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We’ve got vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, and schnapps that smell and taste like cinnamon
When the holiday season comes around, we can’t help but indulge in food and drink spiced with classic holiday flavors like gingerbread, peppermint, nutmeg, hazelnut, and the ever-sweet cinnamon. This time every year, food and drink manufacturers introduce their long-awaited seasonally spiced products. And this year, we’ve found quite a number of cinnamon-flavored liquors, including vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, and schnapps.
11 Cinnamon-Flavored Liquors for the Holidays (Slideshow)
The flavors range from a sweet combination of cinnamon and sugar to a spicy, red-hot blend. Whether you love the spicy smell or the sweet cinnamon-y flavor, these cinnamon-flavored liquors will surely warm you up this winter.
We have vodka by Pinnacle that tastes like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. There’s red-hot, smooth cinnamon whiskey by SinFire. Sailor Jerry rum mixes together cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and toffee. And Peligroso’s tequila gets a spice of cinnamon that makes it dangerously sweet.
Lucky for us, a few of these cinnamon-flavored liquors are around all year long. Read on to see the cinnamon-flavored liquors that infuse cinnamon spice and everything nice this holiday season.
For more holiday cheer, visit The Daily Meal’s Ultimate Guide to Christmas!
Haley WIllard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.
Gather Your Supplies
Infusions require a few basic supplies and the infusion jars can be used over and over again. It doesn't require a big investment and it's possible you already have everything you need.
- Herbs, spices, or fruits and vegetables for flavor
- Vodka or any other distilled spirit
- Mason jars, infusion jars, or similar airtight jars with a wide mouth
- Coffee filter, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer
As you work with infusions, you will find that wide-mouthed jars are best. These allow you to get the ingredients in and out of the liquor easily.
Some ingredients, such as cinnamon sticks, will expand as they soak up the liquid. Trying to remove a swollen stick through the narrow neck of a liquor bottle is nearly impossible. If you want to recycle your liquor bottles, reserve them for the completed infusion after the ingredients are removed.
As far as jar size goes, a 750ml bottle of liquor is just under 1 quart (25.4 ounces). If you're infusing an entire bottle, a 1-quart (32-ounce) jar will leave room for your ingredients.
13 Cocktails That Prove Cinnamon Spice Makes Everything Nice
Save money on your energy bill by turning up the heat internally with cozy, cinnamon-forward cocktails that instantly make you feel warm and fuzzy. There&rsquos a reason cinnamon is a seasonal favorite during the winter holidays, and for months thereafter&mdashand from whiskey spice to apple cider cocktails, there are a lot of different ways to incorporate cinnamon into your libation rotation.
This handy guide to cinnamon cocktails will walk you through everything you need to know to work cinnamon-spiked drinks into your beverages mix, with recipes for beginning-of-the-season, harvest-inspired mixes to spirited takes that go beyond the holidays and hot after-dinner beverages. Plus, we&rsquoll go over how to make your own cinnamon-infused liquor or cinnamon syrup to help you get creative with recipes of your own. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cocktail (hello, Fireball, Rumchata, and Kahlua!) or easy cream soda cinnamon roll cocktail, anyone?
Print and Attach Labels
Print out the Flavor-Infused Liquors Printable Labels onto a sheet of 2-inch by 2-inch clear labels. Apply the title label to the front of the bottle and the drink recipe label onto the back.
Add Labels to Flavored Liquor Bottles
When making homemade flavors liquors, be sure to apply the title label to the front of the bottle and the drink recipe label onto the back.
Rich, creamy Coquito is a classic Puerto Rican treat made with coconut cream, coconut milk, baking spices and, most important, rum.
“My mother would make Coquito every year for the holidays,” says New York-based bartender Darnell Holguin, co-founder of The Silver Sun Group. “She would make a variation that is very similar to eggnog, called Ponche, which [includes] egg and condensed milk added for nutrition during difficult economic times in Puerto Rico in the 1940s.” Aside from its nostalgic value, Holguin is a die-hard fan of Ponche for its texture and balance—the recipe is a template he’s used countless times over the course of his career behind the bar.
Coquito, which translates to “little coconut” in Spanish, has deep roots in Puerto Rican history—or, at least, Spain’s colonization of the island. Holguin elaborates: “It is said that the Spanish brought [Coquito] over by introducing the island to their version of an eggnog. Utilizing the abundant resource of coconuts, a version was created unique to Puerto Rican culture.” Today, there are countless family recipes specific to Puerto Rican households across the world, but there’s one key element that’s non-negotiable, according to Holguin. “There is always one important ingredient that must be in Coquito, and that is Puerto Rican rum.”
While there’s plenty of room for interpretation and experimentation when making Coquito at home, you’ll want to follow a few general guidelines from an expert like Holguin. “When making your Coquito, it’s important to use a good coconut milk—read the labels on the cans you purchase and make sure you get one that has a lot of coconut fat. This is what gives this drink great texture and body," says Holguin. "Also, sourcing quality spices like good vanilla extract and cinnamon makes a world of difference. This balance of fatty texture and a dry finish from spices and the rum makes it irresistible and impossible to just have one!” This large-batch recipe, contributed by legendary bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez, is an excellent place to begin your Coquito explorations.
Spirits (Liquid, Not Ghostly) for the Holidays
SOME of the hottest and coolest holiday drinks on Westchester menus combine up-to-the-minute trends with the comfort and joy of traditional holiday treats. In these inventive nogs, grogs and ’tinis, house-made spice infusions share the spotlight with fresh, local ingredients and premium spirits.
“With the growing interest in mixology in the past few years, cocktails have become a more important part of an evening,” said Alison Awerbuch, a partner and chief culinary officer at Abigail Kirsch, which often caters to groups of holiday revelers at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown.
“Their theme and seasonality set the tone for the entire party,” she said.
The Winter Champagne Sparkler at Tappan Hill is a bubbly riff on mulled wine that contains an intricately spiced honey-pear water and is garnished with a nod to its forerunner a flake of cinnamon stick and a delicate strip of orange peel studded with cloves. House-made vanilla-infused vodka adds punch to Tappan Hill’s Christmas-red Vanilla Cranberry Champagne Cocktail, and is complemented by a touch of rosemary.
A hint of Christmas tree in the form of Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps flavors the Berkshire Pine, a creation reminiscent of eggnog served at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills. Its crème anglaise base redolent with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and anise is mixed with the Zirbenz and Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Ragged Mountain Rum, then folded with whipped egg whites, fresh from the Stone Barns farm. Served in a Champagne coupe, it’s made even more stunning with a garnish of the foamy whites.
The foam that tops the nog at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua is made from milk that is steeped overnight with cinnamon, and the eggs are brought to the restaurant daily by one of its cooks, from his farm. The intensely flavored cider from Thompson’s Cider Mill and Orchard, in Croton-on-Hudson, provides the base for Crabtree’s spicy hot mulled cider. Perfumed with a blend of cardamom, ginger and other aromatic spices, and spiked with Ron Zacapa Centenario 23, an aged Guatemalan rum, it provides patrons with a luxurious version of the traditional cold-weather warmer.
In the mixology world, luxury is in. Sales of premium liquors have been rising steeply, said Danielle Eddy, a spokeswoman for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. For example, in 2008, the sales volume of premium vodkas rose 14 percent over 2007, and high-end cordials were up 9 percent. And the inclusion of top-quality spirits in cocktails provides complex flavors that can be appreciated along with their “kick.”
The Candied Apple Martini served at Dylan’s Bar at X20 in Yonkers combines the deep, burned-caramel flavor of Van Gogh Caramel Vodka with the crisp apple of both Stoli Gala Applik and Doc’s Draft Hard Cider (from Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery in Warwick, N.Y.), along with a touch of sweet vermouth. And the sweet taste of a favorite holiday candy is given sophisticated nuance in the Bedford Post Inn’s Gianduja, a chocolate hazelnut martini based on Ketel One vodka that layers the flavors of premium Valrhona chocolate and Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Frangelico.
If chocolate sounds better for dessert than for an aperitif, that is in step with the growing popularity of after-dinner cocktails. “A well-balanced cocktail can be a great alternative to a glass of port or cognac as an after-dinner drink,” said Danielle Madera, beverage manager at Bedford Post Inn.
Ms. Madera’s Gingersnap starts out with dark Rhum Barbancourt, a rum made in Haiti Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum and a splash of fresh orange juice. Poured into a glass rinsed with St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram Liqueur, then floated with ginger beer, it’s a nod to the quintessential Christmas cookie and perhaps a fitting alternative to dessert.
Not that cocktails are the only dessert-friendly holiday drink. Since the days when wassail fortified medieval carolers, beer has held an honored place in December feasts. Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association, said that seasonal beers, including holiday specialties, accounted for nearly 20 percent of the craft brews sold in the United States in 2008, and that winter beers are up 23 percent from 2007. This month, the Captain Lawrence Brewery in Pleasantville released its Nor’easter Winter Warmer, flavored with elderberries and aged in bourbon barrels. At 12 percent alcohol, it’s made to be sipped and can be served after dinner, paired with chocolate.
But whatever the drink of choice luscious-looking cocktail or rich local brew time-honored seasonal flavors can’t help but infuse the latest creations with a festive sense of tradition, wrapping an evening in spirits to brighten the darkest December night.
ABIGAIL KIRSCH AT TAPPAN HILL MANSION 81 Highland Avenue, Tarrytown. abigailkirsch.com (914) 631-3030.
BEDFORD POST INN 954 Old Post Road, Bedford. bedfordpostinn.com (914) 234-7800.
BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills. (914) 366-9600 bluehillfarm.com/food/blue-hill-stone-barns.
CRABTREE’S KITTLE HOUSE 11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua. (914) 666-8044
Take your celebrations south of the border with this Mexican punch. Piloncillo (Mexican-style unrefined brown sugar) lends its rich sweetness to cinnamon, cloves and tamarind paste before fruit and hibiscus flowers get added to the mix. Finally, it all gets a boozy kick from a splash of rum before it’s served in punch glasses garnished with lemons.
The best liqueur to drink this Christmas
We put the best festive liqueurs to the test to bring you the ultimate Christmas tipple.
Our panel has tasted their way through 14 festive flavoured liqueurs and spirits to find the best Christmas tipple for your drinks shelf.
Liqueurs are sweetened, flavoured spirits, which are often used in cocktail-making but can equally be enjoyed on their own, over ice. Over the past few years, we have seen shelves flooded with exciting new Christmas-themed drinks, such as gingerbread liqueur, Christmas pudding liqueur, Christmas flavoured gin and many more.
But, with so many to choose from, what to drink this Christmas? Don&rsquot worry, our testing team have done the hard work, to find you the best festive liqueurs for 2020.
Even if you’re not traveling this month, you can take your winter festivities to Thailand with this unique Negroni variation. Mekhong (or spiced rum) shines when it’s teamed with Dolin rouge sweet vermouth and ginger-infused Campari. Garnish with a medjool date for a bite of sweetness.