings about eggnog. But I just couldn’t do a Christmas cocktail roundup without including the granddaddy of them all!

A couple of years ago I went through an eggnog making frenzy, bringing it to every holiday party I went to and giving people jugs of it for presents. I found out then that most people associated eggnog only with the super viscous store-bought brand in a carton and hadn’t actually experienced the homemade boozy stuff. That’s like comparing packaged donuts from the corner Bodega to these heavenly orbs. Sure, booze-less nog and garbage donuts have their place…but if you’re traveling down that full fat, super-sized calorie path, you might as well indulge in the quality stuff. GO BIG OR GO HOME!

There are SO many eggnog recipes online, some of which involve cooking the mixture for twenty minutes on a low heat to create a custard or whipping the whites and yolks separately until your arm falls off. But all that just seems like so much work and way too time consuming, especially when considering that this drink is essentially just a flip cocktail with dairy. And, of course, there’s always debate about whether you add brandy, rum or bourbon. Or all three! I’m partial to a spiced rum and brandy combo, but that can be switched out depending on your preference. And freshly grated nutmeg is key. Oh! And, yes, there are raw eggs involved in this. Please refer to my recent post about Using Eggs in Cocktails if you have any concerns about safety. Did I mention Go Big or Go Home?

I can’t take full credit for this recipe.  The New York Times featured an egg nog recipe a few years ago (that I was obsessed with) that was adapted from a Jeffrey Morgenthaler recipe…and I’ve adapted it further. The portions are a little tweaked but the ingredients and directions are basically the same. You’ll never drink the stuff out of the carton again!

FOXY NOG – Yields about 8 drinks

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (make sure there’s also some to grate over the finished drink)
6 oz brandy
6 oz spiced rum

Directions:
Place the eggs in a blender by themselves and beat for just under a minute. Add the sugar for another 40 seconds, until blended and then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until it looks like everything is well combined. After the mixture has a chance to chill for at least an hour, you are ready to get your nog on! You can serve this drink up in a coupe or a teacup or you can add a few cubes of ice to lighten it up. But remember the freshly grated nutmeg for the topper.

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