Wintry Weather Drinks
2010/12/21 § 2 Comments
I look forward to cold weather just so I could make mulled wine.
I discovered this winter pleasure at the Striezelmarkt in Dresden several years back. Since then, I make sure to buy a cup everytime I see these Christmas stalls. A friend made some at home one time so I discovered how easy it was to make and have also been making it since [mulling spices, sugar, apple juice or cider, red wine (but I’ve used white wine and champagne as well), cinnamon sticks, orange zest].
I can’t begin to describe how much I love mulled wine. It fills the house with that wonderful scent of Christmas. And it makes you feel warm all over….without getting too tipsy or drunk.
Because we had so many house parties last year, with as many bottles of wine that we couldn’t really finish – I ended up making pots and pots of mulled wine which seriously made for a festive winter season. Even when all we did was stay at home and watch TV or read books. The aroma permeating the house makes all the difference. It is everything warm and good and merry. It was with a tinge of regret when spring came and I had to pack up my tins of mulling spices and cinnamon sticks.
I could hardly wait for the cold weather to set in this year so I could start making more of this favorite drink. Alas, when I went to order the mulling spices – they have been discontinued! How could Williams Sonoma do this to me? I will now have to look for a substitute. Please let me know if you find any good ones.
While I was lamenting the absence of mulling spices, a friend suggested that I should go and have hot chocolate at La Maison du Chocolat instead.
I don’t normally like hot chocolate. It’s usually too sugary or sweet or tepid for me. But it was recommended with so much vigor that I decided to try it immediately. I trekked to the Rockefeller shop and saw a sign saying that the chocolate salon was closed, the small sitting area for sipping chocolate drinks I presumed. So I whiled away my time looking at all the beautiful chocolate creations and was thinking of buying a bouche de noel for Christmas eve when a kind gentleman asked me if I needed help. I said “no thanks, what I really wanted was hot chocolate” (thinking that they weren’t serving any). Before I could say anything else, he asked me if I wanted sweet, mild or bittersweet. I chose bittersweet et voila – a cup of chocolat chaud was in front of me. In a papercup. I would have really wanted to sip my chocolate chaud in a proper cup and while sitting down…but I instead got a takeaway.
Nevertheless, any disappointment was instantly erased as soon as I sipped. It was liquid happiness. Just perfect. Rich. Thick. Slightly bitter. No hint of sugar and just the right amount of sweet.
I also found this cake which interested me no end as it reminded me of the Mont Blancs in Angelina’s (which accompanied our chocolat chaud a l’ancienne, of course). Maybe I can get it for New Year. Those chestnut pipings look like noodles which signify long life. Hmmm…..
Finally, there’s hot coffee.
It was a really cold day last week when I thought it would be good to test a hype. I asked a friend of mine to walk with me to Stumptown for a cup of coffee. As previously mentioned, not a big coffee fan although I always have coffee with dessert and sometimes for breakfast. I don’t normally get one…just to get one. Or just because one has to have one while walking. Or to wake up. Or for whatever reason people have coffee. I, however, really wanted to go and try the much-vaunted Stumptown coffee.
So off we go to the Ace Hotel. Was duly charmed by the fashionable baristas. And captivated by the capuccino we ordered. It was good. REALLY GOOD. I might actually go back. For no reason than to have coffee. Well, to keep my hands warm at least….
Hoping you have warm days with your winter drink of choice!