The Art of Darkness

Warming Autumnal Drinks

October 8th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Autumn is finally here in the Northern Hemisphere, and chilly evenings are custom-made for warming drinks. Here are a few that have been sitting around in my Drafts folder, just waiting for the proper time to emerge.

Caramel Apple
Serves 4

4 C apple cider (the non-alcoholic, apple-juice sort; thanks, Mim!)
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 C caramel vodka,* or more to taste

Put the cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in vodka, and pour into mugs.

*You can find caramel-flavored vodka in many liquor stores, but it’s also easy to make your own. For either of these methods, you’ll need a 750ml bottle of vodka (the better the quality of the vodka, the better the final result, so don’t use paint-thinner-grade stuff):

  • Pour out 1/2 C of vodka and replace with 1/2 C of caramel sauce. If you want to go the full homemade route, you can make your own sauce; otherwise, the store-bought stuff meant for ice cream topping is fine.
  • Pour all of the vodka into another container temporarily, add 20 chopped-up caramel candies to the bottle, and pour as much vodka as will fit back in. Cap the bottle, set aside, and give it a good shake a couple of times a day for around 5 days (the smaller the caramel pieces, the faster it’ll infuse).

For either method, you can optionally strain the finished vodka through a coffee filter to remove any leftover small solids.

Candle in the Window
Serves 1

In a mug combine:

2 tsp. Bourbon
1 tsp. cherry brandy
1 tsp. dark Creme de Cacao
2 oz. light rum

Fill with coffee, top with whipped cream, and dust with cocoa powder.

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