Hot drinks at home!
For the past decade the Cedar Door Patio Bar & Grill has offered a special Winter Drink menu. In order to enjoy our big patio with beautiful views of downtown during the cold Winter months we’ve found it takes a couple key ingredients; patio heaters, a hot boozy beverage, and a little determination.
We’ve found through years of experimenting that making a delicious hot drink is not as easy as it sounds! Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned that may help in recreating some of these treats at home.
1. Monitor the temperature of your water! Alcohol can loose it’s potency when it is heated too high. What this leaves you with is a drink that tastes strong but actually is quite the opposite. For us we use a home coffee brewer that is set at 170 degrees. This is because pure alcohol has a boiling point of 173 degrees as opposed to the normal 212. When experimenting with your own hot drinks at home make sure you use a thermometer with your water!
2. Use a sweeter liquor or sweeter ingredients. When the temperature of your drink gets higher, the less you will taste the sugary sweetness of whatever you put in it. We’ve found using classically sweeter alcohols like Bailey’s, Frangelico, Kahlua, slightly sweeter bourbon’s such as Eagle Rare, and flavored vodkas yields the best results. By doing so you save yourself from having to add too much sugar or sweetener.
3. A little cream goes a long way. On the converse of the last step of adding more sugar, cream seems to become more powerful as the drink gets hotter. Using just a small amount heavy cream or half and half will make your drink smooth and creamy. We have found that milk does not give you that same “soul warming” effect as cream however.
4. Whipped cream! Using a small layer of whipped cream, in addition to being delicious on its own, actually has an awesome added effect. The whipped cream serves as a barrier making the smell of your drink less powerful. Since smell is a huge part of taste as well, what this does is allows your taste buds to be the first ones to experience your drink during each sip instead of your nose. Try a little at home and see for yourself! We think you will be surprised how much it makes a difference.
5. Make your own spin a classic. Part of what makes Winter drinks cozy & fun is that they are an adult version of the warm drinks you already love. Whether it’s coffee, tea, or hot chocolate as a base, sometimes the easiest and most delicious hot drinks just involve a spin on a classic. Add a little Frangelico to add some delicious hazelnut flavor to your afternoon coffee, or use some vanilla or chocolate vodka to add some extra punch to your hot chocolate.
Make sure to give one of our Winter drinks a try on your next visit! Whether you’re here for a private event, out on the patio by a heater, or feeling cozy inside, our Espresso Hot Chocolate, Hot Buttered Rum, or Spiced Chai Hot Toddy is sure to make your Winter evening a little better. We think you’ll enjoy it so much that you’re going to want to make a couple at home. Using these tips and a little creativity you’ll be able to make your own delicious version at home.