Wine Wednesday: Cold-Comfort cocktails for the holiday season

Somewhere between passing the drumstick, working on a new PR program for my clients and writing my holiday cards, I caught a wicked cold.  You know the kind that leaves you achy, chills and the never-ending reach for tissues.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, I’m looking for comfort, so today’s ‘Wine Wednesday’ is dedicated to some ‘comfort’ spirits and treats.   Next week, I promise to give you some terrific wine, spirit and other fun holiday gift items.  Until then, stay well and always, drink (and eat) responsibly.

Vanilla Hot Buttered Rum

1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Unsalted butter
2 cups Vanilla ice cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch grated nutmeg
Light rum

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the two sugars and butter and simmer until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter and sugar paste with the ice cream, then refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, fill each mug with 1 cup of the vanilla mixture and 1 oz of light rum. Top with boiling water and stir.

Pumpkin Chai

1 part Hiram Walker Pumpkin Spice
1 part Kahlúa French Vanilla or Coffee Cream liqueur
3 parts Half & Half whipped cream, optional
Pumpkin pie spice mix or colored candy sprinkles, optional

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.
Strain into an old-fashioned glass or mug filled with ice.
Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice mix or candy, if desired.

Warm and Fuzzy (in honor of my warm fuzzy socks – don’t ask!)

1/3 oz Triple Sec

1/3 oz Southern Comfort Peach Liqueur

1/3 oz Cherry Brandy

Pour southern comfort, triple sec, and then cherry brandy into a shot glass.

Nothing actually makes me feel better than the smell of warm cookies, cakes or pies baking in the oven.  Simply makes the house smell so good, warm and cozy.  These are a great spin on regular brownies and if you don’t want the bourbon, you can leave it out.  There is only a hint of flavor as most of the alcohol burns out during baking.  I still wouldn’t recommend them for kids – these are strictly PG-21.

Kentucky Bourbon Brownies Adapted from The Junior League of Owensboro, Kentucky

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 6 oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup bourbon
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir, then set aside. Combine sugar, shortening, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat once thoroughly combined. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, stirring throughout. Add dry ingredients and walnuts. Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately out of the oven, drizzle bourbon evenly over warm brownies. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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