Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spirited Adirondack New Year Beverages

Often you’ll find bartenders creating inspired cocktails – using seasonal ingredients, herbs from the garden, and from-scratch syrups that range from the simple sugar to berry purees – usually a nice complement to the restaurant’s menu offerings.

While this isn’t a post to encourage drinking, it is one to think about flavors we associate with the region and the season – like cider, maple, cinnamon, nutmeg – in the form of beverages, non-alcoholic and hi-test, warmed or refreshingly cold.

A raised glass to all Adirondack Almanack readers and safe travels – and many thanks to our designated drivers!

Warming Adirondack Wassail

This is as easy to make for a crowd, as it is for a single serving, and great after a day outdoors enjoying some winter hiking or skiing. Omit rum for a non-alcoholic version.

Per serving:

1 ounce rum
4-5 ounces apple cider
cinnamon stick
3 cloves
slice lemon and orange
fresh cranberries

Place ingredients in a sauce pan and warm over medium heat for approximately 7- 10 minutes; lower heat and simmer for an additional10 minutes. Strain cloves from liquid and serve in a ceramic or heavy glass mug with stick of cinnamon and a few whole (raw) cranberries (optional).

Snowy Nog

This is a recipe adapted from one I learned while I worked for the caterer, Glorious Food in New York – a great holiday treat and so filling it’s almost a meal in a glass. If you’re an eggnog fan, it’s perfect for toasting the New Year and reflecting on our many resolutions.

10 farm-fresh eggs, separated
1 cup super-fine sugar
1 cup Bourbon
1 cup Brandy (or add another cup of Bourbon)
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly grated cinnamon

Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and fully blended (save egg whites for another use – maybe a souffle). Slowly add Bourbon and Brandy to egg and sugar mixture and stir well. Refrigerate until chilled (will usually need a couple of hours).

Just prior to serving, beat heavy cream until quite stiff; fold into above mixture. Stir in half and half and mix well.

Ladle into wine or champagne glasses and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

Approximately 12 servings.

Photo: A pot of Wassail (Courtesy Wikipedia).

Annette Nielsen is a food writer, editor, community organizer and activist on behalf of regional agriculture. She recently edited Northern Comfort and Northern Bounty, two seasonally-based cookbooks for Adirondack Life Magazine. A native of Northville, she lives in Salem, New York with her husband and son.

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Annette Nielsen is a noted local food writer, editor, community organizer and activist on behalf of regional agriculture. She recently edited Northern Comfort and Northern Bounty, two seasonally-based cookbooks for Adirondack Life. A native of Northville, (she now lives in Salem, Washington County with her husband and son), Nielsen writes about Adirondack foodie culture with an eye toward locally sourced foods from forest, orchard, and farm. Annette Nielsen can be reached on Twitter and Facebook.




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